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Bespoke Services

Clem will work with you to create your ideal gown from pictures, ideas, an existing pattern or based on a favourite dress. Because each gown is individually made, you can be sure that it will fit perfectly and flatter your figure, and be exactly what you want. Every dress is designed and made exclusively by Clem and she prides herself on attention to detail and giving a friendly, personal service.

Bridal Gowns

The process

Step 1: At the initial consultation, Clem will meet you and discuss your ideas and requirements, time scale and budget. So that Clem can get a feel for what you want, it will be helpful if you bring with you any pictures, colour swatches, and ideas for the look or theme of the wedding. From this, she will work on a set of designs to submit to you at your next meeting, with suggestions for fabrics and an estimated cost.

Step 2: At this second consultation, you will discuss the options and finalise the initial design from which a toile will be made for your first fitting, and your measurements will be taken.

Step 3 Toile fitting: A toile is a mock-up of the dress , usually in cotton, which will give you a good idea of how the gown will look on you. Alterations to the fit and proportion, and modifications to the detail are made at this stage to ensure that you are happy with the design, before the real material is cut. The final choice for the material will be made now, if it hasn’t been already decided.

Step 4 Dress fitting: At this fitting, the gown will be ready to try on at an initial stage of construction.The fit will be fine-tuned and details of decoration discussed.

A further one or two fittings will be necessary before you come for the final time to try on the completed gown, with veil and accessories if you like, to ensure that you will be completely confident in the dress on your wedding day.

The advantages of having a dress custom made

Although it is wonderful to try on ready-made dresses and get an immediate impression, all too often the sample dresses in the shops are not in your size, or there are elements of different dresses that you like, but not one that is exactly right. If you have a very clear idea of what you want, it can be impossible to find it, or alternatively you don’t know where to start and the whole idea of trying on dozens of dresses is too daunting.

Having a gown made especially for you means that you can decide every detail, from the choice of fabric to the cut of the neckline. Because there are several stages to the process of making the dress, sometimes surprising decisions are made as the dress evolves. You are part of the creative process and the final result will be very personal to you. You can be absolutely sure that no-one else will have a dress quite like yours. You can also incorporate unique elements such as a piece of heirloom lace or beading, have a matching bolero or wrap made, or carry a colour theme through to bridesmaid dresses or your groom’s cravat, which Clem can also make for you. Because the gown is made to fit you, there are no additional fitting and alteration costs as there often are if you buy a dress in a shop, and as your dress is made entirely by Clem, you can be sure that you will see her at every fitting and have her attention throughout the journey from initial ideas to the day you collect your dress.

If you are concerned about ethical issues, such as fair-trade or the environment, Clem would be delighted to work with you to make a dress from fairly-traded or organic silk or cotton.
Clem specialises in making wedding dresses, but she also relishes making dresses and outfits for special occasions and will be happy to discuss your ideas and give you a quotation.


Cost

Although having a bridal gown custom-made is not the cheapest option, Clem offers a first-class service and wishes to give good value for your hard-earned money. For this reason, the guide price does not include the cost of materials, so you can choose to have the dress made up in a fabric to suit your budget. Clem will advise you on what is suitable, how many metres will be needed and what options are available. You may have a special length of material you would like to use and Clem will be able to tell you if it is possible: for example, she has made a gown from the train of a bride’s grandmother’s court dress, and one from a sari length that the bride had brought back from her travels.

If designing a gown from your ideas, Clem will make a toile, for which the initial deposit will be paid. After the toile is approved, you will either purchase the fabric or pay for fabric supplied by Clem. The final payment is made at or before the final fitting.

Clem will also make dresses from commercial patterns, in which case a toile may not be necessary.

Guide prices:
Wedding dresses from £900 + cost of materials.
Bridesmaids' dresses from £250 + cost of materials.
Mother of the Bride/Groom outfits from £400 + cost of materials.

As a rough guide, the average bridal gown takes about 7 metres costing from about £10 per metre (up to whatever you want to pay!), plus the cost of linings, interlinings, nets etc which could be about £100.

Please note: These prices are offered as a guide to help you decide whether this is the option for you in choosing your wedding dress. However, if your design is very complicated or entails a lot of hand-embellishment, the cost may be more. The elaborately beaded dresses that you see in the shops are mostly made abroad where labour costs are much lower. Clem does not use outworkers in this country or abroad, but sews your dress herself, from start to finish. She will give you a proper quotation when you decide on the design.

Other Bespoke-wear

Clem can make you a made-to-measure garment for any occasion, not just weddings! If you have an idea for a dress, but can’t find it in the shops, or a piece of gorgeous material, but you don’t know what to do with it, or a special event to go to, but don’t know what to wear, she could create something completely unique for you. If you have difficulty finding anything in the shops to fit you, Clem can make a garment to your exact requirements. She can also take a pattern from an existing garment, if you have a particular favourite that you would like remade in a different fabric. Please contact Clem for a consultation, with no obligation.

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