This journey began with a bright eyed beauty, curious to know more about what I might be able to create for her and what the process of creating a custom dress looked like. Laura contacted me, looking for a custom dress to wear to her sister’s wedding event. She wanted a dress with a 1930’s feel, one that had fabric interest with unique design details.
She had seen a dress in a movie that she loved and wanted to get a similar look. She sent me photos of screen shots from the movie, plus some inspiration shared on Pinterest
I got to work and found a pattern that was designed in the 1930’s and had the basic shape of the dress style she liked including the sweetheart neckline, the low back and the long, softly shaped skirt
We hit the fabric store shortly after I received the pattern, and I also made a mock up of the dress for her to try on
Back to the drawing board!
As the construction of the dress progressed, I kept Laura posted with details of what I was doing and got her input on any options she had.
I brought up an idea of draping over the entire top of the dress, allowing both fabrics to have their moment. I presented her with this idea of draping and criss crossing the chiffon over the bodice.
She really like that idea, approved it, so I got going on making it happen!
I finished constructing the dress underneath by adding boning and bra cups to the lining of the dress.
The lining turned out beautifully and was a pleasure to look at as she slipped into the dress. That kind of detail makes me happy, and hopefully also the case for the wearer!
So after quite a bit of trial and error, as this was my first time creating such a dress with the draping detail, I finally finished the gown!
Here are some photos of the versions I sent over to her before finishing up on her final version:
And the finale!
Meanwhile, Portland was hit with a big snowstorm that essentially shut down the city and trapped many people at home. Well, that didn’t stop me! My sweet husband offered to drive me and the finished gown over to Laura’s house and deliver it in person in his SUV that is great in the snow. What a nice guy!
Laura was radiant in her dress as she tried it on in her bedroom! I brought along a small sewing kit and supplies to do any last minute fixes as needed.
Well, it turned out that the dress needed a little more than just a few stitches to make it perfect. So, unfortunately I had to take the dress back home and make some fitting changes to the bodice and straps to make it just right. No problem! OK, one major problem: the dress was meant for her to take along to wear at her sister’s wedding event in California the next day and it wasn’t ready. UGH!!! I was hoping to be able to make the changes that same day and drive the dress back over so she could pack it for her trip. I ran out of time and wasn’t able to make it happen. You have no idea how SO disappointing this was for me, not to mention for her as well. So she left early the next morning for California, all without the dress we worked so hard to make in time for the event. GRR, I was SO upset with myself!
Well, now the dress is complete and altered and ready to go for the next occasion she may have to wear it. All in all, Laura was such a wonderful client to work with and I hope that she’s willing to work with me again on another gorgeous creation, and possibly even teach her some sewing lessons so that she can learn to make her own beautiful and unique clothes!
Lesson learned: time management is KEY to making deadlines and leaving room for error.
Thank you so much Laura for choosing me to create such a beautiful gown for you! I enjoyed every moment of the process, mishaps and all. Enjoy wearing your dress and may you glow and shine in it as you do so naturally! Love, Stephanie