Custom Dresses

The Making of a Dream Come True


Having a gown (or any garment) custom made is truly a unique experience.  Instead of hunting for the perfect gown, or settling for one that is close to what you want, you can have exactly the gown you’ve always dreamed of.


A custom gown is just that- it is customized to your desires, and to your figure. You can decide on any combination of sleeves, skirts, necklines, waistlines and hemlines. You can choose the colors, the fabric, and the amount of embellishments.


Everything will be put together exclusively for your figure, so the dress will fit you perfectly. Proportion is taken into account, so YOU will take center stage- not your dress. This means that petite figures can wear big, fluffy skirts with a train without being overwhelmed. Broad-shouldered figures can have puffy sleeves without looking like football players. And rounder figures can wear fitted waistlines without looking pinched.



  • To begin, you need to find a dressmaker that you feel comfortable with.


References from friends are great, because they can tell you about their own experiences with the dressmaker. You can look in the yellow pages, online, or get references from a fine fabric store.


Call each prospective dressmaker, and talk to them personally. You can get a good feel for your compatibility. Make consultation appointments with the ones you like. The face-to-face interaction will let you know whether you are a good match. The dressmaker needs to see sketches or pictures in person to be able to give a price range, and she (or he) will need to see your figure to estimate yardage requirements and determine proportion adjustments for the dress. A good dressmaker will also suggest styles or fabrics that will complement your figure.


When you meet the dressmaker, you will want to see a portfolio of her work, and any dresses she has so that you can see the construction quality. If you have questions, ask now. If you are uneasy about her work or her answers, then you should probably choose another dressmaker.


  • When you find a dressmaker, the creation of your gown will begin.


First, the style of your dress will be decided on. If you have a picture of exactly what you want, the dressmaker will work off of that. If you have a series of pictures or sketches, or just an idea, the dressmaker will create a sketch of the finalized gown to work from. Keep in mind that changes can be made along the way, but the dressmaker needs a starting point. Unless you have experience in fashion design and sewing patterns yourself, you should NOT pick out your own pattern from the fabric store. The dressmaker will pick out an appropriate one, or she will draft one herself.


Fabrics for the gown will be discussed. If you are unfamiliar with different types of fabrics, you need to trust your dressmaker to choose the best type for your style of dress. Experienced dressmakers will know what kind of fabric will be needed to achieve the look that you want. She may collect swatches for you to look at, she may have some fabrics in stock, or she may send (or accompany) you to a knowledgeable fabric store.


You will need to have whatever undergarments (bra, pantyhose, waist-cinchers, etc) and shoes you plan to wear at the wedding, since they can drastically change your posture and the shape of your figure. These will need to be worn at EVERY fitting, so the dressmaker may keep these items in her studio with your dress.


Your measurements will be taken, and a muslin (sometimes called a toile or a sloper) of your gown will be made. This is a mock-up of your gown; usually made of plain, cotton muslin. The muslin will be fitted exactly like your dress will fit, and will give a very good idea of how your final gown will look. Most of the detail placement will be determined, and necklines and hemlines will be adjusted at this stage. Any changes you want made should be completed in this stage. Sometimes additional muslin fittings will be needed, and sometimes additional muslins will be made.


When the muslin is exactly what you want, it will be taken completely apart and used as the pattern for your dress. Your next fitting will be your actual dress, out of the final fabric that you’ve selected.



  • Your gown is now well on its way to being done!


Since you will now be working with your actual dress, the final fittings will be made, and the smaller details will be attended to. The dress will be hemmed to its final length, and the bustle hooks will be placed, if needed.


Many embellishments or beading will applied only after the final fitting is done (this means your weight must be stable until the event date), since they often would have to be moved in the event of further adjustments to the dress. 


Your veil will be made to compliment the dress in fabrication and embellishment. A small, coordinating handbag may also be made, and plain shoes can be embellished.


When the embellishments and accessories are finished, the lining will be carefully inserted into the dress, and you will put everything on together.


You will look into the mirror and see that the dress of your dreams has come to life!

Additional custom sewing includes men's wear, custom trousers, slipcovers, pillows, curtains, costumes, and sewn prototypes of all sorts.

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