PHOTOS BY // MICHAEL GLEASON PHOTOGRAPHY
As a bride-to-be, you purchase every bride’s magazine imaginable in hopes of finding the dress of your dreams. Next, you bounce from one bridal store to another, anxious to “say yes to the dress.”
Even the “yes” dress frequently requires a little personalizing in the bodice or adjusting of the hemline for that amazing pair of shoes. Perhaps, your perfect dress needs a little shoulder cover or some other modesty feature so that Mom and Grandma are more comfortable. Gowns never come bustled – how will you get that done?
That’s where Tracy Ellis-Nuttle can help. Owner of Tracy’s Creations Custom Specialty Alterations in downtown Fenton, she can make any of those changes so that you feel like your dress was custom made for you. Ellis-Nuttle offers 30+ years of experience in custom designing, creating and altering of gowns of all types with a single aim in mind – making you feel as beautiful as you are.
As she proudly walks around her 1,000-square-foot studio, pleased that she found the ideal location – her hometown where she grew up and where she raised her three children – she excitedly tells her story as a child prodigy. She spent many days at her grandmother’s fabric store – Fenton Fabrics – learning to make knots and sew everything. She began competing in sewing contests and winning them all.
“I loved to make and model my own clothing,” she says with passion. By the time she was in high school, she was making not only her own outfits but also ones for her friends.
“I didn’t know I couldn’t, so I did!” is what motivated Ellis-Nuttle to grow from being an ordinary sewer to a master, high-end, couture seamstress. “I look at everything I do as solving a puzzle,” she says. “I have to modify a dress so it will be exactly what the bride wants. I learned to master what I call ‘the physics of fabric.’ I’m not just a seamstress; I’m an artist and a builder, and fabric is my medium.”
“I love working with brides and beautiful fabrics,” she continues, and her eyes light up as she rubs her fingers across a laced fabric with beaded appliques that she ordered from overseas. “It took 12 weeks to arrive. Each one of these appliques was individually cut and sewed into place,” she says.
She also tells a story about a bride who came into the studio with several photos of dresses and parts of each she hoped for her dress. “We talked about what she wanted, and the options and costs, allowing her to make the final decision on her gown design.”
Another bride came in with a $1,200 dress she had purchased for $300. For another $300 she had the dress of her dreams within her budget.
“Nothing in this studio is cookie-cutter,” Ellis-Nuttle says with pride. “Every dress is just as unique as every bride.”
About one-third of her studio is the bride’s dressing area, which gives the bride plenty of room to walk around and get a feel for what it will be like wearing her dress on her wedding day. “We have dress rehearsal day, too,” Ellis- Nuttle notes. “On the final fitting appointment, I ask the bride to bring her veil, jewelry and everything she will wear so she can dress exactly the way she will on her wedding day. I also ask that she bring along the people who will help her with her dress so they will know how to help her manage it throughout the wedding day.”
Even though personalizing wedding gowns is what she is known for, Ellis-Nuttle will provide specialty alterations as well as wedding gown preservation services. “A customer came in with a gorgeous suit made out of very expensive fabric and wanted it three sizes smaller, with a different neckline and different sleeves. I took the outfit apart, recut it and reshaped it. She has a classic suit, again.”
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TRACY’S CREATIONS CUSTOM SPECIALTY ALTERATIONS,
VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.TRACYSCREATIONS.BIZ OR CALL HER AT 810-252-0064.
HER STUDIO IS LOCATED AT 119 N. RIVER STREET IN DOWNTOWN FENTON.
HOURS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.