Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wedding Dress Woes dress came in a few weeks ago.

Considering my bordering-on-obsessive love for wedding dresses (you'll notice that even though I haven't spoken about them in 5 months, I still have more posts on wedding dresses than anything else), you might be wondering why I didn't come to you screaming with joy that I could finally take my dress home.

Yeah, it doesn't fit.

I had been worried for a while that my dress was going to be too big.  When I ordered, I looked at the sizing chart, and I ended up going off of what the saleslady recommended because I assumed the sizing chart would be correct.  Big mistake.  It wasn't until later that I started thinking about all of the other 8s I had tried on.  Now, I know all dresses are different, but I have tried on quite a few more than most avid dress hunters (over 200), and not a single 8 has ever fit me.  Has even come close to fitting me.  In normal sizes, I'm usually a 4, sometimes a 2, and rarely anything bigger.  Ordering an 8 started seeming like a bad idea.

And when I tried the dress on, it was about a size too big.

Now I know what you're going to say:  it's better to have an oversized dress than an undersized one, and I can always get it altered down.  But if you're going to spend $1,200 on a dress, it really ought to fit somewhere.  Even in the waist, which was supposed to be the one place where it would fit perfectly, was still about a size too big.  The bust might need to go down more than that.

To Elegant Lace's credit, it wasn't as much of a pain in the ass as it could have been to talk them into altering it down for me for free.  But now I have a dilemma.  If I do my alterations there, they'll alter the bodice to fit me, and I'll have to pay to shorten the skirt and for the bustle.  However, if I do my alterations elsewhere like I was planning, they'll only alter it down to a 6.

I don't want to do my alterations at the bridal store because I know it will be more expensive than elsewhere.  But at the same time, if the dress it altered to a 6, I might need to have the bust taken in still more, and apart from the extra expense, I don't know how well the dress would hold up to multiple alterations in one area.

So now I need to find out what prices would be like at other places which means I need to find other alteration stores that can handle wedding dresses which would be a pain in the ass even without the time constraint because how the Hell are you supposed to know how good someone is with formal wear without seeing them in action?  It's frustrating because I wasn't counting on having to do this yet, and I have other time-sensitive things that I need to work on, but now I need to make a decision about this too.

I'm already leaning toward the bridal salon though.  Since I won't have to pay for them to alter the bust, the price gap will probably be smaller, and I'm afraid of hiring someone who isn't good enough.  It would not be the first time I'd had a formal dress altered poorly.

I'm also frustrated because the wedding dress used to be my favorite part of planning, but between this and my 2 dress bride experience, I just want the whole thing done with.

I so, so wish my dress had a corset back.  That would solve all my problems.

Where did you do your alterations?  And if you don't mind saying, how much were they?  Anyone know a good seamstress in the Bay Area?  Or really, in Northern California in general?


  1. Can you have the bridal salon do the bodice alterations and then take it somewhere else for the the hem/bustle?

  2. Unfortunately, no. If I go elsewhere, they'll only alter it down to a 6.

  3. I took my dress to an independent seamstress who worked out of her home (with a recommendation from someone I knew). I was so happy with the work, and paid about 1/4 of what the salon was going to charge me.

  4. I took my dress to a local tailor in Ontario and had it shortened and bustled for about $100. It turned out perfectly! I don't know about more complicated alterations; you probably need a professional for that.

  5. Wait, I don't understand what you mean "elsewhere they'll only alter it down to a 6." They're not altering it based on your own measurements? What kind of alterations place is this? I've never heard of alterations folk/seamstresses even working in sizes because they vary so much - you go in, put the dress on, they pin where it needs to be, and they sew until it fits (with you coming back for possible fittings in between).

    Why can't you have Elegant Lace do what they're willing to do for free and then go to a seamstress and have them do whatever else needs to be done. I know that any alterations place should be able shorten it and add a bustle easily. Also, I second that you should look for an independent seamstress working from home - just check reviews online. After having some major mis-communication and language barrier issues with my bustle, I took my dress to a lady's home at the very last minute and she was absolutely amazing!

  6. @Laura: Elegant Lace will only alter it down to a 6 if I get alterations elsewhere. If I do alterations there, they'll do the bodice to my body for free.


Classy Wedding by the Sea