Alison.PS Designs

Wedding & Ball Gowns

Alison.PS Designs - Bespoke Gowns

From Jan 2020 I am changing a vital rule to the bespoke gowns I make. I am a firm believer in reusing / recycling as much as possible. 

It has been my great pleasure to take apart an older gown, and remake it into a new design for a few clients now.

Cassie's Gown is a perfect example of this. To have a gown that was once your mother's, or grandmother's and be able to wear it again is amazing. But for most clients it isn't possible without help. As I have been working on gowns for 30 years now, my experience and knowledge means I can literally take any gown, no matter how old or badly fitting...or even how out of date the design is.....and turn it into the perfect gown for each and every client.


To me it is more than just another gown. It marries the two things that mean the most to me.....a very happy client with a completely unique gown and less waste to the environment.  


To the client, it is more than just a wedding gown, it is family memories continued. The gown has so much meaning, so much love and so much history....and hopefully in years to come, the chance to change again for the next generation.

So what is a Bespoke gown?


A bespoke gown is one that is designed and fully made to measure specifically for you. This means your ideas and dreams of the perfect gown will be made into a reality. There are many stages towards completing a bespoke gown, but all are necessary, so be prepared for several consultations. 


It is important to note that I do not make copies of other designers gowns. It is very common for a bride to fall in love with a gown only to find it is out of their price range or not available in their size. I do sympathize, but it is a strict policy not to copy their hard work. What I will do is use the dress as inspiration to design and create your gown. Equally once you have approved one of my designs, I promise never to repeat that design for anyone else, meaning your gown will be truly exclusive to you.


Hopefully most of your questions will be answered by reading the sections below. 

If you would like to book a consultation or have any other questions, please go to the Contact Me page.
All details regarding payments and contracts can be found on The Boring Stuff page.

Managing your diary


Depending on the complexity of your design, you must allow anything from 6 to 10 months from the start to the finish of your gown. Once you have confirmed your wedding date, it is advisable to book your place in the diary, even if this is 18 months before the wedding. 
You will have several consultations, but each one is important.

Design

Working from an existing gown has its challenges, but nothing that can not be designed around. I take great care to design a gown that meets your desires, but that also enhances and flatters your figure. 
I will draw a sketch of my design for your gown, incorporating as many elements from your existing gown as possible. Where needed, I will put together samples of additional fabric and embellishments to complete the design.



Finally I will carefully calculate the price for your completed gown.
If you are happy with the design, you will need to sign a contract and pay your deposit. 
This confirms all the necessary details for me to make your gown.

 

Measurements


 I will take lots of measurements, and I mean lots. I need to basically map your body in order to create a perfectly fitted gown. 
This chart gives you an idea of most of the measurements I will be taking, but there are often many more depending on the needs of the design. The measurement form is dated so if we need to retake them later we can compare easier. This is very handy if you are losing weight or are pregnant.

Fittings - Toile


You will have several fittings. The first one is approx a month after your measurements are taken. This fitting is for your calico toile. A toile is a mock up of your bodice. It is made using all your measurements, and is the most important fitting for the design of the final gown.

The toile bodice is made from cotton calico as it is firm to use, easy to draw on if design changes are needed and of course cheap to throw away after its no longer needed. 


Using a toile before the final gown is made is not just for the fit, it also allows me to show you how your gown will look with embellishments too. I can pin and move them as many times as needed without damaging the final gown. 

It can be hard to some clients to visualize a gown from a drawing, so this is invaluable.

Fittings - Gown

Approximately 3 months before your wedding, you will have your first fitting with your actual gown.....a very exciting day!!!
If the gown once belonged to the brides mum, it can also be very emotional. To see the change from their own wedding gown into something new is often overwhelming, and quite wonderful to be a part of.

On this fitting you will need to bring the shoes and bra you will be wearing on the day.
This is the last chance to make any design or fitting adjustments before the gown is finished. 

Adding beading or embroidery takes time and skill, so you may have a few weeks between fittings. 
This is also when I will finish the hem and any minor adjustments that need doing. Most clients only need one more fitting but that is not always the case.

Collection Day


On your final visit, you will put your gown on for the last time. We will check that everything is finished and you are happy with your gown. You will be asked to settle any outstanding balance, and to sign a release form with details of your completed order for your records. Your gown will then be placed in a full length zip up gown bag for safe storage and travel.

It is a lovely day for everyone involved, and I am always delighted when I get a little gift from the bride.