One of my favorite moments in the creation of a custom bridal gown is the first fabric fitting. At this point, the gown is unfinished. It’s not hemmed, most of the seams are merely basted together so they can be altered as needed, and any embellishments are not yet in place. Nevertheless, it’s the first moment ever that the bride steps into the actual gown she’ll wear on her wedding day. After taking that leap of faith, to have something made from scratch, after investing time and energy and creativity and money – and then *waiting* – at last she’s able to see her gown, in the flesh (or in the fabrics, as it were!), taking shape. And in the case of Hillary’s dress, I think we’d both imagined that moment a few times in the years we’ve worked together. Needless to say, it was a highly anticipated fitting!
When she actually tried on her gown, it was like magic. I’d had dozens of possible design ideas before we started, but seeing her in that actual dress, I knew we’d settled on the right concept. I couldn’t imagine any other gown being so splendidly suited to who she is. It was as though the gown spoke aloud and said “Hello, I’m Hillary. I love vintage styles, I’m madly in love with Justin and I’m getting married this spring.” Hillary’s bright smile and nonstop use of the word “perfect” let me know she agreed completely. In addition to being just the right design, the fit was perfect and didn’t need even minor adjustments. Splendid! I could move forward with finishing the construction.
The second muslin for her jacket was much improved over the first but needed a bit more tweaking to be just perfect. We marked the changes that were needed and I took meticulous notes. I asked if she could accommodate an extra fitting, to be absolutely certain we had the jacket pattern just right before cutting into the lace, and she agreed. After that third mock up, we were certain the jacket was just right. It was splendidly fitted, the sleeves were exactly the right length, the neckline crossed high enough to be as modest as she wanted without looking severe (or like it had taken so many attempts to make it sit in just that spot!).
Up next: constructing the actual jacket!