We’re great fans of the show “Say Yes to the Dress” for both professional and personal reasons and never does an episode pass by where Adam and I debate the merits of the various dress styles (and sometimes that debate can become quite heated 🙂 ). In watching this show (and others like it) is the constant phenomena of the bride selecting a dress, getting fitted, and then returning sometime later (usually several months) and it doesn’t seem to “fit right.”
Most wedding gowns are actually ready made, following sizes that are standard in the garment industry. When the prospective bride settles on a particular dress, unless her body type is a perfect match for the standard size (which almost never happens), there’s going to be areas that are either too tight or too loose- typically in the neckline, bust, armholes, sleeves and hips. At this point, the areas that need alteration are marked and the dress sent out for alteration. For the most part, the system works and excellent results are achieved (in most cases).
However, problems can arise when there is an extreme change in size and especially when it involves a change of one or more dress sizes. This may seem like an easy fix- take in or open up a seam or two, add some fabric, and voila, you’re done! Well…not really. First and foremost, dresses (like clothing in general) are three-dimensional objects and as such have various curves and angles that do not always scale well (which is why grading is more an art form than science). To make large-scale alterations, it is necessary to change the dress’s basic proportions and that in turn can require major reworking of the basic dress pieces. In extreme cases, this can require the dress to be re-patterned and new fabric cut out. In short, make a new dress. Needless to say, this is not a good situation that both costs extra money and eats up time.
To avoid this situation, after the initial fitting, we also schedule a client for at least two fittings in the course of constructing the dress so that we can identify fit issues and resolve them early on. It’s not always 100% effective but in most situations it works out to everyone’s satisfaction. In our view, it’s essential that the client and the designer are in clear agreement over specific requirements and expectations prior to work commencing as well as important, maintaining two-way communication throughout the entire process. Here at Lilly Absinthe, we strive to meet and exceed the client’s expectations and we look forward to creating that one-of-a-kind special dress for you. 🙂