Your wedding dress alterations Q&A with Tina Waller
I have seen a dress that I like but I want a few changes, what should I do?
If you want to make more than one or two big changes to the style, then honestly ask yourself if it's really your dream dress? Taking the dress in or taking a hem up is fine but if, for example, you don't like the neckline, want to change the skirt shape drastically, etc. Then maybe this isn't the wedding dress for you. Also, be wary if the dress needs taking down more than 2 dress sizes. I know it might seem like a 'star' buy, but it's often difficult to get a good fit. Most dresses get taken in at the sides, so think how that will affect the style - will the shoulders now fall off, will the bust seam move too far to the sides, etc. If you are not sure..........ask a wedding seamstress for advice!
When should I book in to have my dress altered?
Always! If possible, book your alteration fittings in advance, do not wait until your dress has arrived at the shop. You should be given an approximate date for when your dress is due to arrive, so book in for just after that. "We" seamstresses get very busy during wedding season so make sure you don't miss out. Work out a time plan for starting and finishing that suit you, ideally, I like the first one about 3 months before the wedding date.
I bought my dress a while ago and now it’s too tight, can it be let out?
Sometimes a dress can be let out a small amount, but a seamstress would need to advise to be sure, i.e. check the size of the seam allowances, look at the beading or lace. If the zip won’t do up converting it to a ‘corset’ style back might be an option.
I need the hem taken up, but it’s got a pretty lace edge, will I lose this, and will it affect the train?
Not at all, the lace edging can be removed in most dresses and ‘moved up’ to the correct length so do not worry! And it shouldn’t affect the train as the hem will be taken up at the front and around to the sides as needed.
Should I wear a hooped underskirt? But I don’t want my dress to look like a‘meringue’!
Some dresses just need a layer of petticoat netting (or 2!) to boost the hemline. There are many underskirts to choose from and one I sell a lot of is a plain, fuss free version with a small hoop and NO netting! It often gives support to the lower skirt of the dress without adding tons of extra volume. Plus it keeps the layers away from your feet to make walking about a lot easier!
My Bridesmaid Dress/es will also need adjusting when should I arrange this?
Always book in advance, sometimes it is difficult to squeeze in these fittings during the busy wedding season.
Do I need to wear a bra?
If you feel happier wearing a bra and your dress neckline allows it, i.e. the bra cannot be seen! Then certainly try it out. Always get your bra fitted and make sure it is quite plain and smooth, skin tone is best too. Most dresses have 'bra cups' already sewn in, but sometimes they do not give you enough support or oomph! A bra might help and give you more support and confidence. I can also sew in special 'boosting' bra cups to help with the shape and fit, these are very useful with low backed dresses. A seamstress will always advise what's best for you and your gown.
I haven't got my wedding shoes yet; can we still do the fitting?
You will need them really and they should be worn at all your fittings. For the first fitting you could get away with wearing a pair of similar height to those you plan to buy, but for the last two fittings, your actual 'wedding shoes' should be worn. This applies even if you don't need the hem taken up because, shoes in my opinion effect your posture and how the dress sits on your body.
What can I expect from my fitting appointments with you?
1st Appointment- I will pin and fit your dress and discuss anything else you would like done.
2nd Appointment- The alterations will be partially completed allowing me to check the fit and alter further as necessary. This is the important one for me, not to be made too far in advance of your wedding or too close!
3rd Appointment- The alterations are finished, so you have a final try on and collect your dress.
NB. You should expect your final fitting to be 2 to 4 weeks before your wedding day and this is also when you would be taking your dress away with you!
Get in Touch
If your wedding dress requires alterations, why not call or email me to have a chat about your requirements. I am always happy to help!
Please contact me on 01628 624340 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you interested in having your wedding dress designed? You can also speak to me about my wedding dress design services. I will work with you to help choose the most flattering styles, the most suitable fabrics and guide you through the whole designing and making up process creating your dream dress.