Posts Tagged ‘sketch


Hillary’s bridal sketch

By the time we sat down officially for Hillary’s first appointment, we’d already looked over several inspiration photos and discussed design elements we might incorporate. In person, our conversation was even more lively and dynamic. It didn’t take long to settle on the features we wanted to incorporate.

Our primary inspiration was Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, but Hillary’s gown would have several differences. We were thrilled with the idea of satin with lace, buttons at the wrist, a pleated skirt and pleated sash, as in Princess Grace’s gown. Hillary’s gown though would be tea length, continue to widen towards the hem (where Grace’s gown came full and wide from the pleats at the waist, and then fell nearly at a straight line down to the floor length hem). Hillary’s gown would also feature a frothy petticoat underneath. Her jacket would wrap over the front like the Monique L’hullier gown, with a higher neckline (but not near so high as Princess Grace’s neckline). Hillary’s veil would be a considerably simpler birdcage style veil, and would incorporate lace motifs in the same fabric as the jacket.

I put together a quick sketch for Hillary, to which she gave her full approval. And I wrote up the garment description for us both, to which she giddily replied “Grace Kelly is in my wedding dress description!” We had a plan.

In our next post: fabric selections and additional considerations.



A mutual friend referred Rachel to me a few months ago. Rachel had been asked to be maid-of-honor at her friend’s wedding just a few months before her own, and she was interested in having a corset custom-made to wear under the strapless bridesmaid’s gown, and also interested in discussing her ideas for her own wedding gown.

At that point in time, Rachel and her fiancée had not yet selected a venue for their wedding, but they were leaning towards a wedding on the beach (a splendid option for those of us here in Florida!) Because of that, Rachel imagined a tea-length dress, not too formal and not long enough to drag in the sand. I sympathized immediately – my own wedding six years prior had been on the beach, and I’d insisted on a shorter dress myself. She also knew she wanted to incorporate purple accents somehow, as purple is her favorite color. She sent me a few photos of gowns she liked that had purple accents, and apologized that there wasn’t a consistent style across them. Aside from the length of her gown and the presence of purple, she didn’t yet have a clear vision for what she wanted. I told her it was not a problem! The photos she’d shown me did have a few elements in common (all were A-lined strapless gowns, and all of them had sheer fabric overlays). I put together a couple of quick sketches for her based on what she’d sent, more as a starting place for us to discuss my interpretations of her ideas than as final designs to choose from. We discussed them briefly, but without a solid decision on the venue her vision for her wedding day wasn’t yet clear. Plus, the corset was her immediate need. So, we decided to set aside our discussion of her wedding gown design for the time being. In the end, that was a good call – some of her initial ideas changed pretty dramatically, and the design we came up with in the end was very different indeed from these original sketches.

I can scarcely wait to begin sharing the actual gown we’re sewing for Rachel, but her wedding isn’t for a few more weeks, so in the mean time I’ll write my next post about her corset!


Hillary’s Design

One of my local clients for whom I made a dress previously, using a commercial pattern she loved, returned to have me bring to life a design idea of her own. I *love* these sorts of projects, the opportunity to create something truly unique, and to help a client who would otherwise be unable to realize their vision. Hillary described her idea to me in depth, we talked back and forth about the fabrics to use and the best way to construct it, and then I sketched out what I pictured from her description. I set about pattern drafting, draping, and bringing a muslin mock-up into being so that we could check the fit and fine tune the design. And then, at last, the final product!

The custom ensemble consists of a mermaid shaped skirt made of black matte satin. It’s fully lined, with layers of petticoat netting at the bottom to hold the shape of the skirt. On the outside, three tiers of satin ruffles cascade down, with a little hint of black and white paisley charmeuse peeking out of the middle ruffle. The jacket is also made of black matte satin, with black charmeuse and paisley charmeuse ruffles at the sleeve hems and neckline. The jacket body is extremely fitted, and has several pieces of boning to help hold its dramatic shape. 

The finishing touch – those buttons! Hillary brought a dozen different buttons over to hold up to the nearly-finished jacket so we could pick the perfect pair. And aren’t they FABULOUS? Really just the right finishing touch! And, the whole thing looks amazing on Hillary – a perfect fit both for her figure and her self!

July 2019
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