With the designing, the patternmaking, and the mockup construction complete, I invited Cameron (and her beautiful mom) to my studio for her first mockup fitting!
A mockup is a test dress made of inexpensive materials so that we are completely free to play around making fit and design changes. Making a mockup means you never have to settle for your first draft. It’s a fun and creative time to experiment and get everything perfect before the first cut of the silk! Cameron’s mockup was made of polyester organza from Mulberry Silks but her wedding overdress will be made of sheer silk with a floral pattern custom printed by Red Canary.
When Cameron saw the mockup for the first time, she could not contain her excitement. Thrilled see her vision happening in 3D, she literally jumped up and down with delight and could not wait to try it on!
Red Canary also sent some rough first draft samples. These showed us a few different flowers, layouts, and fabric types to get our custom design process rolling. But again, Cameron was so excited to try on the mockup that we decided to save fabric brainstorming for the end of the appointment!
The Unedited Mockup
I think her smile says it all!
This was the first draft before any changes were made to the custom drafted pattern!
Not bad for a first draft, if I do say so myself…
While it looked gorgeous in the unedited version, I quickly went to work making improvements. There was some tightness and pulling that relaxed when I added width to the back. The dress will ultimately have only one back bodice piece that includes both sleeves. I was glad that I added a back seam to the mockup for fitting purposes! I opened up the mockup seam and added a fabric wedge that will help me adjust the pattern for a more comfortable fit in the next version.
I also made a few changes at the waist, some slight adjustments to the neckline curve, I added a little more width to the shoulder, and we decided to shorten the sleeve.
I only adjusted one side of the mockup’s front. Notice the difference between the edited side (Cameron’s left) and the unedited side (her right.) You have to use your imagination a bit during the mockup process, but small changes can really make a difference in appearance and comfort!
Now I was jumping for joy too! (Well, I had to stand still to take the photos.)
Fabric Designing Round One
Cameron loved the mockup dress so much that she did not want to take it off for our fabric discussions! We looked through inspiration images of dresses and gardenias (the flower of choice for our floral silk), we talked about fabrics and layout, and we pinned the samples to the mockup dress to observe how they looked and moved in 3D. Through this process, we were able to get a really good sense of what we’d like to see in Round Two of samples from Red Canary.
(Needless to say after seeing these smiles), we all had a blast together while getting a lot of great work done!
Eventually, I did make Cameron return to her regular clothes. I was now the one who couldn’t wait to get my hands on the mockup! As soon as the studio was quiet again, I started transferring our improvements back to the pattern so that Cameron could try on an even better version in our next mockup fitting.
NEXT POST: More fun with Cameron’s mockups!