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Case Studies

Dressmaking – The Process

A bespoke garment is a wonderful piece to have in your wardrobe.  The garment will be a joy because it fits the wearer and incorporates the personal touches that make the garment specific and one-off.  There is a certain degree of cachet involved in dressmaking, but I have had permission from one of my customers to describe her order so that I can demonstrate the dressmaking process at Pearce’s Pins Dressmaking.

The Dress

Geraldine wanted a stylish shift dress in a certain colour, which she couldn’t find in the shops.  I had a piece of poly-viscose dogtooth fabric in magenta displayed in my shop that caught her eye.  She bought the fabric and made an appointment to look at patterns and agree a style and the costings.

We picked Vogue 8995, which is a semi-fitted lined dress with seam detail, sleeves, back zip and hemline slit.  I took Geraldine’s measurements and we discussed the pattern and bespoke adjustments. This included extending the finished length and making the sleeves a specific length.  I made the pattern adjustments to fit and incorporate the design details, then I made up the lining as a toile.  At the first fitting, we discussed dropping the neckline to suit her jewellery and selected a concealed zip, rather than a lapped zip.  A week later, Geraldine came to try on the dress, which was fully made up.  She wanted a closer fit, and a tighter neckline at the back so that when she wore her shrug, the dress wouldn’t bunch at the back.  I made the adjustments to the side seams and back neck line and the following day Geraldine was able to have her finished dress.

The dress took me 10 hours to make in a 4-week period.

Geraldine says:

I have had several alterations to garments by Hilary but had never had a bespoke garment made before.

“Passing her shop one day I was drawn to a lovely fabric she had for sale in the window. This was exactly what I had been looking for but had been unable to find as a ready-made dress in a high street shop.  After spending time with Hilary in her very welcoming and comfortable environment we found the perfect pattern  for my chosen material to achieve the look and fit I was aiming for.  From start to finish the whole experience was very enjoyable as Hilary is so friendly and helpful as well as extremely professional. 

“So if you are having trouble finding exactly the style, fabric and fit of a special garment you would like to add to your wardrobe why not consider having Hilary make it for you?”


Hilary writes:

Anna has used Pearce’s Pins to create a wardrobe that fits, is stylish and personal.  The bespoke garments that I have made for Anna include: two Donna Karen close-fitting dresses in stretch jersey; an Anne Klein dress in tweed, a wool crepe shift, two boiled wool skirts, a winter skirt, two summer skirts and a denim skirt.

These ten items have become key items in Anna’s wardrobe.  What I think is great is that Anna has discovered the satisfaction of having bespoke items made for her: clothes which fit and are comfortable and suit her style.  When clothes fit well, the wearer has greater confidence in how she looks and feels.  Bespoke day wear makes for great value.

Anna writes:

“Not having a standard shaped figure, I have always had trouble finding clothes that fit me well and I usually wear stretchy clothes which are not ideal for smarter occasions, so I asked Hilary to make me two tailored winter dresses.  If you have never had clothes which actually fit then you are missing out!  They are so comfortable and they come in exactly the colour and style and length that I like.  I discuss with Hilary what I am trying to achieve and she makes useful suggestions – for example my boiled wool skirts have blanket stitch round the hem which is attractive and not bulky and I would never have thought of doing that.  The clothes that Hilary has made for me are finished beautifully and of course she is not competing with Matalan but I don’t think that they are any more expensive than upmarket boutique ready to wear and they fit so much better.  Thank you Hilary.”