Hello, I’m Aimee
I’m the founder of North-East based CORSETRY & COUTURE.
But more than that, I’m a designer, dressmaker, corsetry connoisseur & creator of body confidence.
That last bit, that’s the bit I love about what I do.
Helping my clients feel more confident to be themselves.
Nothing beats seeing that smile when they step into their new corset or dress for the first time. That smile tells me I’ve done my job well.
I know how hard it can be to feel good about yourself. Growing up and growing curvier, I always struggled to find clothes that I liked and that fit my figure. So, often, I made my own, encouraged by my wonderful mam (who was and still is an amazing seamstress). When I wore these clothes, they felt like me and I felt so much more confident about stepping out into the world.
But I never considered being a professional seamstress or dress designer. I never dreamed that one day Gok Wan would ask me to work with him or that I’d be a finalist in the 2020 Wedding Industry Awards. (Sometimes, I still have to pinch myself.)
But here I am. And if you want to know more about how I got here, then you can read my story here.
She’s a master at what she does; highly recommend!
CREATING MY C&C LIFE…
After school, I did a Foundation in Art, then went on to study Contemporary Applied Arts at Carlisle. But I was never sure how I would use my studies in the real world. While at Uni, my parents bought me my first sewing machine – ‘Bernie’ the Bernina 801. It was love at first stitch. So, when I got my first job in House of Fraser, Sheffield – I kept my creativity alive by making accessories which I sold in gallery shops in Derbyshire. That’s when I bought my second machine, ‘Nina’ who has been with me ever since.
A return ‘home’ to the North-East, led me to take an evening course in Digital Imaging and Fashion and an AS-Level in Textiles. As part of the fashion course, I had to make an item of clothing and I had my heart set on creating myself a corset. But just at that time, I fell pregnant with my first daughter and the corset plans were re-spun into a maternity dress (followed by a range of ‘Wiggly Bot, Clothes for Tots’).
For the next few years, I settled into becoming a mam, did a teaching certificate and began teaching textiles. Then, in 2011, funding was cut at the college and I found myself jobless with now two young children. I was also experiencing some health issues at this time which made finding a job even more difficult.
However, with the encouragement of my husband, Dale, I decided to take things into my own hands and revisit my curiosity around corsets. I found a corsetry course at the London College of Fashion. Dale kindly paid for the course and looked after the girls when I travelled to London to complete it. I’ll never be able to thank him enough for doing that for me. It was a real ‘ah-ha’ moment – that led me on the path to Corsetry & Couture.
At this point I ventured into the world of self-employment – creating corsets for Whitby Goth Weekend and Burlesque Fairs, with a whole menagerie of fascinating and beautiful clients. Whilst at the same time, my diary was filling up with wedding alterations to keep the funds for corsetry rolling in.
Brides would come to me with off-the-peg dresses that just didn’t reflect the uniqueness of their bodies – they were nervous, stressed even and desperate for their dresses to be the perfect fit. I loved working with brides, knowing I could help them. The relief and thanks when I’d made the alterations was so strong, I could feel it. I knew then, I had to design and make bespoke Bridal wear that would allow brides to have a happy, stress-free experience from start to finish. This was going to be my thing. My purpose. Allowing me to use all my corsetry skills and bring them to a new market.
It was like all the planets aligned – I had just decided to re-brand as Corsetry & Couture when I got the call from Gok. Would I take part in his #OneSizeFitsAll live tour? Me? Aimee? Wow! How could I say no? It was an amazing experience, seeing Gok dress models in my corsets and send them off down the catwalk!
Corsetry & Couture has gone from strength to strength since then – born from my love of making people feel amazing. Creating something for them that would celebrate their own unique quirks and curves. Deciding to switch my focus to bridal felt like I’d finally found my calling in life.
Of course, 2020 came along and took the wind out of my corsets a little. But I used that time to develop my studio and more importantly, to raise funds and gather a team to sew for the NHS. Together we made a handful of gowns, 135 sets of scrubs, 250 headbands and scrub caps, 2337 washbags and the greatest feeling of pride. I have loved giving back to the NHS who have always been there for me through my ongoing health issues.
My heart has broken for every one of my brides who has had to cancel or postpone a wedding. But they know, I’m here. Ready and waiting to help. I’ll design and create their wedding dresses with extra love, quirks and confidence sewn in.
Because they all deserve to be their own kind of beautiful.
Meet the C&C Team
Jan (aka Mam) – The Sewing Supreme
Jan is a talented seamstress who just happens to be Aimee’s mam. Cool and calm, she takes it all in her stride. She’s never happier then when she’s sat behind that sewing machine working on one of Aimee’s designs.
“I first remember being shown how to sew when I was 7. My nana would recycle full skirted dresses into pinnies and aprons. She’d sell them at the church bazaar to raise funds for the church. I was always eyeing up the delicious little scraps of left-over material – so she decided to set me off making clothes for my dolls. I was hooked!
Sewing was taught at school in those days – though my domestic science teacher told me I couldn’t sew! (The cheek of it!) Not to be deterred, when I was 14, Dad bought me my own (second-hand) treadle sewing machine to work on my craft – I loved it. And so, at 15, I became an apprentice dressmaker. Sadly, the owner of the business became ill and had to sell the shop. Luckily, I was taken on as a junior alteration hand at Robbs of Hexham where I worked happily for 5 years.
When I was 21, I had a change of direction and worked in food and catering – but the sewing continued at home. I was always making myself clothes or altering things for family and friends. I got married at 22 and began sewing soft furnishings for our home. As our family grew, so did my sewing skills as I sewed clothes for every occasion. Crafting, patchwork and cross-stitch also became favourite hobbies – any excuse to thread a needle.
And now, I’m in the prime of my sewing career. Working alongside my amazing, talented daughter, Aimee at Corsetry & Couture.
I love every minute of it. Who wouldn’t love working on beautiful dresses with fabulous fabrics and embellishments?
But the best bit – the feeling of making something that makes all those brides so happy. We’re not just making dresses, we’re making dreams come true. And it’s magic to be part of it.”
Joanne – The Ultimate Organiser
Jo is Aimee’s right-hand woman. Organised and level-headed, she helps to keep everything in order. From marketing to paperwork, Jo works behind the scenes to allow Aimee to focus on designing and making.
“Stepping into Aimee’s studio is like entering a fairytale castle. It’s an oasis of beautiful fabrics, laces, designs, colours and embellishments. It’s the most beautiful and fun place that I’ve ever worked – though it never actually feels like work, it feels like fantasy time!
Aimee is an absolute inspiration, and it is a great privilege to witness the creations she brings to life.
I love working with Aimee and Jan. I’m very lucky!”
Dale – The Handyman
Dale is Aimee’s husband and comes in very handy around the studio. He’s always there with whatever is needed – studio repairs, heavy lifting, a helping hand, a listening ear, a cuddly unicorn – you can count on Dale to take care of it. Without him, none of this would be possible.
Remmy – The Dog
C&C wouldn’t be the same without our faithful friend, Remmy. He’s always happy to come to work and cheers everyone up with his cuddles and wags.