Now that you’ve heard all about finding the right garment and making it fit, we’re going to talk about the other option – having something custom made for your body.

So, why would you invest the time and money it takes to have a garment made? Well, there are lots of reasons! Perhaps you have a body shape that’s really difficult to find ready-made clothes for (in which case, thrifty me reminds you that it’s less expensive to buy something too big and have it altered, but I digress as usual). Maybe you’re getting married, and you want to wear something truly special. Or you’ve always wanted a corset (we’ll talk about those in detail next time). Or you just want some jeans that fit your hips AND your waist. Whatever the reason, we’d love to help. Here’s how it works:

Winning design of the options we showed Sarah.

Winning design of the options we showed Sarah.

We start with a (free) consultation. You tell us what you’re looking for. Bring us pictures of things that make you drool. Tell us all about the ways things usually fit or don’t fit you. We’ll take your measurements, talk about your budget (and we promise to tell you if it’s realistic or not, and do whatever we can to work within it), and come up with a few different design options for you. And then you can walk away if you want, OR you can move on to the next step.

Once you pick a design, we will put together a detailed quote for you. This will include the estimated number of labor hours we anticipate your garment(s) taking us to complete, broken down into the major phases – patterning, mockup construction, adjustments after fittings, and sewing the real thing. It will also include our best guess of material costs – fabric, lining, zippers, buttons, thread, and any other notions we’ll need.

Mockup of Sarah's wedding dress.

Mockup of the dress.

Here’s the part where we take the sketch and turn it into something three-dimensional. Using muslin, or another fabric with a similar drape to what we’ll cut the final garment from, we use a combination of draping and flat-patterning techniques to make a trial version of your garment. Since the point of this is to make sure we have a great fit, as well as to tweak the design if needed, it won’t have perfectly finished seams, trim, or decorative details unless they are crucial to the fitting process. You’ll try it on, and we’ll make notes, stick some pins in or let seams out here and there, and talk to at length about the fit, style, and materials. When we’re all satisfied – which may take a couple fittings – we’ll be ready to use the mockup as a pattern for the final garment.

Finally, we’ll purchase the fabrics and notions you’ve chosen to create your garment. A note about this – we typically select swatches of appropriate fabrics in the colors you like and show them to you at your design meeting and/or fitting(s). We take care of all of the shopping. However, if you want, and we promise it is entirely optional, we can also schedule a time to take you to the fabric store to look with us. In other words, you can have as much or as little involvement in the choice of your fabrics as you want.Ok, so, we buy the materials, we use the mockup to make the real thing, and then… we’re done, right? Well, almost. Before we spend a lot of time putting the finishing touches on, we’ll want to make sure it still fits perfectly. So we’ll have another fitting or two, and then do all the detail work, and then? It’s all yours!

Finished Wedding Dress! Photo © Emilia Jane Photography.

Finished Wedding Dress! Photo © Emilia Jane Photography.

This is the sixth post in our series, All About Crafty Broads. We would love to answer your questions in the final post – please submit them here. Next up, we’re talking about Corsets. Miss a previous post? Find it here:

1. What Does a Wedding Planner Do, Anyway?
2. Uh, What Does DOC Stand For?
3. The B Word
4. Handmade Help
5. Alterations

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