Custom gown
design & alterations

Based in michigan

You’re looking for the perfect seamstress to help you on your big day. Let’s get started. 

schedule an appointment

You’re on the hunt for the perfect dress and have decided custom is for you!

Choosing your wedding dress is such a personal decision. You want to make sure it is perfectly created, just for you! Our process is very personalized and you can be assured you’ll be getting the very best because we believe in creative solutions versus popular ones. 

creating custom gowns is more than just sewing, it’s telling YOUR story.

i get it...

Choosing a dress is exciting, but can also be stressful!

Don’t worry! Our process ensures you will feel confident in the choices you make when getting your gown designed. We’ll work with you to learn your style, fabric and color choices, and more so you feel comfortable with what we’ll create.

Is a custom gown for you? Do you...

Feel like you can’t find the right dress?

Want your vision brought to life?

Have appreciation for couture fashion?

if yes...then let’s get started!

custom gowns

The experience:

Initial Consultation

Mock Dress to confirm fit & style

Multiple Fittings

1-1 Designer Attention

Optional Veil to perfectly match

A Custom Couture Gown!


dictionary

design

01.

Term: bra cups

Women love these! These are nice and soft beige bra cups that are sewn directly on the inside of your dress for great shape and are also very comfortable.

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design

02.

Term: bustier bra

Love these! Remember when people wore corsets in the old fashion days? I sell bustier bras that are the modern take on the old style corsets. The really lift the girls up and also define the waist. These are really great with strapless dresses, and often I even suggest having this bra sewn into your dress so it REALLY holds itself in place. You will never have to ‘pull up’ your dress throughout the night! Great posture is an added bonus!

dictionary

design

03.

Term: bustline

the body circumference at the fullest level of your bust.

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design

04.

Term: bustle

In modern-day terms, a bustle is a series of loops/ties/buttons that hook up the train of your dress after the ceremony so you can move about the reception easily. Your bridal party, mother, or close friend will need to be responsible for this and (ideally) even come with you to your last dress fitting appointment to learn how to attach it. A common misconception is that your wedding dress already came with a bustle, which is not the norm. You will be shown all the different styles that work with your gown at your fitting appointment!

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design

05.

Term: hem

A hem is the activity of shortening the length of your dress. For most floor-length dresses, I hem so the dress just sweeps the floor. However, I will go shorter if you aspire more ease of movement. Keep in mind I will need you in your correct shoes to pin the dress properly so I suggest you bring them to every fitting appointment

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design

06.

Term: hipline

The hipline is the body circumference at the fullest level of your hips.

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design

07.

Term: hook and eye

These are VERY important and often overlooked. They are tiny metal products, one piece is a metal hook, and one piece is a metal loop that attach to each other. They are sewn on either side of the top of the zipper on every dress, it ensures the zipper will not unzip throughout the day!

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design

08.

Term: "let-out"

This term I use to describe making your dress ‘larger’ at either the bustline, waistline, or hips, or all three! Hopefully, your dress has room in there for me to do so easily. Or, worst case, we add a little fabric strip in there. This is especially possible with dresses that have lace details as I can use the lace to overlap onto this fabric strip, ultimately making this alteration completely un-noticeable.

dictionary

design

09.

Term: muslin

Cotton material often used in mock-ups for custom dresses. Muslin garment bags are also a great alternative if you are not having your dress professionally stored right away.

dictionary

design

10.

Term: slip / crinoline

These words are often used interchangeably in the bridal industry. Some dresses come with a little netting or crinoline within the skirt of your dress itself. Sometimes, if we want to enlarge the skirt of your dress, we add a separate slip/crinoline. Often, designers create these dresses with the expectation that you add a separate slip/crinoline. Don’t be sorry for having to wear this separately, it is actually more comfortable that way!

dictionary

design

11.

Term: take-in

This term I use to describe making your dress ‘smaller’ at either the bustline, waistline, or hips, or all three! This is something we do when your dress is too big and I do so at the side seams, evenly on both sides of your dress.
Tulle: The material your veil is made of! Can also be found in illusion tops and elsewhere on dresses. It is like a netting material made of either cotton, nylon, or even silk.

dictionary

design

12.

Term: waistline

Separates the upper and lower parts of a garment. It is the smallest part of body circumference between the bustline and hip line.

client love

"Sarah is such a pleasure to work with. Her friendly personality makes customers feel instantly comfortable and her impeccable meticulousness is unparalleled. She is genuinely talented and takes pride in her work - which is phenomenal. "

ruthie, 2020

the Process

01.

step one: mood board + fabric selection

Color, mood board, fabrics, and style are all discussed and selected in the beginning stages that lead to a semi-final design. Measurements are taken and initial sewing patterns are created.

For custom couture gowns

our process

02.

step two: mock garment

A muslin fabric mock garment will be sewn up. This is intended to simulate what your final gown will look like in terms of shape and style. You will try this on and Sarah will fine-tune the dress to achieve that perfect fit. Any design tweaks necessary can be made at this point.

our process

03.

step three: final dress

Your final fabric will be cut and sewn into the gown of your dreams!

alterations

what’s included:

Initial Consultation

Professionally sewn alterations

1-2 Additional fittings

Pressing of service areas

Color-coded bustles

ready to book?

three things to expect:

01.

Schedule your initial consultation with Sarah.

02.

We’ll meet to discuss your dream dress and ideal fit.

03.

The sewing is complete and you take your gown home!

INQUIRE NOW

client love

"Sarah is so great to work with. She’s talented, professional, very knowledgeable and her prices are great. She did my alterations on a bridesmaid dress and did them very quickly. If you have the chance to work with her, you will love it. Highly recommend."

sarah, 2020

faqs

I want to have a custom dress made, what are the first steps? 

Great! You can schedule a no-obligation call with Sarah Kolis to discuss your anything and everything about dream dress!

faqs

When should I schedule my alterations fitting?

If you have your dress and shoes, you can do so as soon as you wish! Or, 6-8 weeks before the wedding for a wedding gown, and 4-6 weeks for all other dresses.

faqs

Can I bring mom with me to my fitting?

Of course! This is a special moment and I encourage family/friends to attend with you.

faqs

What do I need to bring with me to my fitting?

Dress and shoes most important! Also bring any particular undergarments, accessories, veil, if you wish to try any of those on as well!

faqs

Will my dress be steamed? 

At your first fitting appointment, mention to Sarah that you would like the dress steamed! If this is a destination event, it is best to package the dress nicely and steam it at the final location.

faqs

Can I bring my bridesmaid/mother/friend to have her dress altered too?

Of course, no prior notice needed if she is coming at the same time as you! Make sure she also has the dress and shoes!

faqs

How long is the appointment?

Typically, an hour for wedding gowns and a half hour for all other dresses.

faqs

Can I tag @SarahKolisdesigns in my wedding photos on social media? 

Yes, please! You may tag @SarahKolisDesigns for any custom or alterations service, I would love to re-post!

faqs

I am pregnant, when should I schedule my alterations fitting?

Please mention this in the comments when booking your appointment. Three weeks before the event is safe but feel free to reach out to Sarah Kolis with any other concerns! 

faqs

Can you do a rush job?

Of course! Schedule your fitting as soon as possible, or email hello@sarahkolis.com immediately! I will do my best to fit you in as soon as possible.

faqs

I live outside of Michigan, are there travel options?

Of course, I would be happy to accommodate! Let's discuss this together!

faqs

I want to wear my mother’s wedding gown, can you alter it?

Of course, I love vintage restorations! I can alter to fit and/or change the style.

faqs

How do I write a review?

I would love a review! My page on The Knot would be great. I will send you a follow up questionnaire to answer a few questions after working together.

free download

the benefits of a custom wedding dress

grab the guide

ready to
start your journey?

let’s chat

I can’t wait to hear all about your love story and the vision you have for your big day.

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