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Variety of dress options available

Melinda Mawdsley

— Sew What’s Gale Loveitt has been making and designing wedding dresses for years, so she has seen brides from all different walks of life. One thing most have in common is that they have carried a mental image of their wedding dresses since they were children.

Loveitt has only lived in Steamboat Springs for four years, but she has been sewing on her own for three decades, making and designing wedding dresses to meet each bride’s desires and expectations.

Being so closely involved in the wedding process is rewarding, Loveitt said. It also is very time consuming, considering the long hours wedding dress alterations or designs take when compared to the short length of time a bride is actually in her dress.

“That piece of being able to make what they want and are comfortable in so they are happy is really a treat,” Loveitt said. “There are times they’ll want advice, and there are times when they know exactly what they want.”

Last year, Loveitt said, dresses with corset tops were popular among area brides, but gauging this year’s trends will become easier in summer and fall.

Joyce Swaney said she started to notice one trend that caught her by surprise: color. “They were white dresses with lavender or pink accents,” she said. “Those were really pretty.”

Though Swaney doesn’t design dresses, she has been doing alterations and sewing most of her life as well. Last year she helped buy Hems and Hers in Craig.

Brides interested in buying new, non-traditional dresses do have local options.

Kali’s Boutique, an upscale women’s clothing store in Steamboat Springs, carries dresses for every occasion and some brides have elected to go with colorful dresses or elegant gowns rather than the traditional white dress, employee Dani Steeves said.

“We’ve sold bridesmaid dresses and special ordered other dresses if you’re looking for a non-traditional, unique wedding dress,” Steeves said. “A lot of weddings around here are more informal.”

Whether a bride decides to buy or have a dress made locally or whether she heads out of town to find her dream dress, businesses in Craig and Steamboat are ready to help alter the dress before the big day.

Wedding dress alterations aren’t easy and take hours to complete, so Swaney and Loveitt recommend giving them and the other employees at Hems and Hers or Sew What several weeks to finish the job. Certain times of the year are busier than others and brides will likely want to get their dress pressed before the wedding, so they are asked to take both those items into consideration as well.


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