Hilary Janes Designs Wedding Dress Title

What’s involved in Made to Measure?

The first step in creating made to measure dresses & gowns is the initial consultation, when you can view feel the quality of a sample hand crafted couture wedding dress. Bring along your magazine cuttings, or your sketches of design features you would like to incorporate into your dream wedding dress or outfit, then describe your venue and plans for the day. From this we build a picture of your Wedding Day so that every aspect of your Wedding Dress is considered - length of train, width of your aisle, transport (I have catered for side saddle, pony & trap, stretch Limo, classic car, black cab as well as more conventional wedding vehicles), steps, reception venue, dancing (detachable train, no train or bustle?). To complement the design, there many hundreds of finest quality silk fabrics from which to choose - duchess satin, taffeta, chiffon, georgette, organza, tulle, brocade, dupion, crepe, crepe satin as well as velvet, lace, embroideries and prints; several of these are available in many colours, both vibrant and subtle.

Once a detailed picture of your bespoke gown has been created, a formal quotation and samples can be forwarded for your consideration. When you have decided to commission a bespoke design, a fitting plan is developed. At the first fitting detailed measurements are taken to enable the drafting of your personal pattern block from which a toile or mock-up of your gown is made in calico or other fabric suited to your design. Using the toile, fitting changes are made and the design is adjusted for a perfect flattering line - for example the neckline, skirt shape, train length, shoulder or collar may be re-shaped at the toile fittings.

Bridal bodice with handmade buttons & loops fastening with bridal jacket and bespoke lace veil
Detail from a bias cut wedding dress trimmed with silk satin and chiffon Dior roses
Detail from an Edwardian inspired dress

Toiles progress from stage 1 - basic block shapes, through stage 2 dress design: several toiles may be worked to confirm both an exact and comfortable fit and perfect style lines. In parallel, beading or embroidery samples will be worked on your chosen fabric to illustrate the intended design, if required.

Once the toile is complete, the embellishments will be normally worked on a frame before the fabric is cut to the pattern piece. Fabric fittings will then progress as your dream gown takes shape before your eyes. Expect a total of around 6 fittings from measurements to final delivery of your gown.

The process described above is applicable to all my dresses and outfits - wedding dresses, bridesmaids, Mother or the bride outfits, evening dresses etc. For further information on prices & payments, fabrics, time-scales, booking please refer to the Commissions page.