The Bespoke Process


Since starting my business, I’ve been asked some questions and queries on the ins and outs of making a bespoke dress, whether this be bridal, prom or special occasion wear. Even creating a costume, a similar sort of process is required. I’ve decided to list a few stages on what to expect when having a made to measure dress and what goes on in between the meetings and fittings.
  1. Design
If you’ve chosen to have a bespoke dress, the first thing I’d advise before the initial consultation is to collect your ideas from either Pinterest, Instagram, on the internet or from magazines- any source that you have taken inspiration from! This really helps both of us have a clear discussion and helps really get an idea of where the project will be heading.
I find this stage really exciting but can sometimes be fairly intimidating for you as it is somehow hard to imagine in a few month’s time your ideas will be in 3D form. I’d say my advice at this point is to have faith with the process as it all eventually falls into place.
  1. Toile
Before the first fitting and before finalising a design, this is the stage where I will be creating mood boards and sketching ideas until the best design is made for you. Once finalised, a toile (mock-up of the dress) will be created to ensure a perfect fit is achieved, for me to check that the design is working well and for you to mention if there is anything you are unsure about.
  1. Fittings
It’s advisable to query for a bespoke dress approximately 9 months + before the date of your special day or occasion. I’d allow 4 months for a rush cut bespoke dress to be made. The reason for this is because I will ask for 2-4 fittings on average from toile to final fitting. Each fitting will be a chance to see your dress slowly coming together, and is a time for me to make any necessary adjustments to your dress to ensure a perfect fit. The first fitting will be the toile, the next will be in the final fabric, and then depending on the design and other factors, your third fitting will be your final fitting to double check everything is correct. Sometimes, more fittings will be needed to accommodate design or any other factors too.
The stages are only a brief guide but hopefully it gives an idea on what to expect. Choosing a bespoke dress can be for various reasons from wanting something of your own, having individual requirements where having a dress that fits exactly to your shape would be ideal or simply being overwhelmed with various styles. With apps such as Instagram and Pinterest to consider, sometimes this can lead to seeing so many ideas but not knowing how to narrow this down!
I’ve also been asked the costs of having a dress made. I’ve listed a guide price on my website for you to get an idea. I think bespoke dresses can sometimes be seen to be considerably cheaper than a boutique, however this is not always the case as the dress will be domestically produced. From the hours spent designing, toiling, hand-stitching and also the cost of rent to factor in as an example, this means the price will be similar or more than a store bought one. This is also dependent on the design that is chosen because this may mean less fabric to buy and less hours on the dress, which will bring the cost down. This is definitely something to consider when enquiring for a bespoke dress.
I’d love to hear your comments below or get in touch with anymore questions you may have on the process!
Gina x


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