Thursday, 14 April 2011

New Studio, New Title.

We've hit 2011 with our feet running and we still haven't caught our breath. We've outgrown our back room and with the volume of traffic coming to our home, it was time for bigger space, much bigger space.

We constantly research new techniques to make sure your wedding gown or occasion wear is everything you dreamed it would be. Your wedding gown will never be simply a wedding dress. It will be the most significant gown you are ever likely to wear. The skill in designing and hand crafting a gown takes many years of experience. It means knowing your market, knowing what a client wants and guiding her when we feel her ideas may not exactly suit.

We aim to provide our clients with exclusivity. We don't stock reams of gowns, eventhough we do have a few pieces from our current collection to try. Each dress is designed to suit which means each and every one of our clients is treated as an individual. Our client's gown is designed to suit them. We don't have a style to suit a client.

And, the great thing is, our clients have a bespoke gown at off the peg prices, sometimes less!

Today I signed a contract with our new studio. We aren't moving far, but it is a rather special place to begin our new venture.

Dalton Mills was originally a woollen mill, built from 1866 onwards. It was used as the backdrop for the BBC drama, North and South. The 6th photograph, used as part of the Thornton's house, is where I signed our contract today.

reception area

Proposed fitting rooms and work area

Proposed consultation area

To say I am delighted would be an understatement.

So, along with all of this comes a new name.

No 9, Bridal Couture.

No 9 bridal Couture, The Clock Tower, Dalton Mill will be available for call in appointments alongside the appointment basis, predominantly for clients who require fittings.

We shall be stocking some super accessories from nationwide suppliers and those more intimately local. Our aim is to support local Yorkshire businesses just like us, to enable our clients to retain their individuality, elegance and style.

We are delighted to welcome HF Couture and Tiararama to the studio along with Elizabeth Wells Lingerie.

Exciting things are happening for us here at No. 9 (something we have under our hats at the moment, and I know you just hate secrets) and we cannot wait to embrace each day along with each new client.

As always, we look forward to being of service and welcome old, existing and new brides, maids and mums to our launch, a date to be confirmed.

We are commited to you. We have been and always will be.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

An Ode to Mr D.

Good things have happend to me this week and most of that I have to thank my dear hubby for.

He's my number one fan. The man behind me 100% of the time, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year.

We've been together for all but eight years, both of us coming from broken relationships and bringing children into the mix. I can tell you, it's been tough.

For me there is a certain line from a film which springs to mind.

"A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me... in every way that a person can be saved."

Well, that's a bit like my Mr D, my very own Jack Dawson.

My husband encouraged me to take up sewing again in 2008. We launched the company January 2009.

He's attended wedding fairs with me, spoken to clients on the telephone, watched Wedding TV and listened to me drone on about fabrics and patterns. He's attended Tweet meets with me and has proudly stood behind me and encouraged me when my confidence has been low.

He takes the children out when weekends have been filled with clients, quite often being out of the house from 10am until 4pm. He helps me prepare for when clients come over by buying flowers for the room and making endless cups of tea.

He's a trooper is my husband.

It has come to the point where the back room hobby has taken over the home. The volume of traffic here on a weekend is increasing, so we've been looking at premesis.

Yesterday an offer was accepted on some superb studio space. He's very proud of me my husband is, but I couldn't have done any of this without him.

So, thank you Mr D from the bottom of my heart. My number one fan and my rock. Here's to next year and hopefully our amazing future.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Titanic inspired Dress for an English Rose.

When photographer, Cat Hepple approached Dresses at No 9 last month and asked if we would be interested in making a frock for a project she had, we jumped at the chance.

Cat was trying to find a suitable room for the shoot.

" I'm desperately trying to think of a venue which has that sort of Paris boudoir feel, white walls, white/gold furniture and billowing sheers at the windows. I have visions of a Parisian style room, filled with hydrangeas in pale colours, a tall candelabra and a gorgeous gorgeous mum to be floating about in it all." She said.

Yes, the shoot was to be for the lovely Sarah of Leafy Couture who is very significantly expecting!

When Cat sent over her mood board, we knew exactly the kind of gown we were going to produce. The gown 'Rose' wore in Titanic when she first met Jack instantly sprang to mind. We didn't want the gown to be specifically maternity, but had to be floaty or non fitted to accomodate the baby bump. The Titanic dress would be perfect. To keep in theme with Cat's vision, the gown needed to be soft, light and pale in colour so we opted for ivory slipper satin, tulle and a beautiful beaded lace.

The venue was eventually decided at Sarah's home, the nursery in fact. How utterly appropriate.

It was also fantastic to be part of our 'Dream team' again. HF Couture supplied the headpieces, Leafy Couture the floral arrangements and Roma Velace the make up.

The final image below. Breathtaking! It was an absolute honour to have been asked. Thank you, Cat and Sarah.


Cat Hepple Photography

HF Couture

Leafy Couture

Roma Velace

and of course us Dresses at No 9

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Deadlines, Deadlines and Why You Never Need To Panic!

I was having a conversation yesterday with the lovely Tiararama and she was telling me about a headpiece she had ordered when she got married. (Before she set up her own company!) Basically, she hadn't liked what they produced, asked for it to be changed, heard all sorts of excuses why it hadn't arrived and then on collection discovered nothing had been done!

I HATE it when that happens.

A few weeks ago, my daughter produced a picture. "Can I have this for my birthday dress please mum?"

Sourcing the pleated chiffon proved fruitless and as I am a BIG believer in not reproducing or copying a design, needed to produce something similar but different. I want my daughter to have something original too. However, we wanted to keep the colour so managed to order in a fabulous blue shot bronze chiffon. Super!

Instead of the pleat, we added substantial gathers to the center front panel leaving the rest of the skirt smooth. The bodice comprised of gathers with a center front knot and crossover detail.

With a full week ahead and busy day on Saturday, I began work on Monday.

My daughter knows when dressmaking is concerned, my clients are God! There are undoubtedly and absolutely no one above them. EVER!

The chiffon was 'nasty' to work with and Thursday and Friday evening I was still working on the said frock. I hate being under pressure, enjoying what you are working on makes the job, well, more enjoyable and stress levels can be high. A little like mine this week!

However, said frock is finished.

So, when I have a deadline of weeks, days or even hours, whatever challenge I have been set, I meet them.

My daughter looks amazing in her party dress, even if I wanted to tear my hair out at 9.30pm last night!