Interview with Bridal Seamstress & Dressmaker Sarah

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to sit down with our in-house seamstress, Sarah,  to hear about her career in bridal and her advice to brides. I hope you enjoy the interview! 

When did you start altering clothing?  

When I was 7 years old. My grandmother taught me how to sew. I've been altering and making clothing professionally for 22 years old professionally.  

Why do you like to work on wedding dresses? 

I love beading and lace. My favorite lace is Guipere lace from Italy. I love pearls and Swaovski beading. Swaovski beading is really nice to work with over a glass bead or sequin.  For 14 years I've been working on wedding dresses, prom, and evening wear.  

Why does a bride need alterations? 

Because the designer has one pattern in each size 6, 8, 10, and so on. But the body is different. You may need a 12 on top, 10 on the waist, and a 6 on the hip. Alterations are what forms it to the body. The alterations are what makes the dress fit. 

How many fittings are needed?

If the dress fits and only a hem and bustle are needed then its two fittings. If the dress needs to be tailored, you may need up to five fittings. I recommend starting 4-6 weeks for alterations. Some dresses are more complicated than others.  Lace and beaded dresses take more time. Altering a dress can take 10-30 hours of uninterrupted work. The more beading the longer it takes. 

Do some dresses not need alteration?

This is possible, but most dresses need at least a bustle. If a bride is doing a wardrobe change for her reception than she won't need a bustle. The bustle allows you to shorten your train for your reception so you can dance comfortably. 

What do brides need before starting wedding dress alterations?  

The right shoes and the bra. If you plan on dropping weight, it is best to drop the weight before starting alterations.  is going to drop Shoes are very important. Once the hem is cut, there is no going back. 

What if I want to change to shorter shoes after the ceremony?  

We pin the dress to fit the highest heel. Once it's pinned, I show my clients the length with both heels. This confirms she is okay changing into shorter heels for the reception. We can hem the dress any length, but know when you change your heels the length will change. 

What happens if the bride drops weight between fittings?

All the work has to be redone. It can add more time and possibly cost.  I don't recommend dropping weight in between fittings. Be at your goal weight before we start altering the wedding dress. . 

What cannot be altered in wedding dresses?

Just about anything can be altered. It's important to communicate what you would like in the first fitting. 

Does a wedding dress need to be steamed on wedding day?

Take the dress out of the bag 2-3 days before the wedding. When it is hanging, the wrinkles will fall. If the dress has multiple layers or silk layers, it will need to be steamed. I recommend steaming the inner layers in case your steamer leaks. This will prevent spots on the outside of the dress. 

Still have alteration questions? Give us a call, we would love to chat, 407-960-5225

Tali