Wedding Dress Alterations: Finding The Right Seamstress

So you’ve finally found your dream dress, taken it home and it just doesn’t fit as perfectly as you had hoped? That means it’s time to reach out to a seamstress for alterations!

What does a seamstress do?

This is an important question to get an answer to before you even start your search for someone to handle your alterations. While there are many extra duties someone may need from a seamstress, at a base level, a seamstress is a person that is highly proficient in sewing, garment construction and clothing alterations/repairs.

When it comes to wedding dresses specifically, a seamstress is someone that will handle either sewing or carrying out alterations to things such as the hem, sleeves or other parts of the gown.

Reasons you may need alterations:

- When you buy a gown off the rack, it’s made in a standard size. However, human bodies are all so unique and different, that it’s incredibly rare anyone fits into a ‘perfect’ standard size, this is where alterations come in handy.

- You might buy something off the rack and want it customised for you such as adding a sleeve. Having alterations done to your gown allows you to personalise the gown you’ve bought so that an off the rack dress is uniquely yours.

- Alterations are also useful for wedding dresses that are either second hand or a hand-me-downs. Over time, gowns can naturally take some damage and may need to be repaired. Also, the gown being made to fit someone else may require it needing to be re-fitted to your specific body shape!

- It’s completely natural for human body shapes to change over time and when it comes to wedding gowns, brides often buy them months, if not a year, in advance. You may have had a custom wedding dress designed and made to fit you perfectly, then in the lead up to your wedding day lost some weight, you’ll now need alterations to ensure your gown fits perfectly for you.

How much do wedding dress alterations cost?

This is a difficult question to answer without the specific context of what needs to be altered. Every seamstress will have their own pricing. At Euphorie Studios, we know that every gown is unique and alterations can vary in time taken to complete, so we’re unable to give a cost without physically seeing your gown and speaking to you about what your needs are. Some seamstresses may have flat rates that they can provide you with, ultimately you’ll have to reach out and have a chat with the seamstress or their team to enquire about costs.

If you have a specific budget in mind for your alterations, be sure to let your seamstress know in advance. If what you require from the seamstress isn’t possible within your budget, they’ll be able to let you know straight away and save you time!

How can I find the best seamstress for my needs?

Finding the right seamstress for what you’re after will take some time and effort, you’ll need to search for your perfect fit.

  1. Always check Google reviews. People love to talk about the level of quality from a service they’ve paid for, either to suggest it to future brides or to warn them away from bad experiences. While Google reviews aren’t always a completely accurate depiction of a business, they’re a pretty good starting point.
  2. Look into the brand or business on social media. Check platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (and their personal websites!) to see what the seamstress or studio is capable of. You can also read comments and see what other brides are saying about their experience with them, it’s a great way to hear from other real brides like you.
  3. Don’t agree to anything until you’ve had a face to face meeting with the seamstress and spoken to them about what work you’ll need done and what they can do for you.
  4. Ask friends or family that have been married - this is a great way to hear about a seamstresses service first hand from a source you can trust.

Using Google searches is a great way to come up with a pool of potential locals that you can look through to find the right fit, after all, it’s important that they’re within travel distance.

One big tip we always suggest is to find a seamstress that specialises in bridal. Most seamstresses specialise in different types of alterations so finding a seamstress that’s experienced in wedding gowns/bridal is important to ensure they’re capable and understand what you’re looking for in terms of service.

bridal designer with tattooed hands alters wedding dress on dressform

What should I bring to an alterations appointment?

This will vary based on the work you’re looking to have done. For example, if you’re having the hem length of your gown altered, be sure to bring your heels or shoes you plan on wearing with the gown along, that way it can be altered to the perfect fit and length. It's also be a good idea to bring along any undergarments you plan on wearing, such as shape wear, so that your seamstress can fit your gown with that in mind too.

Ultimately, we always recommend asking your seamstress before your consultation what they need you to bring other than your gown.

When should I book an alterations appointment?

Once you’ve found the right seamstress, timing is important. You want your wedding gown altered as close to your special day as possible, within reason. It’s common to have alterations carried out anywhere between a month to two weeks prior to the wedding day but this varies depending on both the bride and the seamstress. For example, some seamstresses may require more time than others while some brides may need their gown back in their hands a specific time frame prior to the wedding incase they’re traveling for the wedding. To be on the safe side, reach out to your seamstress in advance to ask what their turn around time is and what their availabilities are, to avoid any mixups, confusion or delays.

Difficult alterations may require multiple fittings with your seamstress to ensure that the fit is absolutely perfect for you on your special day, so be sure to set up when each fitting or appointment you might need will be so you’re able to plan ahead and make it to each fitting or appointment.

Every seamstress will have their own individual turn around time on alterations work. At Euphorie Studios, our team of seamstresses only require approximately two weeks turn around time for alterations. While it’s definitely possible to carry out alterations in less time, this time frame gives us the leeway to make sure our work is at the highest quality and is delivered on time for your special day.

If you have any other questions or want to reach out to us about wedding dress alterations, please read through our alterations page here and get in touch!

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