6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Day in the life of a bridal seamstress from Kent

PUBLISHED: 10:26 08 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:27 08 May 2019

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

Nicola Leverington, aka the Wedding Dress Surgeon, on achieving the perfect fit and her new training courses

Name: Nicola Leverington

Job title: Bridal alteration specialist

Based: Maidstone

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)

Tell us about you

I have more or less always lived in Maidstone and it's here that I first started to learn to sew from my late nan, mum and aunt who are also bridal seamstresses. I used to make myself clothes from a very early age so when I left school, I started working for the family business within the bridal industry. In my early twenties I decided to gain some qualifications and graduated from the London College of Fashion with a degree in Fashion Studies. I went on to do a postgraduate certificate in advanced pattern cutting at Central St Martins, picking up new skills and techniques along the way. While I studied, I also worked part-time in the family business, assuming several roles over the years, including: admin, managing a retail store, performing bridal alterations, designing bespoke garments and running a wholesale company. All of this was great experience and exposure to the bridalwear industry.

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)

And your business?

Once I realised it was the stitching that I really enjoyed, I set up Bridal Alterations Maidstone with my family's blessing. I diversified from just bridal gowns to altering mother-of-the-bride outfits and the like as well. I absolutely love my job - it's great to have the opportunity to work on different projects all the time and meet beautiful brides. It's a special moment when I achieve the perfect fit and the bride sees herself in her wedding dress, knowing that she can relax on her wedding day. It's very seasonal, however, as the majority of weddings in this country happen between May and September, so I am extremely busy in the summer months and not so busy over the winter. But that's a great time for me to work on adapting or 'recycling' wedding dresses and wedding outfits so that people can gain a few more wears out of them.

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)

A typical working day?

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon (photo: Manu Palomeque)

I am a business owner and mum with four children, two of whom are very young twins, so there's a great deal going on all the time. Generally, I'm at my machine by 9am. The day can consist of a number of projects so I may be preparing to stitch, stitching, finishing and pressing garments, meeting clients or chatting to bridal stores. In the evenings, once the children are fed, I might see more clients for bridal, prom or mother-of-the-bride dress fittings in my garden studio. I often work late into the night stitching as that's the quiet time when I can really concentrate. Don't worry, I'm a night owl!

You in five years?

I love what I do and I know I'll do it until my back gives in or my fingers can no longer take the hours of intricate work! But I do have plans to diversify. I am creating a training course at the moment alongside a very talented lecturer, specifically for sewing within the bridal industry rather than the more generic courses out there. We want to make it as detailed as possible to give students the specific skills they need. The aim is that students will gain certification at the end of the course. I also have big plans to set up an Association of Bridal Seamstresses: like most industries, there are good and bad seamstresses and a bride doesn't have a second chance with her expensive wedding dress. The Association would allow brides to find accredited seamstresses as well as providing support and assistance to those in the industry - the training is just the beginning of offering a way to support this specialised sector of tailoring in its fight for perfection.

Marks out of 10 for job satisfaction?

10/10. You can't be in this industry with anything less really. I love what I do and being a part of someone's magical moment is an honour.

Get in touch

Nicola Leverington, The Wedding Dress Surgeon

www.bridalalterationsmaidstone.co.uk

More from People

Wherever you go in Kent you'll find people just like us pounding the streets, parks and waterways. So why are we all running?

Read more
May 2019

Nicola Leverington, aka the Wedding Dress Surgeon, on achieving the perfect fit and her new training courses

Read more
May 2019

Fine Art graduate Arianne Mills on having quite possibly the best job in Kent

Read more
April 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019

With Royal British Legion Industries celebrating its centenary this year, we look at how the Royal British Legion village in Aylesford supports veterans through employment

Read more
April 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019

Plastic pollution is spoiling our beautiful coastline and damaging wildlife, but we can all do our bit to help

Read more
March 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019

Are your pre-school children getting enough outdoor play? Kent Wildlife Trust's new Nature Tots course could be just the solution

Read more
March 2019

Meet our 2018 Junior Collector Cameron Jarvis, 11, whose passion is for all things turtle related

Read more
April 2019

The influence of Van Gogh's time teaching in Ramsgate is reflected in the art he produced as a professional painter, now on show at Tate Britain

Read more
April 2019

Chris Wiggins on how his childhood love of horses and the outdoors led to the career he loves

Read more
March 2019
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Jamie Cullum will be showcasing songs from his new album at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival - and it's going to be emotional

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life