Where do I get my fabric?
Fabric and supplies are purchased individually, by either you or I, based on your design (I don't keep a stock of fabric to choose from- there's just too many options!). As a traditional dressmaker, I prefer working with natural fibres (no stretch please!) & quality supplies. I'll provide you with a list of fabric suppliers and some general guidance on what fabrics/interfacing/zips etc would work well for your design.
Where do I get my pattern?
Patterns are purchased by the project. If you aren't investing in the construction of a Delska bespoke pattern (from scratch, or from an extant historical single-size flat pattern), you will need to purchase your pattern as a paper or e-pattern for my use. (I don't have the rights to commercially mass produce garments from patterns that are not my own design). If you're unsure of what pattern you'd like reproduced, please take a look at my curated list of pattern suppliers. Pattern companies have varying standard sizes and amounts of built-in ease (extra fabric for movement), so a perfect fit can't be guaranteed straight from the pattern. At least one mockup of your pattern is always highly recommended if the pattern is for a fitted shape.
Do you also make menswear?
Most traditional dressmaking and women's tailoring sewing skills can also be applied to menswear- so yes, I make historical menswear basics. Made-to-measure shirts start at $125-175, MtM trousers start at $210-265, MtM waistcoats/vests start at $225-270, MtM tailored coats at $875, Bespoke Fitted tailored coats start at $1,175 (fittings are strongly recommended for tailored coats). Upgrades to other pricing tiers follow the historical investment tiers.
Do you also make modern fashions?
Yes! I can design and sew for your prom, wedding, or just build you quality daywear. Although, I still work with traditional dressmaking techniques- so no stretch fabric please!
Do you do alterations?
Generally, no. My business model and shop is not well set-up for small one-off projects (like pants hemming etc), and larger alterations are rarely as simple, risk-free, and fast as you expect. Though, I sometimes make exceptions on the rare occasion- if included in other large commission work, or for sentimental or sustainable up-cycling projects being treated as a large bespoke work (ie updating an heirloom bridal gown, or building a wardrobe from thrift finds). Otherwise, please find a local shop specializing in alteration.
Do you do upholstery and home furnishing sewing?
No. I have neither the specific skills/knowledge, or the tools for upholstery and interior design work. This is a skill I typically commission out myself. Please find a local shop/maker specializing in upholstery.
How does payment work? Do you offer payment plans?
Large orders will be paid in increments throughout the constructions process, with payment being made in-full by the handover of the garment. All orders over $150 require a deposit of 50% before the start of work. All orders over $1,000 require an additional 10% non-refundable holding fee to secure your commission. Couture orders will be broken down further into incremental payments throughout the construction process. We can discuss a payment schedule that works for you.
I'd like to gift a dressmaking experience. Do you offer gifts cards?
Gift cards are available, yes! Cards can be purchased as an e-gift, or for an additional $15, a printed Delska gift card can be stylishly box wrapped with a bonus Delska measuring tape.
Do you work with remote Bespoke/Couture clients?
For those who feel comfortable doing a little marking & pinning on their own (with my guidance over a call), yes! An in-person fitting is always easier and more precise (where possible), but the wonders of modern technology can help us design and fit your garment remotely. For fittings, I'll mail you a mockup of your garment and we'll fit it via video calls. I'll guide you throughout the call in what to pin-in, mark and measure- and then you'll mail the altered garment back to me. Having some basic/beginner sewing knowledge can greatly help with this process. Depending on the garment design, sometimes I will recommend your final fitting be with a local seamstress who can finalize the last trickier items best done in-person, like floor-length hemming.
I already sew, but would like some help developing a pattern for personal use. Can you draft me a custom pattern?
Yes! I'd love to produce a unique pattern matching your design and size that you can then sew yourself. My typical hourly rates apply (including customer service time). Generally, this means the service begins at $100-350+.
I'm sewing a pattern on my own, but would like some fitting help. Can we work on fitting a mockup together?
Absolutely! We can fit your mockup together so that you can arrive at a sewing pattern you know will be customized perfectly to your shape. Hourly rates apply for fitting and customer service time, typically starting at $100-350+.
How many mockups are best?
The annoying answer- it depends. For any styles conforming to the shape of the body (for example- that would include a darted bodice, but not a flared skirt, or cape), at least one mockup is always recommended. The more body-conforming the shape of the garment (Is it tightly fitted over the bust/hips? Does it have fitted sleeves?), and the more perfect a fit you're looking for, the more mockups are recommended. 1-3 is the average for most garments.
Will my second version of a Bespoke Fitted garment be discounted?
Very likely! If I already have a pattern that's cut out and fitted to your size, and you'd like a new version (maybe in a different fabric/colour) it will be less time (and therefore less money) to create you a second version of your garment.
Do you do presentations/educational content?
On occasion, yes! I can provide fashion history educational content/workshops and presentations for kids and adults. You will frequently see me at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum's 1812 school education day.
Do you rent your costumes?
While I'm not a rental company, I will on occasion rent my costumes at 15% of the total cost of the garment for a period of 3 days (plus any shipping fees that may apply). It can be a popular choice for support garments like hoops and petticoats. You must have insurance to cover the rental and/or be prepared to pay a deposit to cover the potential loss of the garment. The deposit will be returned to you upon the safe return of the garment.
I've been cleaning up, and found my grandmother's old ____. Would you like it?
If you're looking to earn some money from the sale of your item, I suggest selling it online or contacting a local vintage dealer. Generally, the older, rarer, finer, and better the condition of your item, the better the price you can get. Have a look around for similar items and see what they're selling for. My focus is more on reproduction than adding original garments to my wardrobe. However, if you have an heirloom item you'd like to donate to be preserved, I do take some items for storing in museum-quality boxes and studying for reproductions.
More questions? Want to move forward with a project?