Thursday, August 16, 2012

Beautiful Custom Clothing: Part Two: Fitting the Canvas

                         After you finish doing the first mock-up or canvas, you have your first client fitting. This is important as especially with unusual body types, you will need more fittings. 3-5 fittings is typical for the industry. The most I have had to do is 12. Robyn required two canvas fittings here and she was pretty relaxed about the whole thing. You can see the first set in her hands. It generally takes 15-45 minutes for a fitting. Typically it takes me longer...I'm weird in that I like to make corrections on the fly and hand them back to the customer when drafting the master, but some clients DO NOT like to wait at all.
                         The major advantage and reason people do this  is how much better the finished look turns out. Most experienced patternmakers will bluntly refuse to make high-end garments without fittings. This is where you shave off the extra 25-30 lbs a tailored garment will take off of a ready-to-wear garment and reduce ease for a slimmer and taller look. A shirt you buy in the store will have an extra 4-6 inches to it. A tailored suit will have only 1-2, but move just as well. I'm giving Robyn the master block I created for her so perhaps we will get to see some more skirts on her in the future. I love skirts...I really think that they are something that most women could make at home provided they got a patternmaker to draft the master for them. If you notice the back, I put in side vents to flatter her waist and help her move better. Alright, next up...working in real fabrics.


  1. Don't know much about it, but this is fascinating.
    f you design something to make you look slimmer, can you also make it to adjust to a real slimmer you?
    When you've lost 25 pounds (think about the growing trend of our obese society to use bariatric surgery), a simple adjustment gets you another slimming item.

  2. Tailors can do this, that's why many open up shop next to Weight Loss centers. For example, Duke's Tailor: at Crabtree is right next to one. In general they can correct for up to 25-40 lbs. depending on the loss however, at a certain point it's often easier to cut your losses as so many alterations are necessary it ends up costing more than buying the new piece itself. I don't particularly care for alterations as our shop is set up for production, but I have certainly done them in the past. We're missing a particular piece of equipment used in production tailoring that I would probably need to buy if I became serious about doing it a lot vs. occasional favor for a friend.