First (and only!) Fitting

A custom dress always requires multiple fittings.  I first make the hand-drafted pattern into a sample garment that we try on first.  We can fix any kind of fit problems and make design choices using this garment, without any risks to the actual dress.  We can cut and pin and draw all over it.  I then can take the adjustments we made directly back to the pattern before ever cutting the real fabric.

Usually we will have a few mock-up fittings before the actual dress is cut, and then a few more fittings of the actual dress for fine-tuning.  With Jill and her jacket, we do not have this luxury. 

Due to the distance, and the fact that it is just a small bolero-style jacket, we are only going to be able to do one fitting.  All adjustments that need to be made have to be finalized in this one mock-up fitting, and I then will totally complete the garment.  This is not how I like to work, but since it is a garment that only covers her arms, back, and shoulders, I am confident that I can pull it off with the same quality as I give to brides who are not related to me.

The fitting took place at her house in Louisiana.  I was visiting my family nearby in Texas for the holidays, so we scheduled the fitting for a few days after Christmas.  I try to never check baggage at the airports, so I was unable to bring my fitting kit with my favorite scissors and pins etc.  Jill had a small sewing kit, so I used her pins and scissors.  I’m a problem-solver by nature, so it’s fun to encounter new challenges!

Luckily, it fit her really well!  I made two mock-ups in slightly different styles for her to choose from.  As I predicted, she chose the gusset sleeve over the kimono sleeve.  It is a really pretty sleeve with interesting seaming.  We ended up only needing to make minor adjustments.  The center back was taken in, as well as the sleeves and the hem in the back was lowered to create a prettier line with the dress.  Besides that, it fit her beautifully!

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Hi there! I'm Brooks Ann.

I’m an independent designer and couture dressmaker for one-of-a-kind bridalwear located in Hillsborough, North Carolina. I also teach the sew-curious both in-person and online.

My blog follows along with the couture process of how each heirloom-quality custom wedding dress is made from idea to wedding day, as well as other interesting tidbits related to sewing, weddings, and body positivity.

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