All About Alterations
Part of being sure you look fabulous in your wedding gown, bridesmaid dress, mother’s dress, or other special occasion garment is being sure that it fits you just right. Our team of alterations specialists and seamstresses has years of experience fitting bridal and special occasion garments. When you call or email for your appointment, we’ll ask you some questions to be sure we match you with the seamstress just right for you and your project.
You can usually expect to have two fittings for your wedding gown. Ideally, your first fitting is 8-10 weeks before the wedding. During this appointment, your seamstress will decide with you what needs to be done and what type of bustle (if any) works and looks best. The seamstress will pin your gown and it will stay with us after the first fitting. About two to four weeks before your wedding will be your second fitting. You’ll try the gown on to be sure everything is just right and we’ll spend some time teaching your attendant how to do the bustle on the gown properly. If all is well, you’ll either take your gown with you after this appointment or leave it with us for cleaning and/or pressing.
Here are a few tips to be sure your fittings go smoothly and that you are delighted with the fit and look of your gown or dress:
- Arrive on time with just one or two guests. Our studio is small with only one fitting room, so when our clients help us stay on schedule by arriving on time or a touch early, we are best able to accommodate everyone’s expectations. Dress fittings work best when you have just one (or two) trusted friends or family with you.
- If you have any budget or lifestyle concerns (like if you are pregnant), please let your seamstress know right away, at the beginning of your fitting appointment. Then she can best accommodate your needs and be sure any concerns are addressed.
- Communication is key! Following up with the above tip, if you ever have a concern, a desire, or something you are not sure about, your seamstress wants to know. Please do not be afraid to ask a question or voice a concern.
- Shoes. It seems like a little thing, but having the shoes you plan to wear with the dress is very important to a successful fitting.
- Bra & other foundational garments. Like shoes, these are very important to how the dress or gown fits you. We have sew-in bra cups as well as long-line strapless bras available in the studio, but if you have something else you are planning to wear (including Spanx), be sure to bring those along to the fitting.
- Rush options. We understand that engagements, gown shopping, and even gown shipping does not always fit neatly into a time frame. However, we do reserve the right to charge a $35 rush fee on wedding gowns with less than a month from the first fitting to the wear date.
- Cancellations. If you decide not to have us proceed with the project after your first fitting, we reserve the right to charge a $50 cancelled work fee.
We know that you also want to know about cost. Our average bride spends $200 – $350 on alterations. Most brides will need a hem, bustle, and strap or bodice adjustment; on an average gown, this comes to about $240. Gowns with lots of layers, very full skirts, or lots of beading can be significantly more costly for alterations. If your gown already fits you great, you may just need a bit of “tweaking” for much less. We will give you a quote at your first fitting. Bridesmaids and mothers can expect an average of $50-$85 for a hem and some bodice work. Just hems for these gowns range from $30 – $60 in general.