Dear ASDP Board

Gown Rework: A Tale of Watters Beilin

06/04/2015 9:37 AM | Anonymous

As part of my job responsibilities at the store I work for, I am often asked to do custom redesigns of wedding dresses. I recently had a rush job to do on a Watters Beilin bridal gown, style 7059B. At the first fit I understood that she wanted both volume and length so additional fabric was quickly ordered from Watters. I only had 2 weeks from my initial fit, really a week and a half with waiting for the fabric with a May 30th wedding. To complicate things further, the bride had to travel from New York City and I had a multitude of other wedding dresses due in May.

I knew I had to get my design idea solidified before the fabric came. My first thought was to add godets in the back seams to add length and fullness. Then I just had to figure out how to add length to the existing dress panels. I just joined ASDP last year and immediately reached out to the discussion group, figuring that they could help advise me with all of their experience. I was so excited to finally have someone else to “talk” to after working in a vacuum for most of my career. I was even happier when the responses started coming in. I received encouragement and support along with design suggestions, complete with drawings.

As the days ticked by waiting for the extra fabric to arrive, I continued communicating with the discussion board while I worked on my design. I received hints on creating the color of the ribbon on the dress. I made some muslin pieces to try with the dress.

I was still unsure about how to add volume and length to extend the existing skirt panels if we couldn’t get the right color of ribbon to match the fabric. In the end, with the encouragement of a favorite employee at the store and the confidence from my ASDP group, I forged ahead. I wasn’t sure how the bride was going to feel about it all but I had to trust my instincts.

The end result was very well received by the bride. The seaming was unnoticed and the lace edge I added was a hit! I was then given 2 days to finish it all up. I was so shocked when I was told that the mother had picked it up without a final fit, as the bride said that she was not worried, that it would be fine. I was astounded! After all the hubbub and expense of adding this custom train, it seemed to be taken as an afterthought! Go figure, sometimes the littlest wrinkle sends a girl and mother over the edge and other times nothing seems to bother them.

I cannot express strongly enough how helpful and supportive all the ASDP members on the discuss board were, with many suggestions on size and placement of the godets, tinting the grosgrain ribbon, and being sure to be paid enough. I am so happy to have been able to benefit from and contribute to this organization of ASDP.

Written by Jann Young, ASDP Member


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