DOWNTOWN DES MOINES BASED CLOTHING DESIGNER | handmade ready to wear collections| custom garments | tailoring |private SEWING LESSONS
Wear your very own designs - custom made just for you!
Our custom garments are an outlet for you as our client to get something custom made with your design in mind. Ranging from replicas of your favorite old pieces to formal gowns we can do it all. Stop hunting for the "perfect" piece you won't be able to find off the rack and have it made. the answer to your wardrobe woes we are here to create ethical and sustainable fashion just for you!
how does it work?
if you have an idea for a custom design or a piece of clothing you want to recreate email us to schedule a design consultation. you will either sit down with our designer Gretchen in person or communicate via email/phone to go over what you are envisioning in the final design of your custom garment.
after the initial design consultation is complete Gretchen will send you an estimate for the cost of the garment. Once pricing is approved Gretchen will get to work on the design process of your garment and send over a final sketch for to review.
the next step is picking out the fabric - you are welcome to accompany Gretchen to the fabric store to pick something out or she can go on her own and text you photos for you to approve. when ordering fabric from an online supplier a swatch will be provided to review.
after the design is finalized and the fabric is picked out Gretchen gets to work creating your pattern and sewing up a "rough draft" version of the piece for you to try on during a first fitting during which any tailoring adjustments will be noted. after the first fitting is complete with the alterations noted Gretchen then gets to work on sewing the custom piece in your chosen fashion fabric.
after the custom piece is sewn in the fashion fabric a second fitting will be scheduled for you to try on the garment again. If any other fit adjustments are needed these will be noted at this time and Gretchen will complete them before final delivery of your custom garment!
Normally the custom design process takes anywhere from 2 to 3 fittings. If you are creating a formal gown or a more difficult and detailed piece it will take around 4 or 5 fittings. The entire custom design process can take anywhere from 3 weeks and beyond depending on the level of the design, and how many pieces you order at once.
if you are not local to the des moines metro area don't panic - we offer our custom design process remotely as well! Click here to find out how it works.
“i have been looking for someone to help me create an ethically made and customized wardrobe forever - i found gretchen on instagram and she was the answer to what i’ve been looking for! my designs come to life through her expertise in fabrics and garment construction. “
"I have a charity event coming up and I immediately thought of gbd. I loved working with Gretchen before to create a custom jumpsuit for my petite frame and she nailed it on the first try!"
"I've never had anything custom made before but heard about Gretchen from a friend and decided to reach out to her about recreating a piece I love that I've had forever but started to fall apart. She did an amazing job replicating my favorite dress and now I have a pattern on file if I ever want her to make me another one in a different color - how cool!!"
Schedule a fitting with our designer to tailor pieces in your current wardrobe!
our designer Gretchen tailors and alters all categories of clothing including women's, men's, childrenswear and formal wear. any mending needed to your clothing can also be done by Gretchen. If you have a project that is out of the box we are also happy to work on that! Send us an email and we will set up a fitting.
"Gretchen is amazing! She will come TO YOU to do your measuring and will even deliver the finished items. Her prices are fair and reasonable. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone looking for tailoring services in the Des Moines area!"
"I contacted Gretchen to alter my main of honor dress for my best friend's wedding. She was very responsive throughout the process, and offered to come to me for both our initial meeting and to drop off. I chose to come to her for our initial meeting and she has a very cool studio in the new Mainframe building. It took her less than two weeks to finish my work and I am prepared well in advance. She did a great job and even left me a handwritten thank you with my dress! I will definitely call on Gretchen again for any future alterations or custom work!"
the sewing lessons we provide are based entirely on what you want to learn as our student - and lesson plans are created uniquely to you! lessons can consist of a one time project that needs completed, a desire to learn a specific sewing technique, or an ongoing education related to sewing, design, and garment construction.
Length of the Lessons:
for students who are interested in a one time project or a particular sewing skill:
please email our head designer Gretchen Bohling at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with her about your specific sewing lesson vision and she will work with you to create a lesson plan and corresponding schedule. Lessons are taught on an hourly basis and length of time needed will depend on the sewing content and the current skill level of the student. these lessons start at $30/hour.
for students who are interested in an ongoing education:
Ongoing education sewing classes are scheduled on a quarterly basis and last for 3 months at a time. There are varying levels of curriculum to cover and enrolling in more than one quarter during the year is absolutely possible and encouraged for students who wish to learn the more advanced skills of sewing. these lessons start at $60/hour.
Curriculum summary for students who are interested in an ongoing education.
Beginner level - students will learn the basics of hand sewing and machine sewing in this class. They will work on different projects throughout the length of the class. These projects will highlight the basic sewing skills learned - including hand sewing techniques and machine sewing skills. Students will also complete a workbook full of the sewing techniques so they have something to reference when they are finished with the class and are sewing at home on their own.
Intermediate level - if you are already familiar with basic sewing skills or have already completed our beginners course this is the class for you. Students will learn some of the more difficult sewing techniques in regards to clothing - for example - zippers, serging, french seams, working with difficult fabrics etc. Students will also complete a workbook full of sewing techniques so they have something to reference when they are finished with the class and are sewing at home on their own.
Advanced level - if you are already an avid sewer or have completed our beginner and intermediate level courses this is the class for you. Students will learn all of the advanced skills when it comes to sewing clothing including all finishing techniques. They will also learn basic pattern drafting skills in order to create their own pattern blocks in which they can manipulate to create designs of their own. Upon completion of this course students will have the knowledge in order to bring their designs from concept to completion.
Beginner level is priced at $30 an hour - student may bring a sewing machine to bring to class with them, if they don’t have one no need to worry we’ve got 6 machines in our studio!! all supplies are provided for the entirety of the class, with the exception of any fabric needed for the project (you will pick out and purchase that on your own).
Intermediate level is priced at $45 an hour - student may bring a sewing machine to bring to class with them, if they don’t have one no need to worry we’ve got 6 machines in our studio!! all other supplies are provided for the entirety of the class with the exception of any fabric needed for the lessons (you will pick out and purchase fabric on your own).
Advanced level is priced at $60 an hour - student may bring a sewing machine to bring to class with them, if they don’t have one no need to worry we’ve got 6 machines in our studio!! all other supplies are provided for the entirety of the class with the exception of any fabric needed for the lessons (you will pick out and purchase fabric on your own). for our advanced classes it is strongly suggested that students have a set of their own fabric scissors, pinking shears, tailoring chalk, and drafting rulers. Payment for lessons will be invoiced and payment in full will be required before the lessons begin. Questions regarding the requirement of payment in full can be directed to email@example.com
"My daughter loved this class - wants to do it again next year - and she says she wants a sewing machine for christmas!! Thank you Gretchen!"
"This was my daughter's favorite camp and she has been to many camps over the years. She loved Gretchen and learned a lot. We had to go to the fabric store to make more cover ups. She's hooked on sewing! Way to go Gretchen!"
"Thanks so much for the wonderful learning experience that you created for my daughter! She loved working with you! Hopefully, she can work with you again!"