BaltiMORE wins!

Emmy nominations were announced this month and guess who has come through with shining colors?! You’re fair city, Baltimore, home to series such as “VEEP” and “House of Cards”! The Baltimore Sun touched on what a monumental achievement this is for “House of Cards”.

Coincidentally, we were lucky enough to work on both productions. We worked a bananas schedule to alter and fit the actors in everything from workout gear to evening gowns and jeans to tuxedos. These ladies and gentlemen were nicely appointed! We had the pleasure of working on clothing by Prada, Burberry, Roland Mouret and more. It was very rewarding to watch the shows and see a perfect fit! Congratulations!



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To all the Gowns We’ve Sewn Before

For those of you who don’t know, I, chief blogger, Sara, have moved from my beloved Baltimore to the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico. While I am very excited to start the next chapter, I am sad to leave behind the life that I have built.

Jill Andrews Gowns has been a major part of that life for over three years. It’s hard to move in a new direction, but I’m a firm believer in the power of change. I generally don’t fear change and feel that it leads us in new, powerful and perhaps amore finely curated direction. As I move in that new direction, I am hoping to stay connected with Jill, our studio and our faithful, loyal readers by continuing to blog.

I also can’t help but reminisce about what a great mentor and friend I have in Jill, the great times we’ve had at JAG and the amazing people we have met along the way. When we opened, we had a mission to bring back fine dressmaking and to make it a financially accessible option. Our customers and our community accepted and supported our goals early on. For that, I can’t thank you all enough. It has been such a pleasure!

Each and every wedding gown, mother of the bride gown, mother of the groom gown, ball gown, etc. has been a labor of love. Every customer became a friend before the last stitch was sewn. I will definitely miss them all and the new ones who I will not get to meet. It was the people, and making the people so happy that always made my job the best! Thank you!

The good news is that we have a lot of hopes and expectations for the future! I am hoping to continue my blogging duties – and in fact, do more! Jill is still designing and sewing out of our Baltimore studio, and more changes and expansion are on the horizon. So, while I was sad to leave the old, I’m pretty excited about the new. And, I don’t see it as a goodbye, just hasta luego.


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On the quest for EGOT…

Last fall, we had the pleasure of working with the incredibly talented team at Planit on the TV commercial campaign for the Walters Art Museum. Jill worked closely with the design team to create a look for their eccentric “sideshow barker” style host. The look was complete with an original Victorian top hat and shrunken cutaway jacket, steampunk goggles, and one of Jill’s own handmade beaded flowers on the lapel.

We had such a great time on set that it hardly felt like work, but low and behold…their efforts were awarded an Emmy (and four TellyAwards) at the 55th annual Emmy Awards Gala this month! Pretty impressive, huh?

If you missed the videos, click the pics below to watch!

We would like to thank everyone at Planit and the entire amazing team for including us on this project. Their is satisfaction in a job well done and to have your work recognized in such a way is just the-most-amazing-buttercream-icing-you’ve-ever-had on the cake!

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Make ‘em Cry!

Planning a wedding can be an all consuming, monster making, family-crisis inducing and tedious endeavor. I’m not saying it always is, but it CAN be. If you’re planning a wedding and you’re feeling some of these emotions, take a moment to breathe.


Remember what this is all about. Take this moment of zen, courtesy of Buzzfeed.

24 Grooms Blown Away by Their Beautiful Brides

Then, remove the shrapnel from Aunt Christy’s tantrum, melt it down and make something useful. Like a napkin ring for your place settings.

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Ask away!

Last week we asked our Facebook fans for questions about their dresses or dressmaking. So, without further ado…

Adrienne asked us – “Can a dress be altered down a size? Are there some that are easier to alter?”

Most clothes can be easily taken in. Of course, there is always some exception. For example, we’ve had requests to update clothes from the 80s that had large shoulder pads. Shoulder PadsThose clothes are patterned around those babies, so taking them out isn’t as easy as a snip snip. We would need to take it apart and re-pattern the arm, which is not always possible and very rarely worth the effort and expense! Generally speaking, more expensive clothing is easier to alter because its usually made with a more simple construction. We find the general hierarchy of alterations to be – wovens are easier than knits and natural fibers are easier than synthetic.

Heidi asked – “Why do they always try to talk me into ordering a dress that is MANY SIZES to big, then alter it back down to the size I know I am?? Last time I bought a dress to be a bridesmaid, I didn’t listen to the advise and ordered the size I wanted and it fit just fine! No alteration other than length.”

Likely the store is hoping to avoid getting a dress that is too SMALL. That is a nightmare. fitWe can always go down a size, but we can’t always go up! The tricky part here is that the salesperson has to understand fit and be your spirit guide through the process. When you order a gown, they check your measurements against a standardized chart – usually just Bust, Waist and Hips. Let’s say your Bust is 36, waist is 32 and hips are 41. Your top may be an 6, but your bottom is a 10 – so they order the size 10. BUT – for certain styles your hip measurement doesn’t matter at all! Just the bodice needs to fit. They order the 10, it is gigantic, you have it altered. What they are trying to avoid is ordering a size too small, needing to reorder then having to wait another 6-8 weeks for a new dress to be made at the factory. It’s a fun little game, isn’t it?!

Miriam asked us – “If a dress is proportioned for a shorter person, but there’s enough fabric in the hem to make the skirt long enough, is it possible to change the proportions of the whole garment, including the bodice? Is this dependent on construction? And if so, how?”

Miriam, do you want me to give away all of our secrets?! haha!! Just kidding! It does talldepend on the construction of the garment. For example, does it have a waist seam? If so, we can sometimes add into that seam. Other times we can make a seam and add a new detail to the waist. And sometimes that will just look dumb so we scrap the idea! As for length, if there is enough hem, we can let it down. If there isn’t, we can get creative with ways to add a band or lengthen it from the top. Mostly where there is a will there is a way!

Thanks so much for all of your questions! I hope these answers have helped! If you have any more questions, feel free to send them in!


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Thinly Veiled

If you are shopping for your gown or your veil, this may be helpful! Knowing the terminology can help narrow down the focus and speed up your search. Cause, really, that seating chart isn’t going to make itself.

Train length Explination

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Dazzling Details at the Hotel Monaco!

All of the big things are under control. Location, date, florist, dress, etc… But, now, you have to focus on the details. Those usually……. last minute details. Like – what the heck do you get for your groomsmen gifts? Or what will you wear in your hair? How about the realization that your gown is strapless and your wedding is outside in November. Brrrrrrr!!!!!!

Well, thanks to Dazzling Details Wedding Bazaar, you can take care of all of these things in one day! Handpicked vendors will convene on April 7th at the Hotel Monaco to offer up their wares. Shop the intimate, boutique style show and indulge in some of the perks- complimentary massages and manicures and a gift bag full of goodies! You can even opt for the VIP brunch and enjoy an entire day of shopping, mingling, noshing and being pampered! And, its not just for ladies- they will have a “man cave” featuring a bar and beer tasting room and vendors catering to the other side of the aisle.

We will be there- offering items for sale and also to order. We will be showcasing our accessories such as fascinators, veils, belts, silky underthings and bolero jackets and gloves!

Dazzling Details Wedding Bazaar from Zinnia Films on Vimeo.

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Not your intended wedding song?

cicada brideOh, my, goody gosh! This year, the cicadas are making a return. They may be adding to your background music if you plan to have an outdoor wedding, but that can be – charming, right?


Jill found an excellent website to help you sort out if the cicadas will be crashing your party. The planner offers maps and good ideas to consider if your wedding happens to coincide with the emergence of our brood (II) and strategies for how to handle your uninvited guests.


But, fret not, they are usually gone by June and they don’t show up in alarming numbers everywhere. If you get to see them, think of it as luck! And, an easy way to remember when its your 17 year wedding anniversary.

Need to console yourself? Buy some jewelry!

cicada ring

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Oh, Get Real!

Photoshop is an amazing tool. It can put you at the Pyramids, make your skin flawless, add filters, make you thinner, make you rounder, but did you also know that it can make you CRAZY?!

Jennifer Lawrence fessed up to the magic of Photoshop in regards to her Dior campaign – adding that “People don’t really look like that”. If you look close enough at a lot of ads, you can see that they are completely doctored and altered and just downright insane! The Huffington Post even has an entire section dedicated to rooting out the ridiculous.

celebrities_before_and_after_photoshopBut, somehow, even though we all know this, we expect ourselves to look like those FAKE pictures. We see this often in our profession – women obsessing about their bodies and/or wanting clothing to do something that is just doesn’t do in real life.

So, while you’re shopping for your wedding gown or evening gown or bridesmaids gowns, be realistic. Remember that you are a living, breathing, moving human being and your clothes are also soft and three dimensional (hopefully)!

Here, I present to you, a partial list of the things you can let go because in real life, everyone and everything has flaws. That’s what makes it sooooo much better than living in 2D.

-Even very thin women often have muffin tops and that roll above a sleeveless dress.

-Seams are sometimes visible.

-Most people have cellulite. Again, even very thin women.

24-When you move, your clothes move. They need to.

-People are asymmetric. Proper tailoring can fool the eye to an extent, but again, people also move.

-Some gowns are more opague than others. Especially with natural fibers. Do your best in the underwear department, but understand some lines may show on certain styles. Even those vintage wedding pictures were re-touched. Women have always worn slips and corsets and girdles and bras…

-Choosing the proper cut garment and altering it appropriately will ensure you flatter your figure. You don’t have to be a perfect hourglass – hardly anyone actually is. It’s all about underwear and choosing the proper cut!

-You can’t lose 20 pounds in a month. And you shouldn’t.

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We’ve been selected as MGH Make it Big Contest Finalists!

MGH Make it Big contest - Jill andrews Gowns

Baltimore’s top marketing firm, MGH, is hosting a contest for one lucky small business to win a billboard for a month! Jill and I, with the help of some amazing friends, put together a video submission and were lucky enough to be selected as finalists!


Watch our video, then please, if you have it in your hearts, vote for us – once a day through March 5th! Voting is done Here.

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