28 Nov The couture process

With busy lives around us we often seek out what is easy or convenient for us.

We have everything available at our fingertips 24 hours a day 7 days a week, what we want, when we want, where we want. FAST.

But! Sometimes its nice to take things slow, to stop, to breathe and to look at the process of how things are done or for my point, MADE!

There is few times in this day and age where we need to actually go through a whole process from beginning to end and become involved within it. One of these times is when a woman gets her wedding gown made.

So in this instalment of my blog I thought I would take you through a step by step.

As my years in this profession increase I meet more and more woman who have never had anything made for them, even when they were young by their mum or grandmother from a simplicity pattern.

So I understand that some people find the process of having a wedding gown made quite daunting to say the least.

The first step in your gowns journey is to find designer who understands you and your vision; this sometimes isn’t as easy as it sounds. A good designer will listen to you and take all your thoughts and add them to their own to come up with a gown that not only suits your shape but also your personality. A good designer will also be honest and transparent with you if the style you have chosen will not work with your body.

You should also let the designer know if you are planning to lose weight leading up your wedding

Once you have chosen your designer, detailed measurements are taken of your body and a Toile or prototype of your gown is produced. The Toile is then fitted on your body and adjustments are made to perfect the fit and cut of your gown. There are usually 1-2 toile fittings, for a couture gown depending on the design of gown and if there are design alterations

At this stage you will be able to see the basic shape of your gown.

(It is also important to note that if you are unsure about something on the dress or you want to change anything this is stage you should tell your designer, because if you leave it until the gown is cut out in the real fabric it can be costly to change, as more fabric may be needed)

In my experience an open and free course of conversation always leads to a better result as everyone is on the same page.

The second stage of fittings, the dress will now be in the fabric that you and your designer have selected. There may be the start of the beading or appliques as well.

At this time it is recommended that you purchase your shoes and undergarments that you intend to wear on the day. This is especially important if your gown is very fitted I.E corseted or bias-cut, as your undergarments will affect the fit on your gown.

Having accessories will also help you imagine the finished product.

This is also the last stage where you can make major design changes to your gown.

The third stage you will have the majority of the work will be done or well and truly underway with most of the decorative elements on the gown. The only changes that can really be done now are superficial like the positioning of appliques or adding more detail like beading to the design (these additions can cost extra as they were not included within the original design but this is something you have to negotiate with your designer).

After this fitting your gown will be completed with any modifications you have made.

The fourth and final stage for you on your gown journey it will be completed and ready for you to pick up,

It’s always a good idea to bring all your accessories to the final fitting so you can see yourself in the total outfit.

The gown will then be packed up into a bag ready for you to take home…

When you get your gown home, resist the urge to get it out and show people and DO NOT TRY IT ON AGAIN! You don’t want to get it dirty or snagged before your trip down the isle

Useful tips for brides to have a stress free gown experience.

        • Be sure that you and the designer have the same clear vision of your gown,
        • Don’t bring too many people to your fittings. Remember it is your dress and you have to love it. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, (too many opinions can cause a lot of stress) Never bring all your bridesmaids to a fitting (its chaos. Trust me ;-). Your mum and best friend are in my opinion the best people.
        • Once you have settled on a design STOP LOOKING!
        • Listen to your designer! They do this for a living and they truly want you to look and feel amazing on your day, because  you looking like a million dollars are the best advertisement they can ever ask for.
        • Don’t go to a fitting if you are in a bad mood, or don’t feel well, no one benefits from a grumpy bride. Call ahead and ask if you can re-schedule.
        • When you get your gown home, resist the urge to get it out and show people and DO NOT TRY IT ON AGAIN! You don’t want to get it dirty or snagged before your trip down the isle.



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