A custom bridal gown will always begin with at least one mock up, sometimes more. Even when I’ve taken great care with measurements, even when I’ve considered multiple aspects of fit, there are always some details that need to be fine tuned, and it’s much better to work these out before we’re using the fashion fabrics for the gown! Additionally, some things look different in real life than we imagine them on paper. My clients and I both need to see an example ahead of time to work through any desired changes and to gain confidence with the design overall.
For Rachel, I made two mock ups, and we had a total of three muslin fittings as we fine tuned the fit of the bodice, the placement of the off the shoulder sleeves, the length and amount of fullness in the skirt, the shape and amount of fullness in the overskirt. The overall design remained unaltered in her case, but I spent a great deal of time perfecting the fit and shape to make sure her gown would be the most flattering thing she’d ever worn. Rachel was delightful to work with. She stood patiently as I pinned out fabric and insisted each time “there’s no rush; I don’t want to take it off!” Our mutual friend Ann-Michelle was able to come to most of these fittings and it was loads of fun. Rachel shared the evolving wedding plans with us and her excitement was infectious!
At her first mock up fitting, I showed her swatches I’d purchased for a few fabrics I thought would be suitable for her gown. I was thrilled when, at first glance, she announced that she loved the fabric which had been my personal favorite. It was a stunning iridesent purple Dupioni silk that took on bluer or redder tones depending on the light. None of the shades it took on clashed with orange, and it seemed like the fabric would really help pull in some of the various colors that would be present at her wedding. Plus, the texture and weight of it was ideal for the type of pick ups she wanted – some shape, some texture, but not too much volume (not too poofy!). This was one of several times that it felt like Rachel was reading my mind, picking my recommendation even before I’d suggested it!
The series of mock ups took place over a month and a half but I’m condensing them to one blog post because just as I could scarcely wait to start sewing the silk, I can hardly wait to show you photos of the *actual* gown in progress! More to follow soon…