Over a couple of months in spring the Atelier Tammam team were working on a very special project for an incredible actress, who agreed to let us share the steps involved in creating her couture gown.
Natalie O’Donnell came in requesting a red carpet worthy outfit after being cast as Donna Sheridan, the main Mamma, in the upcoming Australian revival of the show, Mamma Mia!
Natalie tried on a range of gowns to determine which shapes, colours and fabrics worked together to create her dream dress.
After taking a few vital statistics Miss T sketched up the ideas for Natalie’s couture gown, a tea-length dark blue peace silk dress combining two signature Tammam styles, the Asp dress and the beautifully detailed fan feature of an archive gown.
Our pattern cutter used Natalie’s measurements to create her own bespoke perfect block, which her unique design patterns were formed around.
Once the paper pattern was finished and the calico cloth cut, it was passed over to Katherine, one of our talented seamstresses, to make a toile, a mock-up dress, to ensure the best fit before cutting in the final fabric.
Natalie came in for a toile fitting and Miss T skilfully adjusted the pattern to her liking ensuring the most striking feature, the pleating on the bodice, lay beautifully around Natalie’s curves.
The toile was then marked, unpicked and used to cut the final fabric. Once the fabric was cut Katherine worked with traditional hand stitching haute couture techniques to baste the layers of the dress together and stitch the seams, ready for another fitting.
The next fitting concentrated on checking the line and fit of the dress in the final fabrics. Once this was confirmed Katherine stitched the dress together perfectly and pinned the pleats ready for the penultimate fitting.
One more fitting was need to ensure the pleats sat smoothly and enhanced the shape of Natalie’s body, at this stage the hem length was also confirmed.
Katherine dedicated hours to marking every pleat and detail in colour coded threads to ensure the final stitching held the pleats perfectly aligned.
All the finishing touches took even more hours of detailed hand stitching ready for the final fitting and collection.
Once the gown was complete, Natalie came for a final fitting – giving it a last try to check it fit like a hand made, haute couture, bespoke glove – which it did! Natalie promptly whisked the spectacular dress off to Australia, where she is soon to start rehearsals for the show. The dress will appear on a red carpet soon, we’ll post a picture when it does….
That’s it from me, my adventure at Tammam has ended, what a journey it has been!