Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Couture Design Service

Sometimes it’s just impossible to find what you want. Perhaps you’ve searched high and low and just not found exactly what you want. Sometimes the only step forward is to have it made but and we understand that it can also be daunting commissioning a dress to your exact wishes. How does it work? How long does it take? How much does it cost? Will it look like I imagine it?

Here is a guide to how we work at Silver Lining sewing rooms and what you can expect.

If you have an idea of the perfect dress, but can’t find exactly what you want, then we will help you design you own dress. Whether it be simply bringing a picture of a celebrity on the red carpet or combining lots of your favourite elements to make a completely unique design to your specification. Likewise, if you don’t know what you would like or are uncertain what you want, we can discuss your likes and dislikes so that we can understand your tastes and develop ideas for you to think about.

From here Rachel will make a variety of sketches for you to work through and modify to your hearts’ content, mixing and matching various elements until you have the design you want. You will be shown fabric samples and colour combinations and we can show you examples of embroidery and beading, unusual trimmings and a wide range of handmade flowers and accents that you may wish to incorporate into your design. We can also discuss accessories and jewellery as we are able to collaborate with local artists to create the exact adornments and embellishments that you desire; whether that is handmade silver clasps for your wedding coat or unusual headwear and tiaras.

Together we will work towards a final design and costing, modifying your design and fabric choices to suit your budget. There is no obligation at this stage. This consultation period is for you to decide whether the couture design service is for you or not.

The next stage requires a deposit for us to buy the materials and then we will set about making the pattern and in certain cases a toile. A toile is a first attempt at the dress in cotton that allows us to see how the dress will come together and modify the fit and pattern to your wishes before cutting into your chosen material. This is also a good way for you to see the design take shape – the beauty of opting for this process.

Your dress will be made up over 2 to 5 fittings depending on complexity of design. During that time fittings with your desired shoes and jewellery is advised so that we can make sure skirt length is most practical and necklines most suitable.

A custom wedding gown can be completed in 6 months, but ideally 9 months is required to turn those initial sketches into reality. Bridesmaid, prom dresses and waistcoats are not so time consuming, however if you have a lot of bridesmaids the sooner we can get started the better. It goes without saying that this is not something we want to rush.

Remember, the initial consultation and design process does not mean that you are tied to us.

Simply make an appointment either by phone 01254 345 789 or email ( ), dig out some inspirational pictures, come and chat with Rachel and she’ll work with you to create the dress of your dreams.