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Q – What designers do you stock?
"I stock everything and anything you can imagine, (metaphorically speaking)! As a bespoke dressmaker I don't have a collection you can try on, instead I make a one-off dress just for you from design to completion. My job is to create an expression of your personality in dress-form. So if you have already visited shops and just not found the one I'm your perfect match."
Q – What can brides expect when they visit your store?
"An initial design consultation in my studio at home usually takes one to two hours. We talk about your ideas for your wedding dress and the style of your day. We look through my sample books at suitable fabrics where I have thousands of samples from lace, silks, satins and crepe in shades of bridal whites or ivory and the whole rainbow of colour. Touching on budget expectations and timescales covers the practical side of things as well.
"I then produce a bespoke design for you with costings and fabric samples for you to consider. If you decide to go ahead, paying a deposit reserves sewing time in my schedule suitable for your wedding date. We can tweak the design to perfection before and during the making process. I always make a 'toile' which is a practice run of the style before cutting into the real fabrics."
Q – How long before their wedding should brides visit your store?
"Most wedding dresses take 6-12 weeks to make but I do get booked up well in advance, especially for the peak April-August wedding dates. I usually suggest that contacting me eight to 12 months ahead of your wedding should be a comfortable timescale. Then we'll look to start actual sewing work beginning three to six months before your wedding. But many brides choose to book their ideal time slot much earlier, or I sometimes make rush orders if I have a free space that suits for a quick elopement wedding.
Q – What's your favourite dress and why?
Apart from my own wedding dress, which must always hold a special place, (and yes I did make it), three dresses in particular stand out for me in my career so far. Each one because it was such a perfect representation of that bride's personality.
"Amy asked me to make her feel like a ballerina in her tea-length guipure lace and tulle dress.
"Izzy had a stunning cafe coloured silk dress with black beaded lace detail. Her figure looked incredible and I've never seen a dress like it before or since.
"Most recently I designed a trouser and top ensemble for styled shoot. Our stunning model, Eve, looked every inch the modern, urban bride with plunge back, balloon sleeves and gold detailing."
Q – What are your top tips for brides-to-be?
"Always choose your wedding dress to please yourself, not others.
"Try on everything. Sometimes things that don't have hanger appeal will surprise you.
"Wear big pants to try things on in shops, and bring some comfortable high heels if you have them.
"Get a quote from a dressmaker (or two) as well as visiting shops. Often it's not much different in price and you get a truly unique dress and personal service."
To find out more about Felicity, visit www.felicitywestmacott.co.uk
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