I find people have many similar questions regarding bridal alterations, so if seemed useful to put together some information that may helps make things clearer on how I work and what to expect.
When do I need to get my dress altered?
I usually start alterations 6-8 weeks before the event. Too soon and your weight may fluctuate, too late, and there isn't time to do all that needs doing. At some, quieter times of the year I can work with less notice, but it's unusual, and very much depends on you making yourself available. I can do the alterations earlier if you wish, however, once it's complete it's up to you to stay the same. Also remember more complex alterations will take longer.
Having said that please don't call with 6 weeks to go and assume I will be able to fit you in, it may be possible, however if your wedding is in peak season I'm likely to be at full capacity, many brides book appointments 6-12 months in advance.
You can check my availability for appointments on my online calendar. Please then call or email, to make a booking.
What do I need to bring with me?
Your dress, and and the bra you plan to wear with it (should you be wearing one). It must be the bra, not one similar. Different bras can give very different shaping, so please take some time before the first appointment to get the right one, and one that fits well.
Your bridal petticoat; not every dress needs one, or you may have chosen not to have one, however the shape and length will be affected by a petticoat or hooped petticoat and it is essential to bring it to all fittings.
Your shoes; much like the bra, they need to be the shoes you plan to wear, the heel height is obviously important if I'm shortening a dress, however so is the pitch of the shoe and any embellishment on it.
These are essential and without them I cannot proceed with fittings.
What happens at the fitting?
I will assist you into your dress, and shoes advising on the best way to put it on on the day. Once you are in your dress we discuss the alterations required and I will pin them. Checking with you as I go, how you want things to fit. Once I know exactly what needs doing I will give you a quote for the work, assuming that you accept the quote and terms and conditions we then arrange a follow up appointment.
At the follow up appointment the alterations I pinned originally will be tacked, with a temporary hand stitch, this allows us to double check everything and ensure that you are happy before I finalise the alterations by machine. Minor changes can still easily be made.
At your final fitting, the dress is complete, and you can either take it away, or arrange to have it steam pressed and collect it a few days before your event.
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes, in fact I encourage it. Please limit it to no more than two people as well as you though. My work space is limited. It's most useful to have someone at your second fitting, so I can demonstrate how to get you in the dress, how to tackle the corset lacing or buttons, and how to do up your bustle!
Please don't bring young children.
It's not a space I can make child friendly with all the equipment I have, and having both you and I distracted because your child is naturally wanting to explore all the exciting (and sharp!) items, is not ideal. I will work with you to try and make sure we can arrange appointments for when you have childcare.
How much will it cost?
This is the most difficult question of all, as it really does depend on what needs doing, details of the dress, it's construction, fabric and embellishment. I can give a ball park figure if you send me details of the dress, ideally with a link to the manufacturers page (as that gives me lots of seamstressy information).
Payment for your alterations is made at the second fitting, this can be by cash, bank transfer, or card payment. No further work will be done until payment is made. You may, of course pay sooner, or in part at the first fitting completing payment at the second fitting.
I hope that answers some of your questions, of course you may have more, email me at email@example.com or call 07748982805 and I will do my best to answer, and possibly update the page too!