Custom orders: what’s involved?

I specialize in made to measure Art Deco reproduction fashion, keeping old designs and techniques alive. Even just having something custom made can be a vintage experience, as these days most of us are more likely to buy ready-to-wear.

But if you have an original garment too delicate to wear which you want copied, or a fashion image you’ve fallen in love with, or elements of different designs you’d love incorporated into one garment, then made-to-measure is the way to go!

The process is simple from your end.

Using this measurement chart you can have a friend take your measurements and trust that the final garment will fit well – even if you are on the other side of the world.

The initial step is identifying what you want – being told you can have any style you like can sometimes make the decision even harder! Have a look through images of my previous work to ensure our styles are compatible and send me as many inspiration images or pinterest links as you like!

Once the design is decided, together we choose a fabric. Some customers opt to buy and send their own, others ask me to source the fabric.

Pricing is different for every project – how detailed is it? How form fitting? Will it need a full lining? Do you want me to supply the fabric?

Once all the decisions are made, I start work by padding the mannequin to your figure and draping the pattern pieces using a white fabric. This gets creatively drawn all over with markings for seams and darts and necklines before being transferred to paper. I normally sew up a toile (test run) to ensure the fit and style are all spot on before cutting into the real fabric! You’ll get updates along the way with progress photos – don’t despair when they look like a candy floss person wearing cut up sheets!

Read on for examples of made-to-measure garments I have sewn over the last year……..

1930’s Miss fisher dress:



I was initially contacted by this lovely customer from the USA for a 1930s dress. We went back and forth with dozens of different inspiration images before settling on the middle dress in this fashion plate. The customer fell in love with the triple bell sleeves and cinched waist.




The mannequin was given some lovely curves which the pattern was draped over to create fullness and gathers where required.




To test the new pattern the design got sewn up in a cheap chiffon to check the fit, shape and placement of the contrast fabric.

Happy with the toile, the final dress was made in a patterned silk georgette with contrast sleeves and belt with an original Bakelite buckle.  (P.S. This fabric also featured on the show ‘Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries’!)




Liberty 1920’s dress:

pattern and inspiration
Left: Inspiration image Right: Pattern

This design was much truer to its original inspiration image; every detail faithfully reproduced from the little fashion drawing, from piping to skirt fullness. As the focus of this dress is the look – rather than a close fit – the lines were drawn on paper first and the resulting paper pattern pieces tested on the mannequin.

The toile progressed in stages and resulted in a very comfortable linen dress – always a bonus!




For the real garment, I made a few tweaks to the neckline and removed fullness from the bodice. The final dress was  then sewn in a beautiful liberty cotton print supplied by the customer.




(Photos courtesy Robert Bell)

1930’s Lounging Robe:


For this project, rather than starting with an image from a fashion plate I started with the original garment.

Made of double layers of silk chiffon the original robe is actually in perfect condition and would be entirely wearable, should anyone tiny enough be found! This provided quite a different challenge – to recreate the robe but sized for an NZ size 10!

The original robe was carefully stretched out and traced (see full details on its own blog post here) creating a pattern which was then sized up to fit a modern body.

There were hours of handsewing and careful gathering, resulting in a garment very different in colour, but identical in style:

old and new


So there you have three examples of the design-and-make process! Some garments can take up to thirty hours to complete from pattern-making to finishing and packing. Other projects are thankfully no quite so long!

I’m generally booked out 3 months in advance – so if you have a design in mind drop me line and get on the list! I also have a small selection of ready-to-wear items available to buy from the Tammy Twinkletoes Etsy shop.

All garments are handmade in Napier, New Zealand, ‘The Art Deco Capital’

For commission enquiries please leave your details below!




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