The custom made process, on a digital platform
When hearing about my job, the first thing people ask me is how do I manage to get the sizing of my clothing right, without ever seeing my clients in person.
Well, here’s a peek in to my process, and in to how it works for me!
How I started and how it impacted my work
I do not have any formal training. All I do is self taught, and it is learned via trial and error, many hours of practice, books and more books, internet blogs, tutorials and videos. This process of learning works for me, because by nature I tend to like to dive in first, and then go find out why that specific something was not working. I typically don’t read instructions till I almost break whatever it is I am trying to learn how to use!
So, from the very start, it was important to me to be able to ensure a good fit with as little stress involved as possible, for the benefit of both parties involved, me and my clients. I developed a design style that was deeply attentive to keeping a flowing ease, making ample use of little tricks and expedients that made the difference: bits of elastic, strategic ties, tucks, folds and gathers, and corsets.
As my technique and abilities grew, these design elements were refined and polished, but the core awareness of what can make a garment pretty and comfortable at the same time remains strong.
Standard sizes vs. the unique person
Another element that is often overlooked is this: all mass produced clothing is made for someone the maker has never seen.
The target audience the line is produced for is standardised in to a set of 3 to 5 sizes, and the clothing line is produced to fit these sizes. There is no consideration for height, build, and specific body shapes, because a standard size is just a set of measurements that is increased as the sizes go up.
The way I work, each garment is cut specifically based on the customer’s measurements, taking in to consideration specific oddities. The person’s height, and any personal preferences such as how long is a long skirt for you, how do you like sleeves to be (I personally have long arms and detest when my sleeves are too short!).
As can easily be imagined, it is much easier to get a good fit when the actual measures are taken in to consideration, instead of fitting all of my clients in to a set of standardised measurements!
You are not an S, or an M, or an S on top, and M on the bottom, or a 6, or an 8. You are YOU, and that’s all I need to know to make you a pretty piece of clothing!
And with bridal?
And how can I possibly make that work with a wedding dress? Well, the same is true with wedding dresses, and in this case the conversation with the customer is much more detailed and personal, and with the help of pictures, many measurements and an adjustable mannequin that I pad to match the customer’s body size and shape, it is actually fairly easy, and my handmade dresses almost never need any sort of alteration!
I love this way of working, each garment, regardless of how many times I’ve made it, is unique and personal.