Custom-made Women's Dresses?
December 9, 2013 5:53 AM   Subscribe

I know exactly what I want, but I haven't been able to find it. Have any mefites used any online custom women's clothiers?
posted by Maisie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It would help to know what type of dress, as not all clothiers make the same types – will it be casual? business? formal? bridal?
posted by fraula at 6:07 AM on December 9, 2013

It would also help to know approximately what area of the world you're in. It is possible to get this done over the internet, depending on your goal, but it's much easier for the person making the clothes to have access to your person for measurements and fittings. Knowing if you're close to any urban areas, for example, will help mefites help you find someone to fit your needs. What is the purpose of this dress? Regular wear, or a single special occasion?
posted by Mizu at 6:18 AM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, sorry. I want a plain, solid fitted dress that comes to my knees with a boat-neck collar and 3/4 sleeves. The problem is that I want it to fit me exactly and I want premium fabric. Sounds like it should be the easiest thing in the world to find, doesn't it?

I'm in northwest Connecticut, but I've had no luck finding a local tailor.
posted by Maisie at 6:20 AM on December 9, 2013

This is the kind of thing for which MeFites often recommend eShakti. I didn't go through their site to look for a dress that fits your requirements, but most of their dresses can be customized both to your measurements and to your preferences about length, sleeve length, neckline, and whether or not you want pockets. They're relatively inexpensive (and constantly having sales), so it's worth trying, but the custom dress I have from there does not fit me as well as a custom dress should, and I wouldn't call the fabric "premium." Other people who ordered at the same time that I did (bridesmaids) got much better fitting dresses, though, and many people on MetaFilter rave about it, which suggests that my experience was not the norm.
posted by dizziest at 6:51 AM on December 9, 2013

For what it's worth, my experience with eShakti was similar to dizziest's. I ordered a couple of dresses from them and found the fit unflattering and the fabric on both to be sort of cheap-feeling - flimsy and rough. I ended up hardly wearing either dress and feeling like it was a waste of money. Admittedly I am a plus size so fit is always a crapshoot, but they get talked up so much for being great for ordering custom plus dresses, that I always wonder why my experience was so different. Maybe I am crap at measuring myself? Or happened to pick styles/fabrics that are bad for me? Dunno.
posted by Stacey at 7:32 AM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

No, eShakti's fabric is crap, for the most part. Disposable clothes. But if you need summer clothes in the dead of winter, they're there.

OP, do you know Threads magazine? In the back pages, there are classified ads. Also, do you have a good dry-cleaners? They might be able to refer you. Also bridal salons employ seamstresses for alterations who also might take on your project. Is there a decent fabric store nearby? They'll have business cards for tailors.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:43 AM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

NW CT? If New Milford isn't too much of a haul for you, there are two tailors that I know of there. (Haven't used them myself, though.)
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:20 AM on December 9, 2013

I haven't used her but I just linked to this etsy shop last week for a different question, and she totally makes the style you're looking for. Plus her reviews are great.
posted by jabes at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Thirding that you should avoid eShakti. My experience was similar to Stacey and dizziest's.
posted by topoisomerase at 9:43 AM on December 9, 2013

If fitted includes knits, I can recommend Ureshii Designs. They'll work with you one-on-one on fit, and can customize any existing design to your specifications.
posted by Dante Riordan at 12:35 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had a beautiful, simple dress similar to what you want, custom made by a woman named Natalia, her shop on etsy is called Econica. She uses gorgeous organic cotton and hand dyes them. Sorry no link, I'm on a phone. Highly recommended - she's super helpful and talented.
posted by j810c at 4:05 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have multiple custom-made dresses from Lirola on Etsy, all of which I really love -- the "pencil dress" is the one I keep getting (in different colors and with different sleeves).

I also once bought a pencil dress from heartmycloset with less success. I think the lirola dresses fit me better because the fabric she uses has some give, whereas the one I bought from heartmycloset was stronger and stiffer. But someone with a different body might have a totally different experience :)

In general getting stuff custom made to your curves is a really pleasant experience -- I wish you a beautiful dress!
posted by feets at 4:18 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here's the basic pencil dress I got from Lirola. You can get it with different sleeve lengths, hem lengths, etc.
posted by feets at 4:21 PM on December 9, 2013

How was the quality of the tailoring on the heartmycloset dress, feets?
posted by Maisie at 5:08 PM on December 9, 2013

I think the heartmycloset pencil dress was well-made, in terms of the seams and looking good on the hanger, seeming durable, good-quality, etc. It just fit me in a way which was unflattering. I was never sure if that was due to me measuring myself wrong, the fabric stiffness, or what, because that general style usually looks good on me.

That said, heartmycloset makes a lot of beautiful dresses and there are a ton of people giving her (him?) five-star reviews, so I am not at all trying to dis that store. I also never gave any feedback about the dress fitting poorly -- maybe if I had, s/he could have helped me fix it. My general sense about popular Etsy seamstresses/tailors is that they will go the extra mile to make you happy in your clothes.
posted by feets at 1:16 AM on December 10, 2013

I came here as well to suggest Heartmycloset. I've seen good reviews of her vintage-inspired sizes, although the choice of fabric has stopped me - there's not much in the way of prints there.
posted by mippy at 4:28 AM on December 10, 2013

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