Friday, 30 April 2010

Nothin's gonna stop me. Not even a Volcano!

I opened my inbox today (which is normally filled with enquiries, fabric confirmations and the odd bit of junk) to find a message from the wonderful Catherine, my recently married client.

To say I can't stop grinning is an understatement.

The message began. "Dear lovely Linda." (Bless you Catherine). "Thank you so much for your lovely note and your text on the day before the big day. As you can imagine it was a whirlwind weekend and then we jetted off on honeymoon straight after .. well not quite jetted off, due to the volcano, but a quick last minute booking for a thatch cottage in wales where we found sunshine & ice cream!
We had an amazing day, surrounded by so much love, it was truly magical. The weather was absolutely superb .. people even got sunburn!"

Catherine still wanted to feel every inch a bride when we discussed her requirements and she said she felt she somehow achieved just the right balance of looking like a bride but still looking like Catherine.

Catherines personality oozed from every seam of her gown, from the fushia-pink satin bound petticoat, the delicate spot tulle right down to her leopard print heels.

You did look every inch the bride, Catherine and it was the greatest of pleasures to have been allowed to have been part of your very special day.

Photographs by kind permission of Rob Martin

Friday, 23 April 2010

A Strawberry Tea, Day 5.

My dressmaking and my clients have to remain my priority, so trying to squeeze this fundraiser in amongst the job, family and home life is proving tireing. Tough! It's all for a good cause.

So, here's what I've been doing.

I've contacted a local radio station DJ (happens to be a Facebook friend too) to ask if she knows of any great Frank Sinatra tribute acts. She mentioned a local guy who I believe I saw recently, so I'm off to contact him. Totally amazing man and I do hope he says yes.
A fabulous florist has offered to do the table centerpieces so a HUGE thank you for the offer.
I have aslo been told I may auction a wedding gown so another HUGE thank you for this, and the planning of a wedding (not sure as yet whether this will be on the day co-ordination) so again, THANK YOU.
Oh, and the sister of a friend happens to be a Fleet Street reporter and I'm awaiting a call from her. (Yes, it pays to have people in the know)
In response to my first Strawberry Tea blog post, Leah from the Cancer Care team added her comments and the link to the official website. Thanks Leah and apologies for missing that out. And since then, I've been contacted by a lady called Amy who is the Area Fundraising Assistant at Breast Cancer Care, North and Midlands.
She said. "My colleague showed me the lovely blog you had written about your Strawberry Tea. I’m so pleased you liked our mailing and have decided to raise funds. We really are very grateful for your generosity, enthusiasm and support.
I am here to help with your fundraising, should you have any questions or need any support of materials for your event. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on the contact details below should you wish."
So, I did and have just received a template that I can use to approach areas of the media and a letter of authorisation which should be useful when we are trying to donate prizes/services free of charge.
Next job is to contact the affore mentioned Tribute artist and venue, so watch this space.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A Strawberry Tea 2010 Campaign.

On Monday I received a small brochure through my letterbox. The front cover caught my attention, strawberry cupcakes with sprinkles. Scrummy!
Then something else caught my eye, an emblem in the top right hand corner depicting Breast Cancer Care.
Each year 46,000 receive the devastating news that they have breast cancer. This not only affects them, but loved ones around them causing confusion and fear.
The Strawberry Tea 2010 is an event where you can invite your friends, family or colleagues for a cup of tea while enjoying some scrummy cakes or treats. In return they make a donation to this worthy cause.
It doesn't have to be a grand affair, you can simply open a packet of Rich Tea in your living room or kitchen or go large and invite a group of friends to tea at Bettys, The Ritz even.
So my little overactive brain goes into overdrive and being in the wedding industry, why not hold a grand event and put on a vintage style tea party?
So, I've roped in a few friends.
Breast Cancer has touched my life. Watch this space.

Busy, Busy, Busy.

It's been a busy start to the week and is still set to continue. Here's what I've been up to.

Creating cruise/cocktail wear for my Auntie. A gorgeous red crepe-de-chine gown with an orange lining. Scrumptious!

Shortening prom dresses

And converting zips to lace-up backs.

Taking in sides and lifting shoulders

To lengthening gowns, taking in sides and lifting more shoulders.
I have a student designed prom gown to work on for the rest of the week which is rather exciting and a simple black taffeta evening/cocktail dress to work on.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Posh Frocks and Gorgeous Daughters!

Ok, so I had to just show off a little bit more, but can you blame me?

Purple shot taffeta gown with ruched bodice and feature bow. The back has a lace up closure.

Black taffeta gown with ruffle skirt. The bodice has a full internal corset with seperate invisible zip closure.

Black taffeta 3/4 gown with ivory petticoat. The bodice has a corset feature to the midrif and back panels.
If these gowns are of interest to you, please contact me via the website.
Photography by Sarah Brierley at Exposure Photography.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Xposure is Definately Everything!

I met Sarah from Xposure in a small wedding fair
at East Riddlesden Hall.
There was an instant chemistry with her, which I feel is most important if someone is going to be taking pictures of you.
With that connection in hand, she seemed the right person to shoot my beautiful daughter in a selection of posh frocks I've made her over the past year.
Sarah suggested collecting together some images of pop stars or models which would help with the shoot so we got straight to it.

The hour long session did run over while Sarah got down on the floor in every conceiveable position to get the right shot. It was a fun experience for my daughter with several dress changes and lots of giggles.

I cannot begin to thank both Sarah and Andy for a totally amazing experience. To say what a proud mum I am to have such a beautiful daughter is an understatement.
You guys totally rock and when the time comes to shoot more posh frocks, I'll be knocking at your door!
Contact Sarah or Andy at

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Fabric Stash

I thought I'd let you in to a sneaky peek at some of my current fabric stash.
It ranges from purple to navy synthetic taffeta and ivory, white to peacock blue dupion silk. Thrown among the mix is some super silk chiffon and crepe satin in grey and a gorgeous olive green silk with matching lace. I even have the most wonderful beaded lace.
Clients are still focusing on the more traditional colours for their wedding gowns, but choosing vibrant jewel shades for their maids. Some are even opting for something sassy which can easily be worn again after the big event.
I've been looking to flamenco gowns for something a little different when my workload hits a quiet spell. My office wall is currently papered in all sorts of inspirational fashion creations by Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang and Christian Siriano.
The Oscars, Golden Globe or any big event which brings out those posh frocks gets me giddy with excitement.
I've also recently been interviewed by a Northern bridal mag and this (I'm hoping) will be out in September just in time for next years new clients. However, the way things are booking up for 2011, I could be closing my diary again early next year.
Quiet spell...did I say that??

Friday, 9 April 2010

Heaven is a Camper Van.

Temperatures reached 17'c for the wedding of Rachael and Steve held today at Skipton Registry office, and what better way for the bride to arrive than in the family camper van.

Rachael has become a very good friend and we initially discussed her wedding gown in a small coffee shop just off Skipton high street.
What impressed her so much was her dream gown would fall within her budget and she opted for a gorgeous pure silk georgette and devore satin fabric.

Rachael had 2 options for her wedding gown. Option 1 was to be a 2-piece corset style bodice with lace up back closure teamed with a flowing A-line skirt with small puddle train.
But, by January of this year and just as I was about to put scissors to fabric, Rachael informed me we needed to go for option 2.
I generally work on 3 fittings per gown although this can be more depending on the complexity of the work or where a weight loss plan is initiated or pregnancy is a factor. So, when Rachel informed me she would be 6 months pregnant by the time she married, construction of her gown was put on hold until the last possible moment.
It was going to be of the upmost importance to 'dress her pregnancy curves' still making her feel every inch the bride so we chose the drama of a Grecian style Empire-line gown

The whole ensemble was finished with a silk georgette stole.
and carrying a hand-tied posy of roses, Rachael completed her look with her hair pulled back into a pretty chignon knot fastened with pearl headed pins.

She looked totally stunning.
Many congratulations, Rachael and Steve, and a huge thank you for allowing me to be part of your special day.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A New Rock Chic!

My big girl got her first taste of the celeb life with a fantastic photo session with the wonderful Sarah from Xposure Photography today.
Armed with posh frocks and Rock Chic outfits, we spent over an hour preening and encouraging poses while Sarah snapped away with her camera.

Ellie had asked for a dress similar to one Hillary Duff wore in her music video and as always, I was happy to oblige.
We simply cannot wait for the official pictures but my purse is bracing itself!