"Choosing the right seamstress is possibly almost as important as
finding the perfect husband…"

Some weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter asking if anyone would be interested in 'Guest Blogging' for Love My Dress.  I was quite pleasantly surprised with the number of replies that came back, and the variety of material that people were offering to contribute to this wedding blog.  As a result, I've been able to gather together a series of insightful guest articles that I look forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks and months. 

One subject I felt I was missing however was that of searching for a seamstress and dressmaker when it comes to your wedding gown, and the perils of investing in an 'off-shore', low cost manufacturer.  And so I invited Linda Davey from Dresses At No. 9 to consider writing a feature on this subject.  Linda is a dressmaker with over 15 years experience of working in the wedding industry, which includes a stint at Ponuptia De Paris. 

Being married to a Fashion Designer myself, I know the love, passion and yes, hard work that goes in to creating a garment, and it makes me so sad to see Brides spending their hard-earned cash on poor quality gowns that are hashed together with cheap fabric and production techniques. You don't HAVE to spend a fortune for a high quality, bespoke wedding dress but you SHOULD always invest in the very best seamstress that you can find.  Linda from Dresses At No. 9, who created all the dresses that feature on this page, explains further…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Emma Case

How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects )

When I was a child, I dreamed of being a princess in a castle and I'd swoosh around in my Aunt's wedding dress, picking up the skirt just like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. I still love all of the classic fairy tales, the beautiful princess whose prince will carry her away and live happily ever after and then desperately hope he wouldn't turn into a toad!

I'm sure, even in our adult lives, we still have those dreams. It is the fairytale along with the happy ever after and I still feel the wedding gown plays an important part in making that childhood fantasy come true; after all, having the fairytale gown is the magical touch that finishes your wedding day.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Emma Case

How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects )

I never have or still hold the opinion that I would only be wearing my gown for a few hours so I could not justify spending a lot of money on it. When I got married I had unspoken expectations that mattered to me, the bride. It would be the most significant dress I was every likely to wear, so to a degree, money was to be no object. I wanted a luxurious dress which would be the dress of my dreams and one which I intended to store as a keepsake.

It now hangs lovingly in my wardrobe and each time I pull open the doors and I see my gown hanging there, it’s shimmering gold satin and organza wrap are the open window to the past and without doubt, the best day of my life. I still adore the meaning of it. However, to others they may just want a dress for the ceremony and some photos and will never attach any emotional significance to their wedding gown.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Rob Booker

How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects ) How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects )

With the current trend split almost in two between the traditional bridal gown or that of vintage with a modern twist, the cost of the vintage gown can be almost as high, or in some cases higher, than those of the traditional style.

So, now he’s finally asked and you’ve  said 'Yes' and are now ooOOoing and ahhing over those gorgeous gowns between the pages of a magazine, we all know a wedding can be an expensive occasion even for the most humble of couples. This has many a lady running offshore to find their dream gown at a bargain basement price.

I was incensed by a comment in a wedding forum recently suggesting that UK based dressmakers weren't really up to the job of producing quality bridal wear, not like the offshore bridal companies. I’m not sure if this has more to do with cost than quality.  Source any reputable dressmaker and they should guide you through every step of your made to measure gown. You can handle the fabrics between your fingers, look at colours and have a complete one to one with a living human being.

How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects ) How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects )

I would be sceptical regarding the offshore descriptions of ‘best quality fabrics’ especially those used in the more ornate of vintage style wedding gowns. I have the pleasure of being involved with over half of my current client list being  inspired by the, 50’s Rock ‘N’ Roll era adding the oversized bow or shrug jacket for a modern twist alongside a few fabulous all over lace designs. Romance in its very essence.

In true authenticity, the lace is heavy and sometimes corded; the design directly woven into the tulle. Purchase offshore and your authentic vintage gown could end up limp and see-through if opting for the 50’s style, especially satin, or for those wishing to choose the romance of lace, motifs cut from tulle and sparingly spread over substandard fabrics using glue. Sometimes there isn’t even a whiff of boning in your gown at all, so for those ladies with a fuller bust or figure, your internal corsetry is going to be vital. What you don’t want is your boning to buckle which inevitably will distort your gown, something I have seen happen in many offshore wedding gowns.

How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects )

I am of the opinion you get what you pay for, however the costs of a dressmaker vary enormously, especially if you live outside of the London area and looking for a dressmaker isn't as easy as sticking a pin in a directory and plumping for that one. Your wedding is too important to just pick a name from the yellow pages or even the internet. 

Choosing the right seamstress is possibly almost as important as finding the right husband!  Choose the wrong dress maker, and your perfect day could be ruined!

You need to find someone who is empathetic to your dreams, someone who you are able to communicate with, and who will listen to what it is you want but is honest enough to share her opinions as to whether what you have in mind will work in a way that will be pleasing to you in the end.

Part of your planning is finding a dressmaker that you are comfortable with. One that can help create the gown you are looking for, the gown you have been dreaming of.

I like you, want you to have your dream gown, so on that note happy wedding dress shopping.

♥  ♥  ♥

Thank you so much Linda for contributing to Love My Dress today.

If you would like to speak with Linda at Dresses At No. 9 website about commissioning the design of your own bespoke/made-to-measure Wedding Gown or Bridesmaids dresses, please visit the Dresses At No. 9 website.  In the meantime, you can view details of other Bespoke Dressmakers on the Love My Dress Wedding Blog here, or visit the following websites:-

♥  House of Mooshki
Joanna Fleming
Lisa Redmond
Once Upon A Time

Are you 'going bespoke' and having a dress especially made for you? I'd love to hear your plans…

Much love,

Annabel xXx


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How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid... (DIY Projects )


Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, two daughters Eska and Leanora and three dogs. If she's not being a Blog Queen or practicing her photography, you'll find her fighting her way through a renovation dust cloud as she and her family transform their forever-home.

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10 thoughts on How To Find Your Ideal Wedding Dressmaker ~ Things To Consider and What To Avoid…

  1. A fabulous blog… especially as I’m lucky enough to have Linda making my dream dress! After a pretty awful experience looking in a dress shop and thinking I might have to ‘settle’ for something, I was delighted to find someone who could make exactly what I wanted and right within my budget!
    I now can’t wait to see Linda’s creation for me!

  2. My dress is being made by Liz at Nine Ladies…
    She is fabulous, welcoming, hilarious and warm, and her attention to detail is second to none. I also think her prices are incredible.
    We’ve used small independent businesses for all our suppliers and it’s been such an enjoyable part of planning. Mr Stripeycat has also had the most beautiful bespoke suit made by a local independent tailor, again for an incredible price.
    I cannot recommend using homegrown talent more :) xxx

  3. I want to go bespoke and this article has clinched it for me. Many thanks, I will defo check out the links you provide – providing they can supply to me if I don’t live nearby.

  4. Great post from Linda! Love the dresses and entirely agree with her comments on buying offshore, as opposed to bespoke. Many of the dresses that I have seen in shops and online that are sold as “vintage” style, do not look in the least bit authentic A recent survey that we did, demonstrated a similar preference for 50’s style, followed by Victorian and 40’s style. Denise, Andrea Beun Couture

  5. Excellent post Linda. It is high risk having your dress made abroad. Search around, there are many excellent UK designers creating stunning vintage inspired gowns, and they don’t always have to cost the earth.

  6. I design and create bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses. I agree wholeheartedly that a bride must be comfortable and confident in whom she chooses to entrust her bridal gown to. I have over 40 years experience in the bridal wear industry and I am amazed at the number of times I am asked to alter a dress bought online, and at the quality of these dresses. I really can’t understand why a bride goes straight the internet to buy a gown for what is, possibly, the most important day of her life – and most definitely the most expensive! I wonder at the number of pictures I see, where the dress doesn’t fit properly – I wouldn’t be happy letting one of my clients pay for and take her dress when I know it doesn’t fit the way it should, and I would be ashamed to let her do so. Regular fittings at every stage of creating the gown ensure that any problems are ironed out as they occur and not left with the ‘it’ll do’ attitude. I would never let a gown leave my studio unless I, myself, see it as perfect. http://www.maureenpeach.co.uk

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