Designing Your Custom Dress: 8 Steps from an Idea to Wearing Your Look
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
1. Share your ideas with me
Come to me with ideas. It could be that you have a specific inspiration in mind, or you could be envisioning a combination of a top from one dress and the bottom of another. If you have no specific direction, you can tell me what you are comfortable wearing, such as halter type tops, high necklines, or that you want to show off your shoulders or legs.
2. Choose your colors
Do you know how many shades there are of burgundy? There are many. We’ll start with looking at color samples of fabric or photos for inspiration – looking at colors helps me to find swatches from other sources to match up.
When I worked with an out-of-town bride, she knew the shade of purple that she wanted for her bridesmaids. I sent her a dozen or so swatches from different online sources for her to choose what color she had in mind. We found the perfect color and fabric weight for the dress she envisioned for her bridesmaids.
3. Review my sketch
From our conversations and your inspirations, I will sketch your idea so that we can both have the same vision in mind. I won’t start making patterns without us being on the same page.
4. Choose your fabric
After we work together on an idea, then we get to look at fabric. I will source fabric samples from multiple stores so that I can see what you are drawn to, and which will best bring your vision to life.
If you’re not sure which direction to go with fabric, I can help you - sometimes, the fabric speaks to me. I worked with a Mother of the Groom who wasn’t sure what she wanted, so we met to look at fabric. After a full cart of ideas, she found the perfect fabric. The fabric choice transformed what was initially envisioned as a knee length dress to a maxi dress with slits to show off her legs.
5. Take your measurements
We can do this together in person or virtually. If you’re taking your own measurements, I’ll walk you through the exact measurements I need for the pattern I made for your dress.
6. First fitting
This can also be done in person or virtually! This is your first look at your idea come to life. If we have a virtual fitting, I will mail the dress to you along with pins and a measuring tape. Then you will try on your dress and virtually meet with me, describing what fits well and what needs to be altered. Over video chat, I will instruct you to pin specific places and measurements so that I can adjust the dress properly.
I once worked with a bridesmaid who lived in London and was a part of a wedding in Indiana – her and I never crossed paths. She sent me her measurements and we met over FaceTime when she tried on the sample dress I made for her. With well-placed safety pins, I was able to make her dress fit like a glove without ever meeting her in person.
7. Final fitting
Finally, the look is just about done! Before I send you off for the special celebration, we will meet one more time to make sure your dress fits you perfectly, and that you feel comfortable and confident wearing it.
Feel confident in the piece that was designed for you and by you. Enjoy your night knowing that the dress you are wearing was once an idea in your head, and is now something that you get to cherish. Don’t forget to send me pictures!