Ok! Where was I…?
After the first drafts of Deborah’s custom patterns were created, it was time to test my experiments. I’d begin by making an adjustable ‘test dress’ using inexpensive materials. This dress and this stage of the process are what I call the mockup (often also referred to as the muslin or toile). Though I sketched the design onto Deborah’s silhouette, working through mockups is a risk-free way for myself and the bride to communicate design and fitting ideas in 3D on her body, while evolving and improving upon the original information. I absolutely adore this part of the custom process.
A mockup takes away all the pressure to get things right on the first try (or second or third…). Cutting, ripping, pinning, marking, practicing, and drawing all over the test dress is its purpose (and is really fun). You have complete freedom to make a mess (without fear of messing anything up) while discovering the answers to all your questions. Freshly equipped with new knowledge and a bit of practice, it becomes a joy to confidently begin the real dress.
Working through mockups is an amazing opportunity and an important prelude to creating something you’ll truly love!
Deborah’s wedding dress would feature two looks: a 3/4 sleeve lace top over a sleeveless reception gown. For the first mockup fitting, I would concentrate only on the sleeveless look. Once perfected, its pattern will be an excellent starting point for creating the lace top.
Making the Mockup’s Skirt
To craft a mockup of Deborah’s reception look, I started with the skirt. The skirt of Deborah’s dress would require some inner structure to achieve the fullness of the design. As you may recall from when I introduced her, Deborah walks on two prosthetic legs with the help of arm crutches. We wanted to achieve the full skirt without a bunch of petticoats getting in the way or slowing her down….