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Wedding Dress Alterations Cost - Buyer Experiences and Price Information


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Wedding Dress Alterations Comments


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independent seamstress Alvaton, Ky
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: PattyJo Murphy in Alvaton, KY.Posted: May 29th, 2009 11:05PM
I worked for David's bridal for awhile and see this an an invaluable experience. I was able to see that my skills are indeed where they need to be and it also reassured me that my prices were on tack for my area running between one third to one half less than David's Bridal. For me to compete with David's bridal I need to have benefits that David's can't provide.It's a bit scary sometimes especially when working on chiffon on a wedding gown. Ask your seamstress for references and examples of their work. This is hard work and can be nerve wracking at times for those of us who really want to have beautiful results and happy brides. My daughter recently married. I shortened her gown at the waist and removed one of the tiers while doing so. This was done so I could take the trim from the removed tier and pace it on the train that had been left completely plain for some reason. This was done on organza with thousands of stitches with transparent thread. Boning was added into all bodice seams and the zipper area was taken in. I designed bust pads for a perfect fit and placed these between the layers so as not to show inside the dress. When the dress was shortened it made the circumference at the waist too large to fit back on the bodice so the sides, all the layers, had to be taken in from the waist and tapering down. The bustle had loads of points. When all the strings were pulled it had the effect of ruffles at the bottom of the dress. It was like lifting a roman shade. Very pretty on the dance floor. If I had charged for the alterations it would have cost a bride over $1,000. Needless to say I don't advise my brides to get this many alterations. I'm thinking about offering the service of doing preshopping with the bride prior to her actual purchase day. This service could be invaluable to her to help her save on alterations. There are so many tricks to the selection process that can save money. God bless.
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my alterations
Amount: $420.00
Posted by: JK in Orlando, FL.Posted: May 12th, 2009 10:05AM
I have a silk gown by Piccione. It cost $1800. I was kind of surprised at the price of the alterations, considering I do not need much done- just a little taking in of the bust area and the bustle. The bust area cost me $110 per side ( so $220) the bustle was $200.It is a French bustle and it does not look right. I am going back to have her re-do it tomorrow. I am now questioning if she knows what she is doing and wondering if I should have gone to a private seamstress. I would like to have my MOH do my bustle since she worked in a bridal salon, but do not trust her to sew anything on my gown...anyhow- I love my dress and have to pay the cost of alterations, So, with that said, I would rather have someone with experience and pay for it, than just hiring someone cheap to save a few bucks and getting my dress ruined. This whole wedding thing is expensive.
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Independent Seamstress
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Miss B. in Ktown, MO.Posted: May 8th, 2009 01:05AM
I have been doing alterations for a new Bridal Shop in the midwest, I go and pin the customer, take it home do the alteration from my home , my equipment, supplies, etc. Now the shop owner wants ME to tack on a fee for her. I am not being compensated for the time I spend in the store for pinnings, or for running back and forth to pick up and deliver and making sure the fit is perfect. Do I owe the shop owner a fee for the work I am doing? She suggested I add more on for my extra time and I suggested she put in more on the price of dress rather than have me up my ateration fees for her cut. Does this make sense? She has stated she will not add more on to price of dress but expects me to add on to my alteration to give her a "cut". Please help me make sense of her request.
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alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Miss_Rebecca in Exeter, PA.Posted: May 3rd, 2009 01:05PM
Store: noneAlterations Made: take sleeves off, take in sides, shorten
OK, from what I am hearing from everyone, I am probably crazy and WAY under charging. I recently did a dress for someone who wanted the sleeves removed to make the dress sleeveless, taken in on the sides, shortened 6 inches (it had to be done from the waist since there was cut-out embroidery along the bottom of the dress)and a bustle with 5 points. I only charged $100. Yes, I'm sure you are all gasping now, but that's what I charged in the Northeast. I would like to know what you brides would be willing to pay for these alterations. I had three fittings on her by-the-way. One to see if the sleeves could be removed and take in the sides, one for the hem after the sides were taken in, and a final check on the bustle.
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Pricing
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Miss_Rebecca in Exeter, PA.Posted: May 3rd, 2009 01:05PM
Store: SeamstressAlterations Made:
I am an independent seamstress that works out of my house. For Bobbi in Bountiful UT, I tell everyone, to never buy a dress that is too tight with the hope of making it fit. Can it be done, most likely. Should it be done? Probably not. There is approximately one inch that can be let out on each side seam of the dress. Keep in mind, that you have to leave a minimum of a one-half inch seam on each side for stability and the keep the fabric from crinkling. If there is lace or beading around the waist line, this will no longer meet on the sides when it is let out and will have to be dealt with, and if there are sleeves on the dress, they will also have to be let out. I have had instances where the dress is 6 inches too small and I was able to add fabric, but it is almost impossible to get a perfect match. Bottom line is, this would be a very expensive alteration, so unless you got an unbelievable price on the dress or it is the dress of your dreams and you have to have it, I would strongly suggest against it.
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Needs to be let out
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: bobbi in Bountiful, UT.Posted: April 21st, 2009 02:04PM
Store: Bride ShopAlterations Made:
I have a question. I purchased a dress that is 1 full size smaller than I am, with the hope of having it let out. There is about an inch of give on both side seems. Is this do-able? How drastically can most dresses be altered, and how obvious of a change would 2 inches make? Enough to be one size larger when finished?
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question
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Rachel N in laurel, MS.Posted: April 19th, 2009 04:04PM
I an planning to buy a wedding dress but the one I want is a zipper and I want to see how much it would caust to have a corset put in instead?
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wanted to add lace
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: lyetxia in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: April 15th, 2009 09:04PM
Store: in need of one in twincities, mnAlterations Made:
I have an allure bridal gown style 8633 and I needed to shorten it about 3-4 inches. I also was wondering how much it would be to add some lace all around the hem. I really love my dress, but want to put some lace on the bottom. If anyone has any clue how much that would be and where I could get that done in the metro area in MN that would be great. The price isn't really any issue to me if it's a perfect job. I also agree that you get what you pay for, I'm willing to pay for perfection.
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alterations professional
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: seamssewfine@hotmail.com in Decorah, IA.Posted: March 5th, 2009 05:03AM
Store: Seams Sew FineAlterations Made:
I am an independent seamstress that works out of my home. Your cost will depend on the area you live, and expect to pay the seamstress a minimum of $20-$30 an hour. People have no idea the time it takes and think it should be cheap. We do this to make a living. Certainly not for our sanity! You get what you pay for. I am constantly having brides call and their first question is how much? Brides, you need to ask what is your experience? There are all kinds of people out there that call themselves seamstresses and I wouldn't trust them to sew on a button. Get a referral. Then you are sure to be pleased with their work and she will give you an estimate b-4 you start. WE have a talent and an expertise that is a dying trade. Be appreciative of what we are doing for you and be sure to recommend your seamstress to others when you are pleased. I do alterations for a bridal store in town. They do the fitting and I take the dresses home and do the sewing. It has worked out great for nine years. I also have people come directly to me.
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Find seamstress
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: needseamstress in Lebanon, PA.Posted: March 4th, 2009 07:03AM
I want to find one of these great independent seamstress' like on here.. but they are all too far away. Anyone recommend someone in the Central Pa/Harrisburg PA area? moe@moerock.com
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Unbelievable costs
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Dianne in shock in Rocky Mount, NC.Posted: January 31st, 2009 05:01AM
Store: Dianne's bridalAlterations Made:
I own a Bridal Salon in NC with 2 full time alterations experts on staff. We are constantly being screamed/cussed at for the prices we charge for alterations! But after reading these posts...I need to raise my prices!! Our standard hem charge for a wedding gown is $50 and up, a bustle $35 & up, taking in the side seams, $20 & up. We get a lot of girls who buy their dresses at Davids, then want us to alter them due to prices there, but fortunately we are too busy with our own customers to accept these dresses. I just received an email from a customer complaining about paying $45 for a hem on a tulle ball gown!!!!! I'm printing out this website posts and giving it to all my whiny customers...after I raise my prices and give my ladies a raise!! We have NEVER had a bride pay more than $200 total for alterations..and that was with an almost remake of the dress to fit her after she continued to gain weight!!!
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alterations
Amount: $705.00
Posted by: MayAVBride in Rancho Cucamongo, CA.Posted: January 7th, 2009 10:01PM
Store: Alfred AngeloAlterations Made: hem, sides, bustle and sash
I purchased Alfred Angelo Style 1149 and am being charged $285 for the hem, $80 for the bustle, $130 for the side seams, and $200 for fabric and the work to make a gold sash instead of the black one. I'm in shock and am taking the dress elsewhere to an independent seamstress.
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what value do you put on your dress?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: christy/ professional seamstress in Monroe, NC.Posted: November 3rd, 2008 07:11PM
You will probibly pay a professional to do your hair, nails, make-up etc. Why not take your dress to a PROFESSIONAL and be willing to pay her what she is worth?
P.S Your seamstress will spent MUCH MORE time on your gown than the hair-stylest on your hair!!!!!
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Reply from a dressmaker/alteration specialist.
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Judith in Vienna, VA.Posted: November 3rd, 2008 04:11PM
I also need to comments something about this prices for 1,000.00 for alteration. That is a Rip-Off! I am a dressmaker and I have been spelializing in doing alteration for the brides to be's and beaded gowns you can see my website. To bustle on the pick up skirt I only charge $65.00 www.judithsboutique.com this price is too much If I would do all of these changes for you I would charge you to the max of 500.00 maybe less.I have a lot of overhead because of my commercial location and commercial insurance that is cover for my customers goods inside ny shop and I am in Vienna Virginia it is a high cost of living. There are many customers said that my charges are high but comparing to these womens charges my cost is very cheap.These women are giving a bad reputation for the alterations business.There are a lot of good women out there that take pride of what we do and charge a reasonable prices for these services.For me I love what I do and quality alway my best policy.You can also check my reviews at http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3722969943. If you don't have another person that can do alteration for you it is best to have the alteration done from the store where you purchased your gown from. WHY???? if the person ruin your gown you can hold the bridal shop to pay for your gown or give you another gown.
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Alfred Angelo Style #1816
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: April09Bride in Ansonia, CT.Posted: October 22nd, 2008 10:10AM
I was wondering if someone can tell if these alterations are possible on this dress. It's an Aflred Angelo style # 1816. I bought the dress as a sample and specifically asked the lady if I can have these things done and she said yes no problem. I went to a seamstress yesterday and told her what I wanted and she said she wouldn't reccomend doing it and if she does it will cost me close to $1000.
Here's what I want:
change the zipper to a lace-up back with really thin laces.
I think the boning in the dress has to be replaced because it makes me look flat chested plus I want to have the boning made longer bacause right now it stops right above my hips and looks really strange (I want it to come down about an inch below my hips)
And it needs to be taken in a little on the sides and might need to be hemmed (depends on how it looks once everything else is done because right now it just skims the floor with my shoes on but its not fitted)
The lady I went the only things she'd do is the taking in. I could deal with the zipper in the back but I don't like the way the dress fits with the boning being flat and too high.
I'm going to try to go back to the place where I bought it and see what the lady said this time. I'm just looking for some advice on if this could be done or am I being unrealistic?
Thank you.
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Alterations...
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: JoAnne Hopkins in central ohio, OH.Posted: October 13th, 2008 09:10PM
Store: ENNEAlterations Made:
I am a clothing designer, dress maker, and often I do 911 alterations on bridal/special occasion dresses...
A friend of mine who lives out of area recently planned a wedding and when it came time to have her alterations done she was astonished at the cost... She called me asking for advice. Her alterations were in the 200-300$ range which is not abnormal. When she called she really wasn't looking for objectivity she was looking for me to console her and tell her she was ripped off..This is what I told her...
I asked her what she makes at her job, she is a corp professional and makes a fine salary... then I asked her what she felt a fair price for her alterations was... her response was that she was looking for a 50-6-% reduction in price.. So I asked her if she felt she was fairly compensated for her work, she answered yes. Then I asked her if she was willing to do her job for less, she said no... So I asked her, if she isn't willing to work for 7-10$$ per hour why would she expect an alterationist to do so? She expressed I had a valid point...
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Alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Susan Griebel Owatonna, MN in Owatonna, MN.Posted: August 15th, 2008 11:08AM
I am a professional seamstress working from my home. I have managed a bridal shop and know the trade. It is easier to find someone to repair your computer than it is to locate a trustworthy person to alter your wedding gown. We are a dying art form. No two brides are the same nor are the alterations for gowns. I charge by the hour. I have worked on just about every type of fabric. Some are easy and some are not. By charging an hourly rate I feel this is fair to each customer. Alterations are necessary on fancy gowns. If you don't have the money in the budget select a gown you can afford. Find a seamstress you can trust. And thank her for a job well done.
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alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Michelle Nnolum in maple shade, NJ.Posted: August 11th, 2008 03:08PM
I am a independent seamstress working from home.
I do not have the overhead of a bridal salon or commercial space therefor my rates tend to be slightly lower than ones listed here. Alterations is a business where the professional is interested in making a profit just like a mechanic, plumber etc. most professional seamtresses charge anywhere from 20 -50 dollars per hr. for services which are very time consuming requiring hours of sew time not to mention fitting and supplies. I alter more special occasion dresses which are sometimes easier to alter than a wedding gown. Wedding gowns are more complicated no matter how much the gown cost, as a seamstress I consider it's complexity not it's cost. I hope this post gave a little more insight into alterations as a business and not a courtesy.
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Price of Alterations
Amount: $460.00
Posted by: Jancilyn Adams in Santa Paula, CA.Posted: August 8th, 2008 04:08PM
Store: Down the AisleAlterations Made:
I live in Southern California and just dropped my dress off at an independent seamstress I was recommended to. My dress has pickups to deal with so the bustle is probably complicated. My total came to $460. Is that about normal? I don't know what to expect when it comes to alterations. I felt like it was a lot but then again, it's getting close to my wedding so the big bills are freaking me out so I'm trying to save where I can!
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alterations
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Lori Ann in Walbridge, OH.Posted: August 4th, 2008 05:08PM
Store: Kaydee\'s Custom BoutiqueAlterations Made: Hem, bustline, and straps
I know a shop were you can get a dress shortened starting at $100.00. She does great work and is located in Walbridge, Ohio, here is her email (kaydeesboutique@yahoo.com). I have been told she is more affordable than David's Bridal. Hope that helps.
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PRICING
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: PersonalSeamstress.com in Beverly Hills, CA.Posted: July 19th, 2008 07:07AM
Ultimately, and unfortunately, in this business, it is true that in most cases you get what you pay for...most of the time.

While many brides are admittedly on a budget, overcharging by shoddy seamstresses/grab-and-run bridal salons is often the norm.

Consider having an independent seamstress of exceptional abilities review your needs and often you will find you can not only undercut retail prices by at least 40% but you'll receive quality and service the likes of which the full-service salons just can't offer.
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Costly Alterations
Amount: $410.00
Posted by: a user in Monrovia, CA.Posted: July 8th, 2008 02:07PM
Store: Yelena Bridal - MonroviaAlterations Made: Bustle, Hem, Bodice
I am surprised at how much it cost to alter my gown. I should I have asked about costs up-front and sought another opinion.
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from an 8 tp a 2
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: angie in springhill, FL.Posted: June 10th, 2008 08:06PM
Store: not sure yetAlterations Made: alot i assume
can dress be altered form an 8 to a 2 i love this dress it is an 8 i wear a 2 its a simple satin with a sash
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Rip-off!
Amount: $660.00
Posted by: Johnnypsgirl in Dallas, TX.Posted: May 6th, 2008 09:05PM
Store: Alfred AngeloAlterations Made: Bustle, Hem, Bodice
I went to alfred angelo because I purchased my dress there, thinking they would give me a good deal...not! They charged me 325 for the bustle (I have a pick-up skirt), 215 for the hem(it is one layer) and 120 (to take in the sides). I didn't realize how ridiculous this was until I told my girlfriends the price and they flipped! I'm going to try and get my money back and take it someplace else!
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Reply from a seamstress/alterations specialist
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Alexandra in California, MD.Posted: April 14th, 2008 01:04PM
I would like to make some comments on the post here. I am an independent seamstress/alterations specialist. I live in Maryland and I live and work at home, you can view my website--www.exquisitegowns.net. I honestly was astonished to see how much other seamstresses charge for the services that were mentioned on the posts (hemming, bustling, take-in, etc...). However, your location unfortunately affects the prices of the alterations. I have done those alterations and saved brides hundreds of dollars, that's because I work at home and I have no space to rent and I don't pay assistants, so the savings are passed on to my brides. If you will look at my website's price list, you will see the difference of the prices. Yes, Chiffon fabric is very hard to hem. If stretches and frays easily. For the Alfred Angelo dress 1238, I saw the design of the gown and it didn't look that complicated at all. I just hemed a similar gown for a client who needed at least 4 inches out of the hem but wanted to keep the length and shape of train (see picture in my portfolio). If you live in California or New York and get alterations done in the bridal salon, expect to pay more as you are dealing with a middle-man. I, however, was surprised when the independent seamstress that was still charged a lot for the hemming and bustling.

For Heather in Minot, ND, it is possible to replace the zipper in the back with lacing and loops. I normally charge around $75+ for that. That type of closure is more versatile as can control how tight or loose you want the dress on you. That's what I'm doing now with a custom-made wedding gown for a bride getting married in February 2009. She advised me in advance that she sometimes gains weight when she's stressed, so giving her a laced-up back closure would give more flexibility. However, that doesn't mean she can just let herself go and gain weight. The dress can only take so much. :-) I hope this helps!
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wedding dress dilemma
Amount: $300.00
Posted by: Heather in Minot, ND.Posted: March 9th, 2008 04:03PM
I recently bought my wedding dress and everything fit great on it, and now even though i have been watching my weight the dress seems to be a bit snug. does anybody know if it is possible to replace the zipper in the back with a lace up and roughly how much it would cost to do so. thanks!
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alterations
Amount: $700.00
Posted by: maritza clark in middletown, NY.Posted: February 13th, 2008 07:02PM
Store: davids bridalAlterations Made:
purchased a wedding dress for my daughter and i need some prices on alterations.
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dressmaker
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: lorraine taggart in belfast, Other.Posted: February 13th, 2008 09:02AM
am a dress maker and the prices do seem to much. but would you want your dress in the hands of anyone .
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I think I was ripped off?
Amount: $481.71
Posted by: TL in Lakewood, CA.Posted: February 6th, 2008 10:02AM
Store: Alfred AngeloAlterations Made: Hem & 8 bustles
I bought my dress from Alfred Angelo for $549 (style 1238 on the website). It's a fitting, strapless chiffon gown with beading on the bust on chapel train. I went to their seamstress who is an independent contractor. I just wanted a hem and the addition of bustles. She gave me a bill of $481.71. Is it just me or is this insanely too much? The breakdown is: $185 for the chiffon hem, $100 for the satin hem (which is underneath the chiffon), and 8 bustles for $160. Including tax comes out to $481.71.

I hear that chiffon is hard to hem, I feel that I was ripped off. I feel like an idiot now for not asking her about it, but she was rushing me because there were other girls waiting in line. Can anyone in the alteration business give me a reasonable price quote for this?

Thank you,
TL
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Wedding Dress Alterations
Amount: $450.00
Posted by: Judy R. Stark in Modesto, CA.Posted: January 24th, 2008 03:01PM
Store: David's BridalAlterations Made: Private Seamstress
I thought I was getting a great price on my dress, that is until I factored in alterations for the hem and bodice. And I wasn't thrilled with the alterations. The standard length on most wedding gowns is 58"-59". That means if you're 5'8 1/2" or shorter, you'll need to either wear a very poofy petticoat which will raise the dress hem by as much as 2", and/or wear high heels. A hem on a beaded skirt will start at $200, so it's less expensive to have the shop do the hollow-to-hem which is done by the manufacturer of the dress. If the bodice has a lot of beading, expect to pay at least $50-$100, if not more, to have it taken in. A bustle is another $50-$100 depending on the style. Bottomline, embrace the reality that unless you're 5'9 and have perfect proportions, expect to shell out another $250-$450 for alterations.
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