Having your wedding dress altered and finding a seamstress……
I am a seamstress with 25 years experience in fashion design and altering wedding dresses.
90 % of wedding dresses need altering, most requiring shortening and a take in on the torso somewhere. I have made dresses smaller – generally, up to 2 sizes is the maximum amount I can take in a dress and that is design and shape dependent.
I have let seams out ( if there is room in the original pattern of the dress) to make dresses fractionally bigger, I have added in side panels to make dresses substantially bigger. I have made lace up backs into zips and vice versa, I have added trains, removed trains, added and removed straps, added and removed sleeves and made jackets and boleros. There’s practically nothing I haven’t done or undone on a wedding dress.
Recently I seem to be encountering a large amount of dresses that have been mis sold under the pretence that they can be altered to look or fit a certain way. It’s crucial to remember that this is not the case with every wedding
dress and it’s really really important to seek advice from a professional seamstress if there is a large amendment or alteration you have in mind before purchasing your dream dress, no one wants it to turn into a nightmare when the dress arrives and
on your first appointment, the seamstress tells you that those alterations can’t be made to that dress, or that it won’t fit the way you want it too – not to mention that fact that it will also end up costing you more money.
Here are my top tips for considering your alterations when choosing your dream dress
& finding your seamstress
* Always order a size nearest to your size and the realistic size you will be on your wedding day (essential if you are dieting)
* Be realistic on the way the dress fits you and don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure to lose/gain weight – be a shape you aren’t
* Consider the costs of alterations in your budget
* Think about underwear options – can you wear a bra? Will you need bust cups sewing into the dress?
* Does your dress have a large train and can it be bustled up at the back later on? I can sew bustles in to creatively and aesthetically gather up the train of your dress for ease of movement in the evenings, this isn’t something dresses generally come with.
* Consider the shoes you will be wearing will it be a heel or flats? If the dress is a fishtail and you are petite taking a large amount off the bottom can misproportion the dress.
* Sit down in the dress when you try it on – so many brides forget to do this especially with the mermaid and fishtail styles – You have a wedding breakfast and speeches to sit through and enjoy – it’s one special day – make sure you are comfortable
* Most bridal boutiques will have an inhouse seamstress – although I have a bridal boutique myself I will take in alterations from brides who have bought their dresses elsewhere. We usually book a first try on and at that point, we can establish together getting the perfect fit on your dream dress and work out your alteration costs and timescales.
Many good bridal boutiques with experienced staff can guide you on the right dress shape and structure for your individual and beautiful body – if a dress needs too much re working it’s perhaps not the right dress for you.
As seamstresses we can create re make and change many things on dresses, some people have called me a miracle worker – but Miracles we can’t do, it’s essential to get your dress right for the most part then your alterations will be easy – more cost effective and much more enjoyable.
“Happy dream dress shopping ladies” – Debbie x