Tea length pink and brown wedding dress and bolero for mature bride, Suzanne

knee length informal wedding dress with shrug made to measure

Suzanne commissioned a pretty dress and bolero made up in taffeta and chiffon.

The knee-length dress has a fitted and boned bodice with gentle sweet-heart shaped neckline and slim straps. The dress is made from shot taffeta (shot pink/green/ivory) with chocolate chiffon on top, the chiffon is ‘plaited’ down the front of the bodice and opens to reveal the taffeta beneath. The neckline has been hand beaded with bronze coloured Swarovski pearls in a ‘floral lace’ pattern.

The bolero has long sleeves, gathered at the shoulder and with a button loop closure at the cuff. Matching hand beading has been applied all along the bolero edge and the sleeves are finished with matching pearls used as the buttons.

mature bride chocolate brown wedding dress

Suzanne wrote: Felicity, I couldn’t decide which shot was best so I’m sending you the whole album. My dress was much admired and I certainly felt wonderful in it. Thank you again so much. Hope you are well.  Kind regards, Suzanne 

mature bride wedding dress pink and brown taffeta and chiffonriverboat bride in shot taffeta bolero with bubbles custom alternative wedding dress and bolero for older bride

Although I made much more elaborate mother of pearl petal necklace (shown below) as ordered by Suzanne she had never tried it with the dress. So when her work colleagues contacted me to organise a surprise wedding present I suggested they commission this simple necklace (the string of bronze pearls) as an alternative for Suzanne on her wedding day. This was just in case the petal design turned out to be too much along with the pearl beading on the dress. It seems like we got it just right as Suzanne’s photos show that she did indeed choose to wear the simple necklace her colleagues bought for her. With our clever planning the simple necklace still perfectly matched the earrings and bracelet from the petal set so all was well!

ruched front brown wedding dress with long sleeves

I was also privileged to make a wedding dress for Suzanne’s daughter who was married the same year. You can see pictures of her butterfly themed wedding dress here.

Making Suzanne’s Dress

original design sketch tea length wedding dress and bolero

Suzanne had seen the plait design on a dress in a perfume advertisement (she brought the torn out page with her to her first consultation) and knew she wanted something similar for her own dress but otherwise had no special preferences for other design details. So I sent her these design sketches showing various different ideas. She choose to add the dipped cutaway of the chiffon on the back of the dress and the pearl beading in the ‘lace’ design with matching pearls for the bolero cuff buttons.

 fitting picture bespoke dressmaker tea length wedding dress in brown taffeta and chiffon

Pictures from Suzanne’s final fitting, showing the cut away detail on the back of the dress.

hand beading detail swarovski pearl bronze

Detail of the bolero with the beading being applied.

button cuff detail on bespoke bolero

Detail of the finished bolero showing the pearl button and loop cuffs

made to measure wedding bolero occasionwearhand embellishment beading on custom dress back neckline swarovski pearl plait detail front sweetheart neckline bespoke coloured wedding dressfloating mother of pearl petal and bronze necklace

Suzanne commissioned this lovely necklace to match her dress. Made from a mix of pale pink mother-of-pearl petals, swarovski crystals and bronze pearls the design is feminine and striking. I also made matching earrings each with one petal.

floating pearl and crystal bracelet on tigertail wire

This bracelet was made to match the necklace in the same Swarovski crystal and bronze pearls.

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Blush pink illusion back wedding dress for Alexandra

Palest blush satin with ivory organza and tulle layered on top. This commission was lots of fun as the bride is a designer herself and really only wanted me for the labour, all the design was her own! Alexandra also did all the lace and beading work herself, on a spectacular dress that I created for her as a canvas.

Official photography by Shannon Lafayette

I also made a veil for Alexandra, a simple single tier in ivory tulle on a comb.

Alexandra's dress was made with a boned bodice, a sweetheart neckline at front and cut low at the back. The skirt was more than a full circle of fabrics, layered like the bodice in palest blush pink satin, then ivory silk organza and two layers of fine tulle. On the bodice the final layer of tulle extended up beyond the main neckline and over the shoulders. This layer was later highly embellished with cut lace, silver beads and pearls, all over the bodice and appearing almost to float on Alexandra's skin above.

A drape of silk tulle fell from her shoulders at the back, caught at the waist behind a little of the lace embellishment. The dress fastened at the side with a concealed zip to avoid breaking the beautiful line across the back.

Alexandra did the lace appliqué and beading herself. I am always happy to accommodate a client's desire to create parts of their dress.

original design sketch, drawn by Alexandra

Alexandra wrote…

My dress was everything and more that I dreamed of. Everyone loved it, and of course I am it's biggest fan! I hope you are able to continue to help future brides like myself feel as beautiful as I did!

Making Alexandra’s Dress

The first fitting is always in the 'toile' or practice run made up in cheap fabrics to perfect the fit and style before cutting the expensive silks and lace.

Pictures from intermediate fittings, perfecting the ruched tulle layers and illusion back

Before and after pictures of the back from an early fitting, and finished with all the lace applique.

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emailme@felicitywestmacott.co.ukTEL 01737 773282TOUCHGet in
from design to completionbespoke wedding dressesFelicity Westmacott
Redhill, RH1 2HP16 Frenches Road• Visit the Studio •
Redhill, RH1 2HP16 Frenches Road• Visit the Studio •
emailme@felicitywestmacott.co.ukTEL 01737 773282TOUCHGet in