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The bespoke process: how it works

Yesterday, we talked about some of my favorite bespoke projects, today I want to dive in to how the bespoke process works! We all know how it works when you buy a ready-made item of clothing in a store, but the process behind a bespoke item can be a bit mysterious. In this post, I'll break it down, so you can feel super confident when you want to order a bespoke garment! bespke process measuring tape
Part 1: get in touch!
You have dreams about a certain garments or you are very much over the never ending process of trying on 50 different dresses in a store and leaving with another pair of shoes instead. This is where I can help you! Visit the bespoke page, fill in the form and we'll get started! This form goes straight to my inbox and will make sure we get to know each other a little bit before we get started. I get back to you within 2 work days with an email with an invitation to schedule an appointment for a first meeting. I use acuity scheduling to do so, this gives you an overview of all available time slots so we don't have to email back and forth for a week! The first meeting has a €25 fee, this will be discounted from your bill if we continue the project. You'll also be invited to set up a (secret) Pinterest board with your inspiration and the styles you like. This way, we have a good starting point at our first meeting!
Part 2: meeting & measurements
We meet up in my Antwerp studio. We'll discuss your ideas and wishes and we'll have a look at your pinterest board. I do some first sketches to make sure we are on the same page. In this first meeting, I'll also take your measurements. Without measurements, we can't have a fitting garment! I recommend wearing the lingerie you'll be most likely to wear with your new garment to be, to ensure a good fit. Because yes: different bras make different measurements!
Part 3: sketch and getting started
After our meeting, I send you a finalized sketch and optional fabric samples. You will also receive a quote for your new garment. This quote is without fabric or notions. After you give me a 'hell yes" I get started on your garment!
Part 4: in the studio & first fitting of the bespoke process
In my studio, I get to work on your garment. The pattern is drafted to your measurements and a first muslin or toile is constructed. This first muslin is a trial garment, constructed in inexpensive fabric with qualities similar to the finale fabric of your choice. Warning in advance: it's usually unbleached muslin (a woven cotton) and it's never as good-looking as the final garment. When the first muslin/trial garment is ready, you'll get an email with a new invitation to schedule an appointment. In this second appointment of the bespoke process, you get to try on the trial garment. I'll make notes for fit and adjustments. You can tell me all about how you feel, what you look in this garment and we'll discuss things such as hem lengths, sleeve lengths, necklines.... I'll guide you through it!
bespke process muslin fitting Alterations made in the muslin/trial garment during the first fitting
Part 5: Back to the cutting table and second fitting
I get back to work and make alterations to the trial garment. If there are a lot of alterations, I'll make a second muslin (trial version) Usually, this is not necessary. In that case, I make the alterations to the pattern and cut it out in the fabric of your choice. You will receive another email with an invitation for the second fitting of this bespoke process and you will also get an invoice for the advance for your project. This invoice covers 50% of the full price. In this second fitting, we have room for small alterations and we'll finalize the hem length.
bespoke process label Detail of the 'custom made' - label that goes into each bespoke garment
Part 6: Completing the garment and finalizing everything
After our second fitting, I get to work to finish your garment so it's perfect! When it's completely finished, I send you a final invitation for a pick-up appointment with the final invoice. This needs to be paid before pick-up. In this final appointment of the bespoke process, I'd love to take pictures of you in your garment for my portfolio. I might also ask you for a testimonial on the process. You get to try on the garment one last time and then....
Part 7: Take it home & enjoy!
Now all that's left for you is to enjoy your garment and wear it as much as you like!
I hope this post helped clarifying the process behind a bespoke garment for you! Sometimes, we let the unknown keep us from doing things we really want (I know I freaked out before my first physiotherapist session, how was I supposed to behave?) Let me know if you have any other questions!
I'm currently booking bespoke project for April and May 2017. Interested? Get in touch by filling out this form Want to stay in the know about new availabilities for bespoke work? Get the happy mail!