Wedding dress abstract
A wedding dress design kit which enables a wide variety of wedding
dress designs to be created from a relatively small number of dress
components. The present invention provides a kit which can be used
by bridal shops to create customized wedding dresses without the
need of maintaining an expensive inventory of single-sized wedding
dresses. The present invention provides a kit comprised of a number
of differently shaped bodices, a number of differently shaped sleeves,
a number of differently shaped skirts, and a number of differently
shaped trains. Each bodice, sleeve, skirt, and train is provided
with a mechanism for adjusting the respective dimensions of each
piece so that regardless of the size of the bride attempting to
try the dresses on, the component parts will be able to be adjusted
to fit each bride. The present invention therefore provides a wedding
dress design kit which reduces the financial obligations required
of bridal shops, while increasing the customization and satisfaction
of the purchasing bride.
Wedding dress claims
What is claimed is:
1. A wedding dress design kit having component parts capable of
being assembled to form a prototypical wedding dress having a particular
appearance and size from which an actual wedding dress can then
be manufactured based on the appearance and size of the prototypical
wedding dress, the wedding dress design kit comprising the combination
a plurality of bodices, each bodice having a different shape, means
for altering the dimensions of the bodice to fit various size human
torsos, openings adapted to allow for passage of human arms therethrough,
a waist portion adapted to fit around a human waist, and a back
a plurality of sleeves, each sleeve having a different shape and
means for altering the dimensions of the sleeves to fit various
size arms, each sleeve adapted to attach to the arm openings of
each bodice such that an arm may pass through the arm opening and
into the sleeve;
a plurality of skirts, each skirt having a different shape and
means for altering the dimensions of the skirts to fit various size
waists, each skirt being adapted to be secured around the waist
portion of each bodice; and
a plurality of trains, each train having a different length, a
top edge, and means for affixing the train to the back portion of
2. The wedding dress design kit of claim 1 wherein the altering
means for the bodices, the altering means for the sleeves, and the
altering means for the skirts include a plurality of variable length
fasteners attached to predetermined locations on the bodices, sleeves,
3. The wedding dress design kit of claim 2 wherein the variable
length fasteners include a plurality of snap tops and a plurality
of mating snap bottoms disposed at regular intervals on lengths
of seam tape attached at the predetermined locations on the bodices,
sleeves, and skirts.
4. The wedding dress design kit of claim 1 wherein the means for
affixing the train to the bodice includes a plurality of fasteners
provided on the top edge of the train which cooperate with fasteners
provided on the back portion of the bodice to affix the train to
5. The wedding dress design kit of claim 1 further including a
plurality of accessories adapted to be pinned to the dress.
6. The wedding dress design kit of claim 1 wherein each sleeve
is provided with means for attaching the sleeve to the arm openings
of each bodice.
7. The wedding dress design kit of claim 6 wherein the means for
attaching sleeves to the bodice arm openings includes a plurality
of tongue fasteners provided on one of the sleeve and the bodice,
and a plurality of loop fasteners provided on the other of the sleeve
and bodice, the tongue fasteners being adapted to engage the loop
fasteners to attach the sleeves to the bodices.
8. A method of designing a wedding dress from a kit including a
plurality of articles including differently shaped and sized bodices,
sleeves, skirts, and trains, each bodice, sleeve and skirt having
means for altering the respective sizes thereof, the method comprising
the steps of:
selecting a bodice style, sleeve style, skirt style, and train
style from the plurality of bodices, sleeves, skirts, and trains;
placing the bodice on the torso of a bride and using the altering
means to adjust the size of the bodice to fit the bride;
placing the skirt around the waist of the bride and using the altering
means to adjust the size of the skirt to fit the bride;
placing the sleeves on the arms of the bride and using the altering
means to adjust the size of the sleeves to fit the bride;
affixing the train to the bodice;
repeatedly removing the bodice, sleeves, skirt, or train, and replacing
the removed article with other similar articles having different
shapes or designs until a desired, prototypical wedding dress design
is attained; and
manufacturing a wedding dress based on the styles and sizes of
the bodice, sleeves, skirt, and train of the prototypical wedding
9. The method of claim 8 further comprising the steps of selecting
accessories for the dress and temporarily affixing the accessories
to the dress to result in various dress designs.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein the temporarily affixing step
is performed by pinning the accessories to the dress.
11. The method of claim 8 wherein the using altering means step
to adjust the dimensions of the bodices, the sleeves, and the skirts
is performed by adjusting the length of mating pairs of seam tape
attached to predetermined locations on the bodices, the sleeves,
and the skirts, a plurality of snap bottoms and snap tops being
disposed at regular intervals along the mating pairs of seam tape,
wherein the dimensions of the bodices, sleeves, and skirts are altered
by adjusting the particular snap bottom to which each snap top is
12. The method of claim 8 further including the step of temporarily
fastening the sleeves to the bodices.
13. The method of claim 8 further including the steps of rendering
a sketch of the wedding dress created through the selecting, placing,
adjusting, and affixing steps but without depicting the altering
means to provide a more accurate indication of the actual appearance
of the dress resulting from the method.
Wedding dress description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally relates to apparel design, and
more particularly relates to methods and devices for designing dresses.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The process of wedding dress design and selection is generally
a time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating endeavor. Brides invariably
enter the process as excited and hopeful to receive the dress of
their dreams, and are all too often greeted with a process which
allows little room for customization, and which is so expensive
and time-consuming that it saps much of the excitement from an act
which should be an enjoyable process. The present invention endeavors
to greatly improve this process not only for the bride, but for
the bridal shop owner as well.
Typically, a bride selects a wedding dress by consulting a bridal
shop wherein the bride will be able to sample dresses from a number
of different designers, but which are often only available in a
single size in an effort to roughly "fit" the great majority
of brides entering the shop. The process therefore only allows the
bride to select a dress based on the general appearance of a given
design, without knowing exactly how the dress will appear once it
is custom tailored for her unique measurements. Moreover, it is
not until the general dress design is selected, the measurements
taken, and the dress is ordered and returned from the manufacturer,
that the bride realizes, often to her dismay, that expensive alterations
are necessary. Since the dress manufacturer typically only returns
a dress meeting the general size requirements of the order, it is
incumbent upon the bridal shop owner to make the actual alterations.
Given the fact that the dresses are often manufactured in an assembly
line fashion, the process is further lessened in effectiveness in
that there is often little room for unique alterations or additions
to the dress design which thereby results in a severely limited
degree of customization.
Therefore, from the perspective of the bride, it can be seen that
the current process is time-consuming, expensive, frustrating, and
devoid of adequate customization.
For the bridal shop owner, the process is equally unacceptable.
Wedding dresses are currently available through a number of individual
designers, and since each designer will usually have a number of
different designs, each bridal shop will be responsible for maintaining
an expansive collection of dresses which results in a financial
outlay often exceeding $100000.00. To economically lessen this
load, bridal shops are often forced to carry only a few design lines,
which lessens cost, but which lowers the satisfaction of the purchasing
bride. Given the whimsical nature of the fashion industry, these
designs can be changed in a matter of months, and the bridal shop
is left with not only an expensive inventory, but also with the
daunting task of finding buyers for dresses which have already been
tried on by multiple parties.
Therefore, from the perspective of the bridal shop owner, it can
be seen that the process as it currently exists is a financially
imposing one which either precludes a great number of competitors
from entering the field, or greatly limits the potential of those
players already engaged in the practice.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In light of the foregoing, it is the primary objective of the present
invention to provide a wedding dress design kit which greatly lessens
the financial burden placed on bridal shops while greatly increasing
the ability to customize a wedding dress to thereby result in a
more satisfied customer.
In that regard, it is a feature of the present invention to provide
a wedding dress design kit comprised of four basic parts wherein
each part is available in numerous shapes and designs. By selecting
one style of each basic part, the main outline of a wedding dress
can be created and the need for maintaining a large inventory of
differently designed dresses is eliminated.
Another feature of the present invention to accomplish the foregoing
is to provide the various shapes of the four basic parts with means
for adjusting the relative sizes of each so that with one kit, dresses
can be created to fit a wide range of body sizes and types.
A still further feature of the present invention to accomplish
the foregoing is to include a number of accessories with the wedding
dress design kit which can be temporarily affixed to the basic parts
to customize the wedding dress without the need of maintaining an
inventory of wedding dresses with substantially the same outline
but with various adornments and customizations.
Another objective of the present invention is to greatly increase
the speed with which the wedding dress design process is performed
by providing the bride with an immediate impression as to the ultimate
appearance of the dress design.
In this regard, it is a feature of the present invention to provide
a kit wherein a multitude of dress designs can be quickly created
from a relatively small number of dress parts with means for adjusting
the parts to fit virtually all sizes, to thereby eliminate the time-consuming
process of placing an order with a factory, receiving the roughly
dimensioned dress back from the factory, trying the dress on, altering
the dress, and then finally having a chance to review the appearance
of the resulting dress.
These and other objectives and features of the present invention
will become more apparent from the following detailed description
when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and
alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof
have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail.
It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to
limit the invention to the specific forms disclosed, but on the
contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative
constructions and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope
of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the figures, dress 20 which can be created from
the present invention is shown in perspective in FIG. 1. Dress 20
for bride 22 is created from the present invention through a kit
24 comprised of at least one design of bodice 26 at least one design
of skirt 28 at least one design of sleeve 30 and at least one
design of train 32. By providing bodices 26 skirts 28 sleeves
30 and trains 32 of various shapes and designs, a wide array of
resulting wedding dress designs can be attained.
Although only one wedding dress 20 is shown in FIG. 1 it is to
be understood that a potentially limitless number of dress designs
can be created based on the number of individual component designs
provided in kit 24. In the preferred embodiment, however, kit 24
consists of four different bodice 26 designs (FIGS. 3a-3d), four
different sleeve 30 designs (FIGS. 4a-4d), three different skirt
28 designs (FIGS. 5a-5c), and three different train 32 designs (FIGS.
Referring now to FIG. 2 dress 20 is shown with bodice 26 skirt
28 sleeves 30 and train 32 exploded away from bride 22 to show
how dress 20 is assembled. As shown, bodice 26 is adapted to be
placed over torso 34 of bride 22 sleeves 30 are adapted to be placed
over arms 36 of bride 22 skirt 28 is adapted to be placed about
waist 38 of bride 22 and train 32 is adapted to be fastened about
back 40 of bride 22.
Also shown in FIG. 2 once the main components of dress 20 are
selected, dress 22 can be additionally modified by the addition
of various accessories. Although only lace collar 42 is shown in
FIG. 2 it is to be understood that once the main components of
dress 20 are selected, the appearance of dress 20 can be substantially
altered by the addition of such accessories as sequins, beads, bows,
borders, and the like. It is also to be understood that the fabric
from which bodice 26 skirt 28 sleeves 30 and train 32 are manufactured
can be varied, and it is currently contemplated that such materials
could include such materials as silk and satin, as well as other
natural and synthetic fabrics. Swatches of various types of material
are included with wedding dress design kit 20.
Turning now to the individual designs of the component parts of
dress 20 four distinct bodice 26 designs are shown in FIGS. 3a-3d.
Although only four bodice 26 designs are shown, this application
should not be construed to only disclose the four embodiments shown
in FIGS. 3a-3d. Nonetheless, it is intended that the wide majority
of dress 20 designs can be manufactured from the four basic bodice
26 designs shown in FIGS. 3a-3d.
As shown, each bodice 26 is comprised of a front panel 44 and a
back panel 46. Front panel 44 and back panel 46 are of substantially
similar shape in bodices A, B, C, and D. Bodice A, shown in FIG.
3A, includes "sweetheart" neckline 48 upright straps
50 and "basque" waist 52 whereas bodice B, shown in
FIG. 3B, includes "scoop" neckline 54 upright straps
56 and truncated waist 58. Bodice C, shown in FIG. 3C, includes
"Elizabethan" neckline 60 flared straps 62 and "medieval"
waist 64. Finally, bodice D, shown in FIG. 3D, includes "off-the-shoulder"
neckline 66 offset straps 68 and "basque" waist 70 similar
to waist 52 of bodice A.
Four different sleeve 30 designs are shown in FIGS. 4a-4d and are
adapted to be fastened to bodices A-D adjacent the straps of each
bodice. In the preferred embodiment, sleeves 30 are temporarily
fastened to bodice 26 via tongue and loop fasteners such as that
commercially available under the tradename, Velcro, but other mechanisms
are possible. Sleeve A shown in FIG. 4A includes pillowed or "Juliette"
shoulder 72 with form fitting sleeve 74 affixed thereto. Sleeve
B, shown in FIG. 4B, includes padded or "Renaissance"
shoulder 76 and "natural" sleeve 78 which leads from shoulder
76 to the hand 79 of bride 22. Sleeve C, shown in FIG. 4C, includes
"natural" shoulder 80 as well as "natural" sleeve
82. Sleeve D, shown in FIG. 4D, is of a shortsleeved design and
includes "tulip" shoulder 84.
The three skirt 28 designs currently contemplated are shown in
FIGS. 5a-5c, and vary from the narrow or "sheath" design
of skirt A (FIG. 5A) to the fanned or "full" design of
skirt C (FIG. 5C). Skirt B, shown in FIG. 5B, is an "A-line"
skirt and includes a plurality of seams 86 which extend from waistband
88 to hem 90.
The three currently contemplated trains 32 of the present invention
are shown in FIGS. 6a-6c. The substantial difference between trains
32 is their respective lengths. Train A, as shown in FIG. 6A, is
referred to as a "chapel" train and includes three feet
of fabric 98 which is carried along the ground, while train B (FIG.
6B), the "cathedral" train, includes five feet of fabric
100 which is carried along the ground. Train C, the "royal"
train, includes eight feet of fabric 102 which is carried along
the ground as shown in FIG. 6C. Of course, the number of feet of
fabric which is carried along the ground can be substantially varied,
but it is intended that trains 32 depicted in the figures will be
able to satisfy the vast majority of design criterion.
As shown throughout the figures, the present invention provides
pairs of mating seam tapes 92 at predetermined locations on bodices
26 skirts 28 sleeves 30 and trains 32. Seam tapes 92 can be manufactured
from any suitably strong and durable fabric and are sewn or otherwise
fastened to the component parts of dress 20 as shown in the figures.
Each piece of seam tape 92 is provided either with a plurality of
snap bottoms 94 or a plurality of snap tops 96. Snap bottoms 94
and snap tops 96 are of a conventional design wherein bottoms 94
are telescopingly received into snap tops 96 and are frictionally
held therein until sufficient force is applied to remove snap tops
96 from snap bottoms 94. As shown in the figures, snap bottoms 94
and snap tops 96 are provided at regular intervals along the length
of seam tape 92 with a spacing interval of one inch used in the
preferred embodiment. Therefore, by adjusting the individual snap
bottom 94 to which each individual snap top 96 is connected, the
resulting length of seam tape 92 and accordingly the resulting
size of the component parts, can be adjusted. In addition, since
the snaps are provided every inch, the particular snap top to which
each snap bottom is attached will indicate the measurements of the
bride by adding the length of the part to the length of the fastened
seam tape. To facilitate the measuring process, the seam tapes could
be provided with numerical graduations wherein each snap would represent
a different overall measurement. Although snap bottoms 94 and snap
tops 96 are shown in the preferred embodiment, it is to be understood
that other suitable means of fastening can be used such as tongue
and loop fasteners, buttons, and the like.
Seam tapes 92 as described above, are used to adjust the relative
girth of each part, with the exception of the tapes attached to
the shoulder straps of each bodice 26 which adjust the girth and
length of each bodice 26. If the length of sleeves 30 or skirts
28 are to be adjusted it is envisioned that they can be temporarily
pinned up, or rolled up, to better fit bride 22. Although it is
not shown, it is also possible that the lengths of skirts 28 and
sleeves 30 could alternatively be adjusted by providing fasteners
along hem 90 of skirt 28 and adjacent the hand end of sleeve 30.
To attach trains 32 seam tape 92 is provided on top edge 100 of
each train 32. Trains 32 are affixed to the back of each bodice
26 by seam tape 92 cooperating with a mating seam tape provided
on the back of bodice 26.
Kit 24 also includes a supply of accessories which can be affixed
as by pinning to the exterior surfaces of bodices 26 skirts 28
sleeves 30 and trains 32 once the basic configuration of dress
20 is selected. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 accessories such
as lace collar 42 can be used to distinctly design dress 20. A wide
array of accessories can be used such as borders, beads, bows, flowers,
peplums, and the like. The accessories will be provided in a container
or bag (not shown) as part of kit 24. If bride 22 cannot envision
how dress 20 will appear even after the parts are selected, tapes
92 are adjusted, and the accessories are pinned to dress 20 a sketch
or other rendering can be created absent the snaps, tongue and loop
fasteners, and pins to clearly show the resulting dress. Moreover,
kit 24 includes a catalog of possible designs (not shown) which
will assist bride 22 in designing her dress.
In operation, kit 24 could be used by a bridal shop or other formal
wear facility, to streamline, customize, and economize the wedding
dress design process. A given bridal shop or retailer could purchase
kit 24 to assemble a wide variety of dress designs without the time
consuming and expensive process of buying multiple sizes of multiple
designs from multiple designers with the arrival of each design
Kit 24 is currently comprised of four bodice 26 designs, four sleeve
30 designs, three skirt 28 designs, and three train 32 designs.
A salesperson can select one style of each part depending on the
preferences of bride 22 and each part can be tried on accordingly.
If the resulting appearance of the parts does not result in a dress
20 which is to the liking of bride 22 individual parts can be removed
and replaced with a part of a different design. For example, if
bride 22 selects bodice C, sleeve B, skirt C, and train B, resulting
dress 20 will substantially appear as shown in FIG. 1 (although
FIG. 1 shows the completed dress without the seam tapes attached).
However, if the bride determines that one of the components is not
to her liking, sleeve B can be removed and replaced with one of
the other sleeves, or bodice C can be similarly replaced with one
of the other bodices until the resulting dress 20 has a basic design
to the liking of bride 22. To assist in temporarily creating dress
20 on bride 22 each sleeve 30 can be provided with a plurality of
tongue fasteners which attach to a plurality of loop fasteners provided
on the straps of each bodice.
However, the process of creating dress 20 need not, and likely
will not, stop at the selection of a bodice 26 skirt 28 sleeves
30 and train 32. Each dress 20 can then be customized with the
addition of accessories as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. This process
can continue until dress 20 not only consists of the proper basic
components, but also of the proper accessories in the mind of bride
Along with the selection of the basic part designs, kit 24 allows
for the use of one size to fit almost all brides 22. The present
invention accomplishes this by providing strips of seam tape 92
having a plurality of snap bottoms 94 and snap tops 96 which allow
the sizes of each part to be adjusted to fit a wide spectrum of
dimensions. The bridal shop and/or retailer need not therefore invest
in a wide range of sizes, but rather can fit substantially all brides
through the use of kit 24.
Once the particular bodice 26 skirt 28 sleeve 30 and train 32
design have been selected, the desired accessories have been selected,
and the measurements of bride 22 have been taken, the seamstress
can commence with the manufacturing of the customized dress. Whereas
dresses are normally sized by measuring bride 22 and then selecting
a pre-fabricated dress based on only these raw dimensions, dress
20 resulting from kit 24 will much more closely correspond to the
actual measurements of bride 22 in that dress 20 has essentially
already been tried on. This results not only in less expense and
a less time consuming process, but also removes a great deal of
aggravation from the process. Once dress 20 is completed, an embroidered
name tag can be sewn to an inconspicuous location on the inside
of the dress to indicate that the dress was custom made for the
particular bride by the particular bridal shop.
From the foregoing it can be appreciated that the present invention
brings to the art a new and useful wedding dress design kit and
a method for manufacturing a wedding dress. The wedding dress design
kit will save bridal shops a great deal of expense in that the financial
outlay for various sizes and styles of each designer's line of dresses
can be avoided through the purchase of a kit which is comprised
of dress components which can be mixed and matched to create a customized
dress. Moreover, the bride will be more satisfied with the ultimate
dress created in that the process will be less time-consuming, and
each dress created will be uniquely tailored and designed to the
likings of each bride.