The process I have developed for creating original garments focuses on balancing the cut and style you are after and the cut and style which will flatter your unique self.

Often times, what is in fashion may look good on a model, but the mass-produced version you find at the mall does not look good on every body type or every body. By creating a custom garment for you, I can take elements of current designs and trends and adapt them to a form which will work for you. This will mean creating a good fit for you -- your clothes should not fit you like a glove, but should accentuate the positive and diminish any insecurities. With such goals in mind, the process for garment creation takes some time as you and I work together to create a custom fit garment that is of good quality structurally, and which you are well satisfied with.

While the process sometimes varies due to the nature of the project, it generally has a simple structure:

You contact me by phone (319) 621-5307 or by e-mail ( to arrange an appointment. At the first appointment we discuss what you have in mind, in as much detail as possible. You might bring photos of a friend's dress, cut-outs from magazines, swatches of fabric, or sketches from your own imagination to illustrate what you want. I also have a selection of European fashion and sewing magazines which you might peruse for ideas, if you wish. As you offer details of the item you have in mind, I will begin sketching. As I do, you might change or add something, and we will be able to clarify the details, until you have finalized what you want.

At this time, I will estimate the price of creating the garment, based on the cut of the garment, the type of fabric you choose, and the deadline for finishing the project. For larger projects, I may request a down payment. Otherwise, you may pay me when you pick up your finished garment.

I will also take your measurements at the first appointment, so remember to wear comfortable clothing that is not too bulky. Jeans, for example, are difficult to measure around, but yoga pants work well. You should wear the shoes and undergarments you intend to wear with the garment, as the height of your heels, in particular, will alter your posture, and, for women, the type of brassiere can alter your figure.

Once I have your measurements, I will be able to calculate the amount of fabric needed for the project. I can simply recommend a fabric type for you or I can accompany you to a local fabric store to help you choose the fabric, if you like. Before you will go, we will set a date for you to bring the fabric to me, so I can begin sewing.

By the time you see me next, I will have created a pattern, cut fabric, and sewn together the structure of the garment. This visit will be for your first fitting. Please be aware that this is the most unattractive stage of dress making, because the "rough draft" does not look as the finished garment will. For complex projects, this first fitting will be with a dummy model of the garment, sewn with a cheap cotton muslin fabric or paper so I can make adjustments to the pattern before I cut into your fabric.

During this fitting I will make notations for any necessary corrections to the constructional seams (the shoulder, sides, dart seams, etc). Again, please remember to wear the shoes and undergarments appropriate for this project, as they can affect the fit.

At the second fitting, you will try on a more finished product (again, with the appropriate shoes and undergarments). I will make corrections again to constructional seams, as necessary, as well as the finishing seams, such as the length of the sleeves and the hem.

Once we have achieved the fit and look you want, you may take your new clothes home and enjoy wearing them. Otherwise, we will continue making adjustments until you are satisfied.