wedding dress

WorkSpace Features: Amanda Archer Collection

Amanda Archer Collection based out of Chicago, IL has been in business designing wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses for over 5 years.

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The designer cutting lace fabric

Describe your workspace and/or tools or machinery you use.

I work in an office studio with 2 juki industrial sewing machines, cutting and pattern table, shipping table, racks of patterns I’ve drafted base off my designs and shelves full of fabrics and threads.  I have 2 large skylights so my studio is very bright and sunny during the day.

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Sewing machine

What inspires you or compels you to stay creative?

I love seeing photos of real weddings I’ve worked on, it gives me motivation and joy to see my dress designs in action.  I also get inspired by fabric and attend as many fabric shows as I can.  I collect vintage laces and use those as inspiration on new designs.  I read as many wedding magazines and blogs as I have time for to keep up with what’s going on in the industry.

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Bolts of fabric

Tell us about your most recent project

Recently I created a white eyelet and lace strapless gown with lace rose and pearl appliqués at the bodice, it was modeled at a recent bridal show in Chicago. It’s 100% cotton and very, very comfortable.  I’m also working on a new wedding gown collection for an upcoming photo shoot, they are all a combination of lace, eyelet, cotton or silk, in ivory, blush and white shades.

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What is your typical day like from the time you wake up until you go to bed?

When I wake up, I get ready for the day, feed my cat, clean or organize something at home.  Then I walk to work, my studio is about 10 minutes away. When I arrive I update my websites as needed, catch up on emails, review my production schedule for the day. I keep a monthly and weekly schedule so I can keep track of all the weddings and events I’m working on.  My days usually consist of one or more of the following:  Ordering fabric, pattern drafting (I make all my patterns), cutting and bundling fabric, sewing, hand stitching, pressing garments, packing and shipping.  Although I only design a couple dress collections per year I’m constantly thinking up new ideas and sketching them out as they come to me.  I keep a sketch pad and go back to pick out what I like best when I’m ready to create a new collection.  I’m expecting my 1st baby (it’s a girl!) in April, and will be taking a couple months off, when I return to working full time I’m sure my typical day will be a lot different!

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The designer working on draped dress design.

To learn more about Amanda Archer visit:

Handmade Weddings: The Dramatic Dress

From simple to colorful, here are some ideas from the Etsy Wedding Team to add more drama to your wedding dress:

Simple Drama

Yes, drama can also be simple. The trick is having very few yet dramatic details. Here beautiful layers and subtle color transform a simple dress into a very fun and flirty wedding gown. {handmade by Loveybyisha}

Dramatic Movement

Are you getting married outside? Play up the natural breezes with a wispy dress that moves. Here a long flowing dress is just made to sway gently in the breeze. {handmade by amandaarcher}

Colorful Drama

Add a splash of excitement to your wedding gown with a splash of color. If this sounds like you, consider bold colors for a bridal sash or your shoes. Here a vibrant shrug instantly makes this dress more alive.  {handmade by Countessa}

Natural Drama

Sometimes simply adding some natural texture and handmade details is enough to dress up your dress. Here a hand knit shrug is the perfect accent to a simple dress at an intimate country or farm wedding. {handmade by TickledPinkKnits}

Dramatic Bridal Party

Ok, so all the drama doesn’t have to be reserved for the bride. Adding drama to your bridesmaid dresses and even the groomsmen helps the heighten the overall wedding look. Here there’s unexpected drama in a dress for a flower girl. Simply beautiful. {handmade by beaneandco}

Find more handmade inspiration by searching “etsyweddingteam” on Etsy