On a wintry London day a few weeks ago, we visited the Sewn Right studio in West London. Housed in an old warehouse space spilling with light through large windows and timeworn polished concrete floors, converted into what feels like the dressing room every girl wishes for we met with the lovely Charlotte Sweet. Entrepreneur and founder of Sewn Right our exclusive alterations company in London to discuss everything a bride needs to know about getting their wedding dress fitted and the story behind the fashion-forward alteration company.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background and what made you decide to start a business that caters to fashion alterations?
I was born in Somerset and began sewing – alterations and making clothes when I was 13, inspired by my Grandmother who is a lifelong seamstress.
I moved to London when I was 18 to study Fashion in Womens wear, my first job fresh out of university was in the alterations department in Selfridges.
I then moved to Net-a-Porter to help launch the repairs and alterations department.
I’ve always loved luxury fashion, I have a true appreciation for beautiful fabrics and quality craftsmanship.
Whilst working at Net-a-Porter for a few years, I had my own clients and would make bespoke garments or alterations to their wardrobe pieces in the evenings and weekends. It was then that I saw a gap in the market for a modern, fashion focused and convenient alteration and repairs service.
How did Sewn Right start?
At aged 23, I left my job in luxury fashion to start my own business. I wanted to change the way the world views sewing, the majority of people that I spoke to seemed to view sewing as old fashioned or out of reach.
I was driven by a love of fashion, and a frustration with the lack of innovation in the industry. The choice seemed to be your local dry cleaner or high-end alternatives like Savile Row. I wanted to create a service that suited the modern consumer, offering the highest quality alterations, in the most convenient and personal way.
I am a total perfectionist and have learnt a lot of things along the way; I have the dreamiest of teams who all care about Sewn Right just as much as I do.
How long does it take to alter a wedding dress?
The extent of the alterations depends on the time frame. We usually have a 4 week turnaround from your first fitting to your last, however if needs be we can turn a dress around in 24 hours, fuelled by coffee and a good playlist!
How long does a wedding dress fitting take?
Usually one hour, if you’d like to bring your bridesmaids along for a fitting for them too then make sure that you’ve got a longer appointment so that you all get your time to shine in the mirror!
What can be done if a bride either loses or gains weight once the dress arrives?
There are always ways of making it smaller or bigger. If you have had a dramatic weight loss then the dress can be taken apart and made smaller according to your new measurements. Panels can be added or seams can be let out to make your dress bigger.
However try your best to stay as you are, you’ll look beautiful and radiant no matter what size so avoid crash diets, relax and enjoy the lead up to the big day.
What is your number one piece of advice that you give to brides about choosing their wedding dress?
Be brave and go alone. Too many of your loved ones will have their opinion of what they like but really, you are the one wearing your dress, you have to be comfortable and love it.
Lastly, who are your favourite designers?
Eek I have so many that I love…my new favourite designer is Cecilie Bahnsen.
A design house that I’ve loved since I was a teenager is Chloé.
And one of my favourite bridal designers (there are quite a few..!) is Rime Arodaky.
Visit www.sewnright.co.uk to see more sewing magic!