Introducing Jill Andrews Gowns with Sara Mathes

Did you know there is a design studio in Hampden that makes custom gowns for weddings and special occasions?

Jill Andrews, the Center Stage’s master draper for over 20 years, opened Jill Andrews Gowns in November 2009 with former seamstress, Sara Mathes.

Bridal season is here and this is the place to be at in Charm City.

Andrews and Mathes are super busy making gorgeous gowns for their clients.

“This is our first season as a brick & mortar store and so far the response has been incredible,” Mathes said. “I love the trend back to buying what is available locally. It’s smart and responsible.”

I talked to the  co-owner of Jill Andrews Gowns, Mathes to learn a little bit more about one of the best shops for a Baltimore bride.

What inspired you to open the Jill Andrews Gown design studio?

With the economy changing, we needed to get creative about the way we make our living and the bridal industry seems to be somewhat recession proof.

Jill and I felt that Baltimore was a great place to start a custom clothing atelier. People already sought out Jill for wedding gowns, so we figured why not take it to the next level.

I know that you specialize in corsetry, lingerie, headpiece, gowns, and accessories. What do you enjoy constructing the most?

The big show gowns. There is nothing like creating a dream for someone. Especially when the reality ends up surpassing what they had envisioned.

There is a certain zen in the tedium of creating gowns, too. It is always satisfying.

I know you do alterations. What has been the best alteration you have done so far?

We have a client who purchased her Reem Acra at the “Running of the Brides” in Florida.

We created a corset for her, which bumped it up a notch to “stunning”. Alterations are great because you get to see inside the dresses and see what other designers are doing.

How did it feel to be featured in Baltimore Style Magazine?

We were so surprised to see our gown on the cover. Having your work featured is a whole different feeling than seeing a picture of yourself, though.

Jill and I prefer to leave the photo shoots to models. I’m not a very good model. I felt like Ron Burgandy, “What do I do with my hands?”

Who are some of your most memorable clients? Why?

We get to work with so many great women and we remember them all. Usually once a dress is made, it is then referred to by the bride’s name. “Oh, like the Madeleine.”

Right now we are working on an amazing gown for a bride who is getting married at St. John’s church.

We are making her gown out of recycled fabric and scraps that Jill has collected from twenty years of making wedding gowns.

P.S. Check out the Jill Andrews Gowns blog.


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