Oftentimes clients will bring me their own fabric to use, which can be the inspiration point for creating a unique, custom design. This process has several different ways of being approached. The simpler way is to show the client what my current collection of design prototypes consist of. With my expertise, I can distinguish between what would work with the given fabric and my client’s body type to help narrow down the choices. From there we try on the prototypes and discuss options, of which there are many.
An Indian sari fabric brought in by Brooks LTD customer Lauren, to be made into a one-of-a-kind, custom dress
The custom design process essentially works something like this:
1. Choose your fabric, or bring your own
2. Select your garment shape
3. I take into account the lifestyle and needs of the client to come up with a final design idea
4. Create prototype in muslin
5. First fitting with prototype
6. Cut the prototype pattern in the chosen fabric
7. Second fitting with the actual garment
7. Finishing of garment
The muslin fitting at the Brooks LTD atelier
Meet Lauren, whose husband’s job took him to many international destinations where he purchased fabric with Lauren in mind. Lauren wanted to do something special with this fabric, which brought her to my atelier seeking a one-of-a-kind piece. Working together, we created something specific for her lifestyle, which also suited the Indian fabric she had brought. We photographed the process, which I think nicely illustrates what I can create with a client’s own special fabric. Here are some tips when picking out fabric:
Inspecting your entire roll of fabric is extremely important when creating a custom garment.
Look over the entire length of fabric you choose… sometimes fabric can have flaws down the roll. Lauren’s fabric had some circular marks down the center of the garment, likely from a changing of the thread. However, we were able to work around them based on the design we chose.
Finding the “right” side of the fabric for a custom ensemble is a critical step in the process.
Determine what is the “right side” and the “wrong side” of the fabric, and plan its use in your garment accordingly. When choosing the fabric, note the thread count
, as well as whether there is a nap
to the fabric (the nap is the texture of the fabric, which shows which way the fibers align), and the width. The width of the fabric can come in anywhere between 36” wide to 54” wide. The wider the fabric, the less you need. I always suggest 5 yards of 36” wide fabric for a jacket or a top, or more if you want to have an entire ensemble created. I find it’s better to have too much fabric than too little, especially if your purchase was made far from home and would be hard to replace.
A happy client in her custom Brooks LTD dress, made using her own Indian sari fabric
Back details of the custom Brooks LTD sari fabric dress
For those discerning clients who desire a completely custom, couture garment, a few extra steps are required. This process starts with sketches that will eventually translate into a complete couture experience. Stay tuned for more on this in future blogs.
One-of-a-Kind Designs by Brooks LTD
As a formally-trained fashion designer with expertise in couture, I design one-of-a-kind, custom garments, as well as limited edition ready-to-wear. Every piece is made to last the wearer a lifetime, balancing a sense of timelessness with current trends. A thoughtful, well-crafted piece of clothing can be a great investment for your wardrobe, offering tons of “mileage” for years to come. Let’s chat about how we can transform your wardrobe in simple, easy ways with just a few custom designs – visit the Contact page of my website to get started.