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Ask David | How Do I Get a Dress Made? I Don't Have Time!

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about our custom garment process, and I’ve noticed a few common concerns. Many of you worry that you don’t have enough time to have something made or feel that you’re not organized enough. Others are hesitant to commit to a custom piece without seeing it first—understandably, it can feel like a big leap of faith.

Choosing the perfect couture experience can be as personal as the garments themselves. We offer three distinct options to cater to your unique needs and desires: Fully Custom, Semi-Custom, and Made to Order.

Let’s explore what each entails and help you decide which is the right path to your dream attire!

And, I hope this goes without saying, if you have a question, ask us! There are no stupid questions, and we've made wedding dresses in 3 days (not our first recommendation, but life happens!).

Fully Custom

Fashion Illustration by David Peck with colored pencils and fabric draped on a cutting table

What is Fully Custom? Fully Custom is our most personalized service. Starting with a blank slate, we create a garment uniquely for you, from initial sketches to the final fitting. Every detail is tailored to your specifications, ensuring a one-of-a-kind creation.

Ideal for: Those seeking an exclusive, bespoke garment that reflects their individual style and vision. Perfect for significant life events where nothing but the best will do.

Process Overview:

  • Initial Consultation and Design: Discuss your vision, inspirations, and specific requirements and we will create sketches and select fabrics.
  • Muslin Fitting: A mock-up of the garment is created to perfect the fit.
  • Fabric Fittings: Multiple fittings to refine the garment in the chosen fabric.
  • Final Adjustments: Ensure every detail is perfect.
  • Completion: Your unique creation is ready for you.

Timeline: Typically, 17 weeks minimum, depending on the complexity of the design. Certain designs may be able to be done more quickly for an additional fee. 

Cost: Reflects the highly bespoke nature of the service, with a higher investment for the utmost personalization. Most custom gowns start around $3,500 and go up from there. Most MOB/MOG gowns usually end up being around $3,500-$4,500, Brides and debutants typically start around $4,500

Cocktail dresses, tops, and skirts typically start lower. The biggest determiner of price is the silhouette, type of fabric, complexity of design, and the amount of detail. 

animation cinderella GIF by Disney

Personalization Level: Unlimited! – from fabric and fit to intricate design details.

Preparation Tips: Bring inspiration photos, know your event timeline, and have an open mind for creative exploration.

For more details, visit our Fully Custom Process page.


Muslin Draped on a dress form to create a pattern by David Peck

What is Semi-Custom? Semi-Custom allows you to choose an existing David Peck design and make minimal style changes, along with selecting your preferred color, size, and fabric. It offers a balance between personalization and efficiency.

Ideal for: Clients who desire a unique garment with a personal touch but within a shorter timeframe and a more streamlined process. Many clients fall into this category, even ones who think that they want a fully custom garment. We have literally hundreds of styles to choose from in our archive library. 

*This isn't just for gowns! We make blouses, pants, skirts, dresses, gowns... There are so many options! 

sew sewing machine GIF by US National Archives

Process Overview:

  • Design Consultation: Discuss ideas, take measurements, and choose from existing styles to create a look customized for YOU!
  • Muslin Fitting: (If necessary) Try on a mock-up to adjust the fit.
  • Fabric Fittings: Try on the garment in your chosen fabric, with adjustments as needed.
  • Final Fitting: Make last adjustments to ensure perfect fit.
  • Pick Up: Your semi-custom creation is ready!

Timeline: Approximately 6-8 weeks.

Cost: More accessible than fully custom, offering a balance of customization and cost-efficiency. The price is largely dependent on fabric and silhouette. Semi-custom prices start with the base price of our existing designs and go from there. 

Personalization Level: Moderate – adjustments to existing designs with personalized fabric and fit.

Preparation Tips: Bring inspiration photos, browse our website and social media for style inspiration, and bring the proper undergarments and shoes to fittings.

For more details, download our Semi-Custom Process page.

Made to Order

What is Made to Order? Made to Order involves selecting a design from our collection, which we then create specifically in a standard size. It’s ideal for those who want a high-quality, designer garment with minimal customization.

Ideal for: Clients seeking a designer piece without the need for extensive personalization. Great for those on a tighter timeline.

Process Overview:

  • Selection: Choose your favorite design from our collection.
  • Measurement: Provide your measurements to ensure a great fit.
  • Production: We create the garment in your size.
  • Delivery: Your designer piece is ready to wear.
  • Alterations (optional): Should you desire any alterations after the garment is made, hemming or taking in the waist for example.

Timeline: Typically 4-6 weeks.

Cost: Most cost-effective option, as it involves minimal customization.

Personalization Level: Low – select from existing designs with adjustments only for size, fabric, and color. Not all styles are available in all fabrics.

Preparation Tips: Come shop in person (we have hundreds of sample garments) or review our collection online and have your measurements ready.

For more details, explore our Made to Order page.

Sewing Projects from March 2020 – A Gypsy Sorceress's Library

Ready to start your journey to the perfect garment? Each option offers a unique path to achieving your dream look, tailored to your needs and timeline. Whether you’re looking for a fully bespoke creation, a semi-custom piece, or a made-to-order design, we’re here to make your couture dreams come true. Reach out to us today to begin your experience. 

David Peck sketching in his factory atelier with a wedding dress in the background


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