(For bridal and evening dressmakers)
Choose a suitable fabric for your design and pattern. Each pattern is designed for a specific type of fabric. So, if you decide to go on a more stretchy fabric, for example, it means that you have to make your pattern smaller to fit. Also, make sure to not go for fabrics that are not suitable for fitted garments. (A very heavy fabric for example will not be suitable for fitted garments).
Take the time to properly take all the measurements from your client with Confidence. Sometimes clients can be in a hurry and you feel like you don't want to 'waste their time'. Remember, this is the most crucial step for achieving the perfect fit. If the client doesn't have enough time- schedule another meeting with her.
While dress form is not a must for making custom dresses, having it can you’re your process much easier. Make sure to use padding to adjust it client's body shape and measurements.
Alter your commercial/standard pattern to your client's measurements- measure your pattern and make sure for correct adjustments
Draping is the process of transforming a clothing design into a three-dimensional form.
So, what is better for achieving the perfect fit?
Although draping is an amazing technique, it’s not something we would suggest if a client is choosing a design, you already have a pattern for as it is easier to adjust measurements flat. We also wouldn’t fully use draping if you are copying a dress from an image the client likes. If you are copying a dress from an image, you would only drape if there are drape details in the image or if you want to experiment with detail. The draping technique will be the best to use when you are creating a new style and design for a client. That’s when you can play around until the client is happy with the design.
Toile (also known as Muslin or Calico) is a 'test version' of your dress, made up usually from a cheaper fabric. Fashion designers and couturiers use toiles to perfect the fit before they sew the final garment (using expensive fabrics). Although it seems like a tedious process, making a toile, can save you a LOT of frustration later on the road. Not giving up on a toile is one of the biggest secrets of the Perfect fitted gown.
This is where you can actually have your client's feedback. While you might find that some adjustments are needed following a fitting session. When the other steps are done right, the adjustments will be minor if at all (unless your clients significantly gain or lose weight).
These are the most crucial processes when making a custom dress, if you follow this, and when done PROPERLY, you will be able to achieve the perfect fit without it being a painful process. However, except for these critical steps, achieving the perfect fit depends on so many things along the way that can disrupt fitting, which many dressmakers, even experienced, don’t take into consideration.
The ultimate way to avoid them is by learning a proven system for achieving the perfect fit.