Upon purchasing your dream wedding dress you are usually offered alteration services at the store or you receive a recommendation to an alteration boutique.
What happens if the store doesn't offer alteration services or don't recommend anyone to you? What happens if you purchase your wedding dress from the internet or you purchase a pre-loved gown?
You will began the search for an experienced seamstress like myself. This can be frustrating, nerve wrecking and disheartening. It is your wedding dress we are talking about, you want to make sure that your seamstress knows what she's doing! Right?
There are many alteration shops all over the high streets of England, you might ask yourself "What's the difference between an alteration shop and a bridal seamstress or bridal alteration specialist?" They both do sewing and many times there is a wedding dress in the alteration shop window...
An alteration shop carries out work on a broad variety of products such as trousers, jackets, curtains, summer dresses amongst others. Believe it or not, I've started my alteration career in a shop just like that while studying footwear design at uni. Clients would always bring me their most cherished garments, however the alteration shops work quantity over quality. My boss was always frustrated with me, because I wanted to carry out the alterations on a way that it looks nice, and natural on the garment. This takes time.
A bridal seamstress is a specialist that only works on wedding dresses and garments related to the bridal party such as Bridesmaids dresses, Mother of the bride dresses, Mother of the groom dresses, or special occasion gowns and other high end evening dresses.
This means exposure to bridal brands and experience on many different wedding dress styles. Our work is much more time consuming, hence why the costs are higher. Most brands have their own signature techniques when it comes to pattern cutting and assembling dresses. A specialist would know what to do and how to do it on most designer wedding dresses on a way that it still looks natural. At the end of the day you want your dress to look untouched.
That is my aim with every single dress I get the privilege to work on; to adjust it on a way that you can't tell it's been altered. Let me show you what I mean...
Can you tell what I did to the dress below?
If you say "I think you changed the entire mesh on the back of the top and added a panel to the centre back of the skirt as it was about 2-3 dress sizes small" then you must be a bridal alteration specialist!
If you said "No idea!" then have a look at the images below.
Yes, this dress was too small on this lovely bride. This is a great example of a bigger transformation. Sometimes, you purchase a dress in a smaller size to encourage yourself to lose a few pounds, or perhaps if was on a sample sale for a bargain! Either way, know that it's now all lost, there are ways and there are specialists that can help you.
If you have any questions, or a specific issue or dress you would like to ask me about, please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org