Frequently Asked Questions
How much do your dresses cost?
Brides have a wide range of spending, from the hundreds to the thousands. Custom gowns are not the economical way to go. Finding an existing gown off the rack at a retailer is the best way to stay economical – beware buying gowns online, especially if the price seems too good to be true. I am transparent about my pricing process, but the things I specialize in – pattern drafting unique designs that are custom fit from scratch to your specific body, high-end fabrics and hand-beading are all time-consuming and have higher margins. There are a lot of variables that affect the cost of a gown – the fabrics (especially lace!), the length of the train, and embellishment. I have been trained by Hand & Lock, and create original couture beading designs for my clients.
Is there a typical price range for dresses?
Each gown is unique and one of a kind, and gowns are typically priced on a case-by-case basis. I have heard stories from brides who were afraid to reach out for a quote because they were frightened of the answer, but it’s always worth a shot. I am always happy to from you, and I always do my best to answer as accurately as possible and let you know what your options are. To help understand what is available and what ranges cover (approximately – there are a LOT of variables), there are more details available here.
Do you do all the sewing yourself?
Yes. I have a lot of super talented people that help me with a lot of other aspects of running a business (like branding, website stuff, etc), but all the design, sketching, pattern drafting, cutting and stitching is done by me. My team is 95% women, and everyone is a local artist or business.
Where do you get your fabrics/materials?
I am very lucky to be a part of a vibrant community of independently owned shops along Queen West in downtown Toronto, and have suppliers for high-end textile merchants in Paris and Milan. They are purveyors of high-quality fabrics that are ethically produced (no sweatshops!) and I am very grateful for the symbiotic relationships I have with them.
Will you recreate a dress from a picture?
No. I am a designer, and all the gowns I produce are original designs. I am happy to see what your inspirations are – we all love Pinterest! And pictures are definitely a great way to help communicate what it is you are looking for. But I won’t copy another designer’s gown. If that is the gown you love, you should go buy it from her.
Do you do alterations / Will you re-work this gown I already have?
Typically I do not do alterations in the way that a tailor or dry cleaner might. However, I can and have re-worked vintage gowns for brides. This is on a case-by-case basis. Usually when there is some significant design change and creative input from the bride and I. Straight up shortening/letting out, etc. are just fit changes, not design changes. I don’t do fit changes.
Do brides provide the fabric?
Not generally, no. As I mentioned above, I have relationships with great suppliers of materials that I am well acquainted with for quality and reliability. Usually, I provide all fabric. However, there have been several custom bridal clients who have brought in pieces of their mothers’ or grandmothers’ gowns, a piece of special lace from an heirloom, or other special fabrics that we have worked into the design. If you have something like this, feel free to let me know and we can discuss it further. These details absolutely add to the uniqueness of your dream gown, and we love that kind of thing.
Do you do bridal party dresses? (Groups of 3 or more)
No. I can help point you in the direction of some good options, but I will not accept groups of bridesmaids. About 90% of the time, you can find the dresses you’re looking for more easily and more economically from a shop. In the event that you cannot, and your heart is very set on a specific bridesmaid’s gown design, then send me a message and I will explore your options with you. Please keep in mind that most bridal parties are looking to keep costs low, and custom gowns are rarely the most economical option. My professional advice is to keep it simple when it comes to bridesmaids’ dresses.
Do you do individual bridesmaid gowns?
Yes, frequently. Single bridesmaids’ gowns are no different from other custom evening gown clients.
Do you only do bridal gowns?
Absolutely not. I make dresses and gowns for all occasions, including day dresses and editorial fashion. I love custom beading (beading is my favourite thing to do!) and the more sparkly and interesting, the happier I am.
Do you make regular clothes like pants and jackets and stuff?
No. My speciality is hand-beading and embroidery designs, and pattern-drafting unique custom evening/editorial wear.