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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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I think I was ripped off?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Val's Alterations in Kelowna, Other.Posted: May 18th, 2010 05:05PM
Store: Val\'s AlterationsAlterations Made:
I am just replying to a girl who had alterations done to her Alfred Angelo dress. To pay almost $500 for hem and bustle is outragess!!! I am a professional seamstress and do those kind of dresses all day long and I am charging about $90-100 for this job. I am wondering how much are they getting paid an hour? $450? I think you should do something about it.
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Reality of alterations
Amount: $15.00
Posted by: Andrea D. in Chicago/Burbs, IL.Posted: May 4th, 2010 01:05PM
Let's be realistic, you get what you pay for when you got to someone working out of their home. But with working with a shop you have a business license to work with. How many times do you hear about a house going up in flames...? What do you do when your dress is in that house being worked on by someone without a business license. These people do not purchase fire insurance to cover the cost of your dress, nor do they pay taxes like you do. I have gone that route before and vowed that I would never do it again. Alterations run $15 to $150 on bridesmaids dresses usually (from what I have experienced in Chicago) and $25 to $600 on bridal dresses (from what my sister, cousin and I have gotten as quotes when we all were getting married). Seriously, patron your local small businesses that are specialists at what they do. And no, I wouldn't trust my social occasion/wedding dresses to a dry cleaner or someone working out of their house/basement....RED FLAG!
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Amount: $100.00
Posted by: jeri lee hollis in south haven, MI.Posted: March 30th, 2010 10:03AM
Store: Jeris Sewing RoomAlterations Made: all kinds
these prices i heard quoted here are totally outrageous and someone is making the bucks. maybe that is whay I am driving an old Buick. i have sewn for over 30 years and am a wadrobe specialist, I do not charge people outrageous prices, a hem is a hem. I have to live with my conconience or how ever you spell it. ged bless you ladies, Miss Jeri's Sewing Room
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: renae33 in minneapolis, MN.Posted: March 25th, 2010 08:03AM
Store: independent seamstressAlterations Made:
I am an independent seamstress that has worked for David's Bridal. Their prices are high because they have lots of overhead. Doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting good service or expertise with their prices.

I now do sewing from my home and can charge a lot less due to the fact that it's just me. I can give great service because I am not pressured into "making my numbers". I control the quality because it's just me and I am a perfectionist.

Independent seamstresses prices vary based on their overhead and/or greed. I don't discount the trade as I agree whole heartedly that it is a dying art and it takes great skill and talent to be a great seamstress.

I have seen many a "BAD" alteration jobs so get references. Everybody knows SOMEBODY that has had work done. Just because somebody knows how to thread a machine does not make them a tailor.
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Should i alter my dress or get a new one?
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: clarissa in montebello, CA.Posted: February 26th, 2010 10:02AM
Store: trinys special occasion dressesAlterations Made:
I had a wedding gown made with an a-line style skirt,and teh full dress itself is made of sating and is palin with no beading or lace, comletely solid white. The skirt covers my feet & its too long. I'd like to change the skirt into a ball gown style right above my ankles so my shoes will show?
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Prices for Wedding Dress Alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Shellene at Stitches With Style, LLC in Saint Paul, MN.Posted: February 24th, 2010 10:02AM
WOW! I must be crazy or just too nice! My current BASIC prices (may go up when I finish this 20 week business class but too much!) are $25 per layer to hem formals/wedding gowns & $15 per layer for the front only. And I'm good!! Bride's deserve the BEST for their day which is fair pricing,excellent work & top notch customer service. I say Brides do your research before going broke.
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Bridal Shop tactics
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Peg in Carlisle PA in Carlisle, PA.Posted: February 23rd, 2010 04:02AM
Store: Passion for FashionAlterations Made:
I worked for a well known bridal shop for years doing at home alterations. What I seen was brides dresses being ordered way too big with the size tags cut out when they come in. If your dress comes with no size tag that is what happened to get more money out of you. The big prices you are paying for gown alterations....the seamstress in most cases is getting half and the store gets the other half. That is how alterations at a dry cleaners work also. You can shop a exclusive shop but keep your eyes open and pay attention to the paperwork when it is filled out if they are ordering it, if you try it on and it fits, it should fit when it comes in and if you can buy it right off the rack and it fits, GO FOR IT! It is ashame that brides are so taken advantage of by shops and shops know you want it. Good seamstresses are out there, we love sewing not because its a job! A good seamstress won't touch a dress she isn't comfortable with in most cases. Remember you can always haggle the alteration price in the bridal store they want your business. Taking the gown out of the store to be altered is their nightmare!
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This is a BUSINESS!
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: maxiejax in Concord, NC.Posted: February 7th, 2010 07:02AM
Haircut - 20 minutes - $15 at Fantastic Sam's
Oil Change - 20 minutes - $20 at Jiffy Lube
Plumber - service call - $75 first hour + $50/ hour after.
Doctor office visit - 10 minutes - $60

Fittings - 20 minutes each - free
Thread, pins, ribbon, boning, horsehair, hem lace, interfacing - all free
Scissors and sharpening, dress forms, iron, steamer - free?
Have a shop? Rent, electric, cleaning - free?
Taxes (15% minimum), insurance (if you can afford it, and god forbid you have to replace a dress), retirement (what's that?), health insurance (what's that?), chiropractor (on the wish list), optometrist (try doing this with 40+ eyes) extra charge!
LOVE OF SEWING, FASHION, and BRIDES - PRICELESS! Now, how much would you charge someone for 30 hours work? How much do YOU make for 30 hours work? Kiss your dressmaker. She loves you.
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Rules for successful alterations
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Janet's Expert Tailoring in Panama City, Fl in Panama Cityl, FL.Posted: February 2nd, 2010 01:02PM
Store: Janet's Expert TailoringAlterations Made: Any
Good alterations and tailors are hard to find. A good seamstress is not necessarily a good alterations person. Sewing from patterns is different from altering an already constructed garment. Having an established relationship with your tailor will help, even if she does not alter wedding gowns she should be able to recommend someone who does. There are a few commonsense rules to make your experience a happy one. Rule #1- Buy your gown a little too big not too small. It is much easier and less expensive to take in than let out. Rule # 2- If you have an ornate, detailed or high dollar gown, have your tailor meet you at the store so she can give you a quote. Pay her for her time, it could save you big $$$. Rule #3- Get your quote up front. I always give a written quote to my clients. That way there are no hurt feelings or misunderstandings. Rule #4- Re-making a gown can be as expensive as the gown itself. Ask your alterations lady why an alteration costs so much she should be happy to go into great detail about what is involved. Think of alterations as surgery with out blood; it requires as much care and talent as a surgeon.
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From Straps to Sleevless
Amount: $850.00
Posted by: Bride2Be in Chicago, IL.Posted: January 26th, 2010 10:01AM
Store: Bridal MansionAlterations Made:
I just recently bought a dress from a bridal store that has straps on it - thick sholder straps. It forms a slight deep V (enough to give the illusion of cleavage) and hits the outer shoulder. I would like to make this a strapless dress now. How much would something like this cost me? The salon offers a cap of $240 for alterations. So that means whatever i do to the dress it's going to be a price of $240 - even if it's just a hem. LOL. So, should i stick to having them do it or should i find someone else who can do it for less. Oh, and the fabric is a tafetta and there is no lace or beading on it.
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Dress too small on top, too big in the bottom
Amount: $780.00
Posted by: ira in OC, CA.Posted: January 22nd, 2010 06:01PM
Store: custom alterationsAlterations Made: a lot
I bought a designer dress that is maybe about 11-13 years old. it's a beautiful dress, still in great condition, for $700. it was a sample dress. size 10, at the time, i couldn't even fit in this dress, but i had then since lost weight and is now able to fit in it but with wrinkles. i took it to this seamstress, for letting it out around the waist, taking it in around the hips all the way to the bottom using 4 seams, bustle, fixing the straps, and stitching the front from a scoop to more like a v-neck scrunch up, hemming about 5 inches or more and fixing the beading around the bust. I feel i'm being overcharged. i hope i'm wrong. I feel guilty for spending this much on alterations since the dress cost less than what i'm getting done to it. this prevents me from getting my reception dress altered now. And all im getting from this lady is that the dress is not made to fit my body. She's an older seamstress and I believe is so traditional. I wanted to make the dress a modified a-line from an a-line. is that so hard to do? from what i'm paying her, i think she should at least consider the idea.
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Wedding gown alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Steph in Fosston, MN.Posted: January 17th, 2010 05:01AM
I am a professional seamtress and it does me sad when I hear all the horror stories. Ladies, the rule of thumb when choosing a dress is to find the right fit the first time buying. You want to have as few alterations a necessary. If you are planning to lose a lot of weight before the wedding then wait to buy your dress.I know every bride wants to look excellent on their wedding day, but please be realistic. If you find a dress and want the impossible, then you should just start from scratch and have a professional design your dress. Independent seamstress's have very little overhead, especially if done from home. Choose your seamtress carefully, look in the phone book and always ask for references. If they get offended by this, please move on. Tell them what needs to be altered and get a price quote up front. Make sure they call you if they have to deviate from the quote. Ladies you get what you pay for. As a seamtress, this is my living. I need to charge for my talent as any professional would.
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Should have ordered a smaller size
Amount: $360.00
Posted by: caroline in Pittsburgh, PA.Posted: January 14th, 2010 07:01PM
Store: Alfred AngeloAlterations Made: hem 2 inches side seams in 1 inch bustl
What the heck is going on. My steamstress had the personality of a stone. Never explained why she was charging me this amount. I needed a size two and was ordered a four. I belive AA gets a kick back. Very very disappointed. I do appreicate the craft of a seamstress...but tell me why you are doing what you are doing.....some feedback....I was angry when I left...I immediately called someone else that was recommended. Also, she wanted me to pay that night...thank Goodness I did not have my CC....I love my dress.....I am grateful there are seamstresses out there.....I did not have one that was happy in her occupation....and believe me I am a very positve person and Look for the BEST in everyone.
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changing hem
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: MelindaR in NY, NY.Posted: January 12th, 2010 07:01AM
I'm contemplating buying a wedding dress that has a chapel train. I love the bodice of the dress and the full skirt but I'd prefer a sweep train or even a tea length dress. Is this alteration even possible?
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wedding gown alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: S&A in carthage, TX.Posted: January 2nd, 2010 12:01AM
Store: Texas-a high end boutiqueAlterations Made:
i'm a professional seamstress, its unbelievable how many people expect good work for very little money. Sewing is an art that is dying,it will cost more for the simple fact of knowledge not just the work and even then most of us still are not charging fully the time we have put into a gown for fear of we would seldom have business if we charged an hourly rate. ladies we trust a man to take care of our cars that we know little about yet because of our lack of knowledge we have to trust them. yes, there is unfair people thats why you should get references BEFORE you have someone do your work on a valuable object.this is a once in a life time exspence, use it wisely.
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Amount: $700.00
Posted by: STRESSED in PITTSBURGH, PA.Posted: October 14th, 2009 08:10PM
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Buy a dress that fits and save $$$$$
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Alterations By Christy in monroe, NC.Posted: October 14th, 2009 03:10AM
Store: Alterations Made: none
I am a professional seamstress in Monroe NC. My advice all brides is to buy a dress that fits you at the time of purchase. If you buy a dress that is two sizes too small or too large, you will put all the money you saved back in the cost of alterations. Sometimes you will pay more in the long run!
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Torn A New One By Alterations
Amount: $145.00
Posted by: JMS in Chattanooga, TN.Posted: September 24th, 2009 09:09PM
Store: David's BridalAlterations Made: Front Hem & Bra Cups Sewn In
After reading all the other comments I'm starting to think that David's Bridal sells reasonably priced gowns and makes their profit entirely on alterations. I wore a slim line chiffon gown (simple, yet elegant) and the cost to hem only the front of the gown was $120. The rest of the cost went to having what were practically shoulder pads sewn in for bra cups & after ONE wear the right one is hanging on by one thread.
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seamstresses advice
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Alterations By Christy in monroe, NC.Posted: September 21st, 2009 04:09AM
A dress can be taken in about four inches total without looking distorted. That is two inches on each side. If you take it in more than that, the bust seams or darts will be off and the neck will be too wide. You can't take all the extra fabric out of one or two seams. The dress was constructed in sections. If the front bust area was cut a size 8, you can't take the sides in to be a size two. It will look funny! It doesn't matter how much weight you loose, it matters how many inches you loose and it what area. If you loose more than four inches in your bust, you may want to look for another dress.If not you will be fine.
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about alteration
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: nonna in las vegas, NV.Posted: September 16th, 2009 10:09AM
iam seamstress,my recomendations; dont bay dress way too big or becose is on sale , dress can be little too big,it shood fit in some places chest or hip ,but not too small. then you will avoid expencive alterations , seamstress charges about $30-$60/hr, the more ditails,more work needs to be done, its all about time and skills, not every seamstress want or can do it.
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Alterations Norridge, IL Junior Bridesmaid
Amount: $60.00
Posted by: Sadly Not a David's fan in Norridge, IL.Posted: September 13th, 2009 09:09AM
Store: David's BridalAlterations Made: Hem front only
My mother wanted to buy the Junior Bridesmaid dress for my 9 yr old. She was advised alterations would be a minimal fee since so little was required on a 'simple' line dress. Only the front required hemming and we could have made due with the dress being the 1 inch too long. She was charged $60.00. This was more than 50% of the dress cost!! A child's dress...not a wedding gown. She was going to be charged a close-in fee since the wedding was within a few weeks but had to fight them since she was given the date for the 2nd fitting. Customer service was far from acceptable. This is supposed to be a happy experience. Our local seamstress does beautiful work and quoted between $18-28 depending on what was required. We opted for David's before we knew the whopping price. Perhaps we're behind the times with alteration prices. Many other posts seem to have more extensive alterations and/or difficult materials. My co-workers in the Chicago area are also quite surprised with the seemingly high cost. Word of mouth.....Thanks.......
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Ordered a big size
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Fern Morgan in Columbia, MD.Posted: September 9th, 2009 07:09PM
I am getting married in May 2010 and I found the dress of my dreams by Maggie Scottero. I ordered the dress in July and have already lost 15 pounds, I ordered a size 14. Is it possible to get a dress taken in if I lose a lot more weight? Or would it make more sense to see if I can get a different size?
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alterations keep going up
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: a user in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: August 31st, 2009 05:08PM
Store: Davids bridalAlterations Made: sides let out, skirt let out, hem, bustl
So i went to Davids bridal because they seemed fairly priced for wedding dresses. My budget was about 300 and I ended up getting one for 450 with the help of my parents. They didn't have a size 16 in the dress i wanted, just a size 14 but it fit well, just a little tight around the bust and mid section, but it zipped up. I had the sides let out and the skirt let out at top and that cost $90. seemed steep but she did an excellent job and it fits perfectly. Now the dress is teensy bit too long and she wants to hem it. It looks much better pinned up but it's only a half inch or so, not much! but it's going to be $95. It's not a ball gown. it is two layers but it just the front since there is a train.

i don't really like my seamstress. She is pushy, cut and dry, and doesn't smile much. She did a great job on the dress, so i trust her, but i was scared to death at first.

David's bridal gave me a hard time about buying my dress and getting it altered about six weeks before my wedding day. I was assertive but polite and they seemed to respond to that. i don't know why they act like that. Do they think i'm going to change my date to suit their schedule? I work in advertising, where the job is about meeting deadlines. You work through the night to get it done if you have to. If i had more time, i would have researched other seamstresses. I'm satisfied so far, but i wish the experience went more smoothly. My advice is to be polite but don't be talked into anything. Don't be afraid to say no to your saleslady or seamstress. They sometimes forget you are customer, you call the shots and you write the check.
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wedding dress alterations
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Bjorne in Cape Coral, FL.Posted: August 6th, 2009 08:08AM
Store: Davids BridalAlterations Made: none
Im getting married September 26, 2009, I called Davids Bridal and told them i would be wanting my wedding dress altered, the lady screamed at me saying that "you shouldve been in here already!! it takes 6-8 weeks to do a dress!" (silence over the phone) i was about ready to hang up but then she said "could you come in tomorrow?" i said the weekend would be better. Now that I feel like a school child that has been humilated, I seek another alterations company. A Susies Bridal in Cape Coral, 20 years of experience and SUPER NICE on the phone, i mention my wedding date, and no "omg u shouldve been in here!!!" just says "ok what time would you like to come in?"....unbelievable how GOOD customer service can lower your blood pressure! Wish me luck with Susies, Im sure I wont be treated like a bad kid.
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Find a Dressmaker in New York, NY.Posted: July 21st, 2009 10:07AM
As an independent dressmaker and owner of a dressmaker referral service (, I think it is important to understand that there is no "standard" alteration, or standard alteration fee. The complexity of the design, the figure challenges of the bride, the type of fabric and structure of the gown, surface embellishments, the time of year (busy season?), the timeframe, what needs to be removed, replaced or repositioned to complete the alteration all must be cnsidered in establishing a quote for labor. It is a custom service, and has to be priced accordingly. You can always ask the alterationist to take shortcuts if you want to save money, but, keep in mind that it might not yield a result as elegant as what you are seeking. Hope this is helpful!
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Alterations in New York
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Rosemary in Bellerose, NY.Posted: July 20th, 2009 02:07PM
I had ordered my dress last September and the hollow to hem was done incorrectly so they are redoing it now. My wedding is in September and I still need to get alterations done. Macys is charging 250 just for the bustle, not including any other alterations I might need. Isnt that too much? Should I look for an independent seamstress?
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Is it worth it
Amount: $700.00
Posted by: Jimease in Jersey City, NJ.Posted: July 14th, 2009 04:07AM
I brought a dress last year and did not get married. I lost over 100lbs since then and is now getting married. The gown is a size 28 and I am now a size 10! Is it worth getting alterations done or just buying another dress?
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Alterations in Atlanta
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: d_vandell in Atlanta, GA.Posted: July 5th, 2009 06:07PM
I recently bought a gown but it needs to be shortened and taken in at the bodice. The gown has beading on the bodice and the chapel train. I'm looking for a professional and affordable place to have my alterations done. Can anyone make suggestions?
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Amount: $800.00
Posted by: Emilia in Clifton, NJ.Posted: June 30th, 2009 10:06AM
I just bought my dress in Pronovias, it was a sample sale and I had a great deal, paid 800 for the dress that was tagged 2750. It is too big for me, (size 8, I am a size 4), they told me I can have it fix for $300, which after reading your comments I think is going to be much more. I am trying to find someone in New Jersey, cause the manager at Pronovias gave me a taylor list from NYC. Hopefully I don't get dissapointed!!!
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: SewGal37 in Petawawa, Other.Posted: June 25th, 2009 02:06PM
Being an independent seamstress is not easy! Paying $50 just to have your dress hemmed is very reasonable. Having darts put in usually costs around $22 per dart. What the majority of woman seem to be missing here is that working with a garmet of ths magnitude is not as simple as hemming a regular skirt or pair of pants. Skill and expertise is required. Before having ANY alterations completed, make sure your seamstress can provide a quote and references. If not, keep looking. Buyer Beware, Ladies!!
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