Special events, like weddings or formal occasions, require an outfit that is a bit special and it may be that a search of the shops has revealed nothing that quite fits the bill.
It may be a better alternative to have something custom-made using a professional dressmaking service.
To get the best out of the experience it is important to give the dressmaker sufficient time to do their job properly and to be prepared for an initial consultation and several fittings. Many get booked up well in advance, particularly if they do a lot of bridal wear.
While using a professional dressmaker is more expensive than buying ready to wear, it is important to have a maximum budget in mind and to be honest about it. This will give the dressmaker the information they need to advise properly about what can be achieved within the limit and ensure there are no misunderstandings later.
It is likely that the dressmaker will ask for a deposit before beginning work and this is something to be prepared for.
Allow plenty of time – at least an hour – for the first consultation. This is not a situation for making a hasty decision. If you have any ideas of styles and colours that you like it is worth taking pictures to the first meeting, but not to buy any fabric, not only because the dressmaker may be able to source the right material and colour more affordably but also because they are experienced and will be able to advise on the best type of fabric to use to achieve the look that is wanted. However, taking fabric swatches is fine as it will add to the information the dressmaker needs and they will be able to advise whether a particular textile will work for the design or not.
In the absence of any clear idea of what the client wants the dressmaker will be able to show them pattern books from which to build a picture of the eventual outfit.
Advice on underwear, support and accessories is part of the services offered by a professional dressmaking service. Also if the client has been trying to lose weight they should be at their ideal weight at the time of the first fitting. Major changes to measurements throughout the process will add to both fitting time and the cost of subsequent alterations to the outfit.
Once the basics of the outfit’s style and material are established it is important for the dressmaker to be able to carry out fittings properly that clients turn up with the shoes they plan to wear and wearing the underwear that will be appropriate to the garment.
Having a special outfit made is a collaboration between client and professional expertise of the dressmaker and the guidance above will help make it a positive experience for all involved.