Making Magic

Steps To Create A Couture Gown

Alida Lloyd Bennett1 Taking lots of measurements over clients favourite shaped bra, light material top and yoga type pants or jeans

2 Listening carefully to any additional silhouette concerns or fitting variations, how low the front and back neck are anticipated to be and heel height.

3 Ordering any materials needed such as Laces from France, Silks from Telio.

4 To stay organized Alida has a folder and clear tray for each client

5 To begin she makes a pattern to exactly fit the torso, after studying the design carefully, she cuts in the design to the basic torso pattern, and continuing down through the skirt, adding and marking all points of interest previously discussed with the client.

6 Gowns are different from dresses in that they are structured & engineered through layering with interfacing, more interfacing, interlining, boning, cups,stay tapes, crinolines,lining, hem webbing all to achieve a lovely creation that works, no surprises or garment malfunctions.

IMG_07627 Then all the pieces of the pattern for the gown are cut out in multiple layers of fashion fabric, interfacings, interlinings, crinolines and lining. To do this she gets into what she calls a ‘zone’ of intense concentration because all this layering requires complete accuracy in cutting out, the end result being that the gown appears as one fabric, all layers working together, doing there job!

8 Now all the pieces, just like a jigsaw puzzle, are carefully pinned together and sewn, some permanently some tentatively so adjustments can be made at the fit. She creates the gown in sections that get basted together, until she arrives at the vision planned together. She uses the maniquin to check how it is looking to make sure she is happy with it before the client ever sees it, making adjustments here and there.

9 At this point it is 2/3 done, all gowns are created and stopped at the same basic point, it is then hung away in a bridal bag with her name until the appointment date arrives.

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making magic410 The first fitting is pretty exciting for the Bride, usually she has either or both her mother and maid of honour there for support.

11 The first fitting can last about 1/2 to 2 hours depending on how elaborate the gown is. Alida checks for everything at this stage, working from the top down, first the fit, then the finished neck and armhole edges, then goes over any details that are on the gown, finally the hem is marked.

She listens carefully for any concerns the bride may have, instinctively sensing any hesitation or lack of enthusiasm so she can determine what the Bride is not sure about, and then suggests any changes required, so the end result is exactly what she wanted. Her method makes it user friendly for Brides from out of town, a minimum of appointments are needed.

12 Very soon after Alida finishes the gown so all the fitting details are fresh in her mind. Although the gown looks almost finished it is still a big task to complete the gown.

She uses heavy duty invisible zippers directly from YKK, they have never failed. The covered buttons are hand made from the dress fabric, giving a perfect match. The crinoline edges are bound. Alida loves adding hand made touches such as her signature flowers .

13 The gown is now hung away in its bridal bag until the Brides final fit date.   

 14 At the final fit we look for any adjustments to be made to achieve perfection. At this time the bustling system can be created. There are many creative ways of doing this. Alida loves every angle of the gown, even after it is bustled, to look lovely.

15 Any where along the process a veil can be planned to match the look of the gown, Alida has a lovely variety of different lengths and widths, lace edges or soutache trim, beaded or plain, all made to match the gown.

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16. Little jackets can be ordered to complete the look. Alida feels that a little coverup for the ceremony just ads respect, dignity and solomnest to this the greatest vow you will be making in your life! It also gives the bride multiple looks to enjoy on her wedding day, as well as warmth if caught in a breeze. Alida has many great ideas for the coverup, check the accessories site. See our accessories selection here

17. On the final visit, the Bride sometimes celebrates with her party with a glass of champagne for everyone! Alida takes lots of pictures of the finished product to share with the future brides coming for her expertise.

18 Alida loves hearing back from her Brides, She never tires of hearing all the details and how wonderful it was. Especially nice is receiving images back from the wedding to add to her collection of Beautiful Brides.


Your own customized wedding gown is only a phone call away.
Call us at 250 – 656 – 8896 for your appointment