Have Sewing Alterations Done By The Right Person For Your Wedding Gown!

Bride at alterations fitting

When it comes to having sewing alterations done to your wedding dress you need the right specialist. Most of you will use the seamstress that works at the bridal salon.

But there are circumstances that will cause some brides to look elsewhere for a sewing professional like...

  1. You bought your gown out of town.
  2. You are using a pre-owned wedding dress.
  3. The alterations cost too much at the bridal salon.
  4. You have fitting issues that were not fully addressed at the salon.
  5. The bridal shop cannot get your alterations done when you want them.
  6. The bridal shop will not do your alterations because you didn't buy your gown there.

The above are the most common reasons for needing to find someone to alter your bridal gown. But which sewing professional should you choose for such a delicate job.

There are several categories of sewing specialist. You could choose a tailor, dressmaker, a cleaners seamstress or an alterations specialist.

Who Should You Choose To Do Your Wedding Dress Sewing Alterations?

Bride fitted for alterations

You want to choose a sewing professional who has had a lot of experience with altering wedding dresses.

It is best to pick someone who specializes in wedding alterations for bridal gowns and other formal clothing, or at least do a large amount of wedding dress alterations as part of their overall alterations business.

It is really hard to say how many years of experience a sewing professional should have in doing sewing alterations for wedding gowns. What you need to know is how much of their total sewing experience is based on altering bridal gowns.

"A sewing professional that specializes in altering wedding dresses for 3 years doing at least 25 or more dresses a year can actually be more experienced than someone who has 10 years sewing experience and only do 3 gowns a year. So the years as well as the number of gowns they work on average a years need to be considered."

You also can't automatically assume that the bridal shop seamstress is qualified to alter your wedding gown. There tends to be a lot of turn over in some bridal shops and so they have to hire people and teach them on the job. For this reason some brides are planning a head of time use a wedding dress alteration specialist instead of the bridal shop seamstress.

Where Can You Find A Wedding Alterations Specialist

Where can you find a list of possible sewing professionals?

  • Ask any friends or family members for referrals, especially ask brides who have had a recent wedding.
  • Next you want to do a search on the internet or in the local phone book for possible candidates. Focus on those who say in their ads they alter wedding gowns. Search the categories for tailors, dressmakers and alterations.
  • Those that have websites usually take their businesses seriously. They put on their website information to educate you about their services. Pay close attention to those businesses that reach out to customers before they met with them, answering questions on their site before clients have to ask. That's a good sign that they will give good customer service and of their communication skills. They want to connect with their customers.
  • Some of your local fabric stores may have business cards of local seamstresses or will give you a recommendation.
  • Look for reviews online for the shop, business or under the seamstress name to see how others rate their work.

If you can't get the information about the sewing professional from their website, you can do a preliminary interview over the phone or you can schedule an appointment to meet with them. It they cut you short or rush you off the phone... don't patronize their business.

You can also access this directory for the Association Of Sewing and Design Professionals to find someone in your area. These sewing professionals take their craft seriously and conduct their business in a professional manner.

What Questions Should You Ask?

How can you pick someone who is qualified to work on your gown?

Some sewing professionals have websites that will give you most of this information you need to know about their qualifications and service policies.

But sad to say... most sewing professionals don't have websites or they only have what is termed a "brochure site", one with just sketchy information.

If they don't have a website, you will have to interview them over the phone or in person. Here are 10 questions you need to a sewing alterations specialist:

  1. How much experience do they have working with wedding gowns?

  2. What are their starting prices for taking in sides, shortening dresses and doing a bustle?

  3. What time frame do they need to complete your alterations?

  4. How many fittings will you need?

  5. When they quote a price is it firm or do they go up without notice?

  6. What forms of payment do they accept?

  7. Is a deposit expected, if so when do you pay it, and how much do you pay?

  8. Do they press or steam the gown? If so, is there a charge?

  9. If you were not able to see reviews or a portfolio of the sewing professionals work, ask for referrals.

  10. Do you get to try on your gown when you pick up your dress?

The other thing that is important is that you must be able to communicate your wishes accurately with the sewing alterations professional.

Misunderstandings and mistakes happen because of not verbally communicating well. Make sure that the alterations being done to your dress and the prices are in writing.

Someone that has been in the business a while will be able to answer these questions to your satisfaction.

  • You should feel confident in who you use to do the sewing alterations to your gown.
  • If you run into a sewing professional who is reluctant to answer your questions or have an attitude.... then take your business somewhere else.
  • If you don't get a good vibe from the seamstress... look elsewhere. You may have to be willing to travel out of your local area to find someone. But if you find the right person it will be well worth the trouble.

How You Avoid Becoming A Victim Of A Horror Story...

It's simple... DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!

  • Follow the advice mentioned above.
  • Interview several sewing professionals and don't focus only on comparing prices, but note the services and skills they will use in your behalf.
  •  If you are willing to do this up front work and give it the attention it deserves.... you will not be a victim of a horrible wedding dress alterations experience.

Peace of mind means everything. You invested a lot of money when you purchased your wedding gown. Right?

So make sure that whoever you choose to do the sewing alterations on your wedding gown will do a fine job with it.

This is advice goes for whether you choose to use the bridal salon seamstress or a sewing alterations professional who owns their own business.

Now as I mentioned before... you may have to be willing to travel a distance to find someone who is qualified to do the sewing alterations you need on your bridal gown. But it is worth it, if you want to feel confident in the person taking care of your dress, and to have peace of mind.

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