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ABOUT THE CLOTHES

My hand sewn bridal wear ranges from wedding suits and short wedding dresses to elaborate silk bridal gowns. I have designed a collection of wedding dresses and evening dresses for you to choose from. I also have photographic and sketch portfolios of some of my bridal wear designs as well as styles for just necklines, sleeves, skirts and other parts of dresses from which to create unique one off dresses, and you can look through these at an appointment. I hand-draft patterns for the bridal gowns and evening dresses & specialise in making silk wedding gowns, as well as dresses made from cotton, linen, wool, lace & quality synthetics.  I have a particular interest in designing bias cut bridal gowns and evening dresses and soft fluid clothes, and dresses that are not specifically “fashionable” but which are classic dresses and gowns often inspired by vintage clothes of bygone eras, although I also design in contemporary style.


Embroidery and Beadwork

I specialise in designing this decorative work for the clothes I design.


Hand Painting

As well as hand painting silk scarves and silk wall hangings, I also hand paint dresses.


APPOINTMENTS

All consultations are by appointment at my base in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  You can try on some of my sample dresses and I can discuss how these designs and the designs in my photo and sketch books can be made up for you, using the quality fabrics from my collection of trade fabrics.  I will provide you with a sketch and a written estimate.


Appointments may be made during the week in the daytime, and if time permits in the early evening (up to 7.30 p.m.) or on a Saturday, although weekends are not always possible.  


FITTINGS

Between 2 and 10 fittings may be needed, depending on the style.


SILK AND NATURAL FABRICS

I specialise in working with silks and other natural fibres such as cotton, linen and wool although I also design using quality synthetics and of course laces some of which are silk or cotton although most are artificial and synthetic mixes, including the best quality French, Italian and English lace.


I have swatches of several ranges of fabrics from which I order the fabric for my designs.  Some of these can also be dyed or woven to order subject to minimum order quantities and most of my suppliers will provide a stock cutting to hold fabric on reserve before an order is confirmed.  I can also source many fabrics for my designs that I do not hold swatches for.  Most of these fabrics are from manufacturers and wholesalers who supply the trade  so I only order these fabrics for my designs and not to re-sell them as cut lengths to the public.  I also do not work with very heavy fabrics because all my sewing is done by hand.


TOILE

If you are unsure of the style for your dress, then a toile can be made.  This is a “mock up” of the design made in an economically priced fabric, although I will try to use fabric that has a similar weight and drape to the fabric that the design will be made in.  A toile will incur extra charges of between £50 and £500.  I always recommend a toile for complex garments, as this gives an idea of how the design will look and fit, before cutting the fabric for the finished garment.  The design can be refined during the making process.


NOTES ABOUT HAVING A DRESS  MADE

If you have never had a dress made, then you will need a little patience during the making process.  At first the garment is usually  sewn with  tacking stitches which are also known as basting stitches.  These stitches hold the garment together temporarily because the first fitting is to give you an idea of what the dress will look like and also to check the overall fit of the garment.  This is in case the seams need adjusting before they are sewn properly with back stitch because this would add to the overall cost to undo the proper sewing rather than just light tacking stitches and undoing properly sewn seams before the fit of the garment has been checked may also mark the fabric.


NOTICE

A minimum of several weeks notice is required for simple dresses, but several months notice is usually needed for evening and wedding dresses, ranging from 2 months to 1 year, depending on the style of the dress and the volume of work I have in hand.


PRICES

I charge £20 per hour although some garments may also incur a design fee  The following is an indication of starting prices but please remember that the cost of materials is not included in these because this depends on the cost of the final choice of fabric.  On average the cost of materials for a dress can range from about £50 to £300 for synthetics although the costs per dress for 100%silks and good quality laces can range from £100 to more than £1,000 per dress.


ROUGH GUIDE TO PRICES  -  PLUS THE COST OF MATERIALS





















BUDGET

The above prices are just a rough guide.  Each dress is individually priced and within reason, I will try to work to your budget, bearing in mind my hourly rate @ £20 per hour and the type of materials used for a design.  So if you have a limited budget this may mean scaling down the design and/or using a lower priced fabric than is in my original design although both these factors will have an effect on the finished quality of the garment and it is not worth cutting corners if it cheapens the overall finish of my product. However, always feel free to ask if I can make something within your price range.


ACTUAL PRICES OF FINISHED WEDDING AND EVENING DRESSES AND GOWNS

In practice, prices for a wedding dress including fabric and labour, start from around £600 for a very simple short, sleeveless dress, but expect to pay between £1,000 and £5,000 for a more complex bridal or evening dress or full length gown, although the costs of a very elaborate gowns may be higher.


WEDDING VEILS

Synthetic tulle veils from about £75 to £600, silk tulle veils from about £150 to £1,000  although hand embroidered or beaded veils may cost more depending on the amount of work involved.


Veils may also be made from chiffon, lace or other suitable fabrics.


TERMS

A deposit is required to confirm the order.  The balance is due on completion.


Estimates are valid for 1 month from the date they are given to the Customer.  Any changes or additions to the design will be charged @ £20 per hour in addition to the original price plus additional material costs.


Please note that the price you pay is for the total cost of the garment.


Full terms and conditions can be found on the Placing Orders page on this website or ask for a printed copy.


THERE ARE A FEW THINGS I DO NOT DO

I do not design or make trousers because I am a “dress lady”.  I do not work from ready made paper dress patterns. Neither do I copy other designers’ dresses, whether from photos, pictures, sketches or actual garments; and I do not use a sewing machine.  What I do do, is create unique, elegant hand made ladies clothes: wedding dresses, evening dresses and other special occasion dresses as well as classic day wear for ladies.  These quality, original dresses are hand crafted giving the clothes a soft, couture finish.


Wedding Dresses, Evening &Day Dresses

PICTURES OF FROCKS AND GOWNS

Some of the designs from my collection of ladies bridal, evening and day wear are on the following page where there are also details of sale garments:


Bridal and evening dress collection


Follow the following links below to view Bridal Wear Picture Galleries of some of the dresses I have designed for Real Brides

Short Wedding dresses and suits  


Long wedding dresses


These are a selection of original one off bridal wear and most of them were created for individual clients so most of them are not for sale but I hope they help to give you an indication of styling and price guidelines.  Each wedding dress is individually priced.