If I was smart, I would make the same bridesmaids dress for every member of a wedding party. But I'm not smart, so when the bride said that all she wanted brown dresses with a touch of soft green, I was all gung-ho to make ever dress unique. In general I firmly stand behind having different dresses for the girls in your wedding party...us girls come in all shapes, sizes(pregnant too!), ages and tastes and it's nice to accommodate that. But it's a lot more work... I always feel like I learn so much making a custom dress and if I were to make 7 of those dresses, I would be able to sew the last one in my sleep. But that's the nature of the beast in custom wear, sure you do a muslin and try out your fabrics, but you never know the end result until you are working on the actual dress. So, in essence, you make and fix all your mistakes on the same dress... a steep learning curve.
I'm glad I'm blogging about this... if this was simply a portfolio site, I'd have to sugar coat everything and say the bride was fantastic (she was...), the girls were really sweet and open to ideas (they were) and I was happy with the final result (I was, though it wasn't until I saw this picture that I realized how neat the dresses looked together). But the fabric was a b*tch; cut one way (I forget what way, parallel or perpendicular to the grain?) it pouffed instead of draped and it was mighty slippery. The one skirt I re-did 3 times, once I was unhappy, then she was unhappy and then I think we finally got it right. Of course I feel awful when something doesn't go right but you just have to keep trying and learning (and how's that for your mantra of the day?). Like I said though, I do like how they all came out, every dress worked as a cohesive group but yet each dress had very individual design elements.