These notes are for general guidance only, individual commissions sometimes require specific agreements. If you have any questions not answered below please just get in touch.
I take only 12-15 wedding dress orders per year and each must usually have a minimum budget of £1800, but this can be divided between labour, fabrics, embellishment and accessories to suit. Please see the Pricing Guide page for more information on costings.
I do also still take order for bridesmaids and attendants, mother of bride or groom and other special occasion wear for which lower minimum budgets apply.
I accept payment by cheque, by direct bank transfer or in cash (by arrangement). You will be invoiced in writing for all monies owing.
Orders over £300 can be paid in instalments. Full payment must have been received (and cleared) before finished items can be collected or delivered.
Your ‘sewing time’ is not booked until a deposit has been paid. The deposit will be the full cost of any materials you are ordering through me and/or 20%-50% of the estimated making cost. This is non-refundable.
Supplying you with a quote does not guarantee you a sewing slot, ONLY the paying of deposit books your time.
However If I am getting very booked up and you don’t want to lose your possible making slot while you consider your options you may pay a ‘holding deposit’ of £100 which will reserve a slot for you for a period of 1 month. The £100 would be deducted from your bill if you decide to book any order with me but is non-refundable if you decide to go elsewhere. You will be notified when the deadline for deciding is approaching and given first refusal on that slot even after the one month expires, unless you have positively contacted me to say you definitely no longer require my services.
Cancellations and refunds
Please let me know ASAP if you need to change or cancel an appointment: by telephone NOT e-mail. I know that no one can plan for traffic jams, cancelled trains or children falling ill and I will try to be reasonable in all cases. Missed appointments and cancellations with less than 2 hours notice may be charged for at my hourly rate of £40.
As every commission is made to order I do have a ‘no returns’ policy. However, I try to be reasonable and fair about any cancellations.
Once contacted to advise me of a cancellation I can immediately stop work if requested and then only charge you for the work already carried out. Any refund to you or further payments requested from you would depend on the time at which the cancellation is made. If the deposit and instalments received are not sufficient to cover the work by then completed you will be invoiced for the balance. Any materials and/or partly made items in my possession will be forfeit if payment is not made.
Materials and partly made items:
If you have ordered fabric through me and cancel before I have begun cutting into it you will be able to collect or arrange for delivery of your fabric at your own cost. I will not buy the fabric back from you but you may choose to leave it with me if you wish. If you would like to collect any partly made items or partly used materials this can be arranged once any money owing for work/materials has been received.
Fabrics required and supplied:
I take no responsibility for the fabric quantity guides supplied in quote letters, they are only rough estimates.
In the unlikely circumstance that I run out of fabric any extra needed will have to be paid for by the client. I usually over estimate, as too much is always better than too little! I will always keep any large fabric scraps or pieces to return to you on request, small pieces are usually disposed of unless you specifically request otherwise.
Weight change and Alterations
Small size alterations are to be expected during any making process and I usually leave at least 2 inches of seam allowance inside the garment to allow for changes. The hem will similarly be cut long to allow for shoe heels. I can take no responsibility for a garment fitting if you lose or gain a lot of weight, though I will always do my very best. If you plan to diet please inform me early on and we will plan the making process accordingly.
If you lose or gain more then 2 inches (which is a whole dress size) I may, at my discretion, charge extra for any alterations required. In such circumstances I cannot guarantee the dress will be as perfect as if made to fit your original measurements, though I have been known work miracles.
Timescales and Rush Orders
Most wedding dresses take between one and four weeks of full time sewing to complete (or 40-160 hours), but circumstances rarely allow me to sew one dress, from start to finish, with no interruptions. Your wedding dress may be cut out, sewn and finished all in a few weeks or spread out over several months. This will depend on fitting your commission around my other bookings, the amount of work involved and your availability for fittings.
Orders for bridesmaid’s dresses, children’s or men’s garments are usually much quicker to complete but plenty of notice is still necessary to ensure there is time available in my schedule.
Requests for specific timescales will be accommodated if at all possible.
The final pick up date can be pencilled in when your commission is first booked or we can book each fitting and appointment in turn. Obviously the deadline of your wedding date will be strictly adhered to.
If you book in your order early enough I may sometimes suggest we make up your order many months in advance. There can still be a final fitting in the few weeks before the actual wedding to allow for any last minute weight loss/gain. This enables me to make up commissions for the summer months during the less busy winter period. This should also help your peace of mind, knowing your dress is well on its way to completion with lots of time to spare.
I can sometimes take on rush orders if there is a space in my schedule. I will not charge extra for a rush order unless there are extra costs to me; for example in the express delivery of materials or having to work ‘unsociable hours’. I will never jeopardise a confirmed booking by taking on a rush order that will put other commissions at risk.
If you live overseas or will need to come a long way for fittings for any other reason I can sometimes make a dress from initial consultation to completion inside one to three weeks, while you holiday nearby. You will need to be available for fittings throughout your holiday and I will spend all my working hours on your commission during that time.
Long distance orders
If visiting me at my home for consultations or fittings is difficult ‘outside appointments’ can be arranged at your home or another convenient place. These will always be charged for at £40 per hour for my time plus travelling expenses.
An alternative is the ‘holiday commission’. With planning I can sometimes make a dress from initial consultation to completion inside one to three weeks, while you holiday nearby.
If my the sample books in my studio do not contain the fabrics we need for your commission I can offer advice on alternative suppliers. I can accompany you on fabric shopping trips, to areas of your own choice or to shops I know myself. You may also commission me to find fabric for you without your attendance. These services are outside the remit of a normal labour cost and would be charged at £40 per hour, plus travelling expenses.