Attire & Accessories Forum

Alterations Disaster!

So, I went to get fiited for my alterations today at Davids Bridal. My body isnt really proportional. My hips are slightly on the curvy side... and since my dress is fitted my waist and bust areas need to be taken in a bit. Also, I was going to add a bustle to the bottom for the reception. I dont want people stepping on it or get it dirty by having it drag along the floor. Anyways, after she is finished with placing all the pins she informs me that it will total up to $292.00... my jaw dropped! I couldnt believe it. 
I already spent $499 on the dress, and with the bra, slip, veil, and shoes it all came to total about 750 dollars. I didnt think alterations would be that expensive. All in all, the dress would come to be about $1000, way over budget.

Without thinking I really had a choice, because I mean, it has to be taken in, I agreed to pay $165 today and will pay the rest later. Well, my fiance flipped out about the price and needless to say, I had to call DB back and cancel the alterations and I am going tomorrow morning to get a refund and pick up my dress.

Well, my fiances mom says she knows a woman who does alterations... for shirts, pants, suits, and formal wear.. but I am a bit leery. This lady works at a shop in a bad section of town.. and is kind of "back woods" type... but his mom told me she has been doing alterations for 20 years, butttt I mean, jeans and suit alterations are a lot different from wedding dresses! Atleast at Davids Bridal backs up their own work. What if this lady tries to alter my dress and get everything all wrong! Then I am out of more than $1000 dollars!

What should I do? Should I let this woman work on my dress, since she is cheaper? (not like I would have a choice I guess though, :/)

Re: Alterations Disaster!

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    Thanks! I just have to find a way to tell the fiance and his mom, in a polite way, that I want to check out other seastresses. 

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    JoeAnne2013JoeAnne2013 member
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    edited June 2012
    Just meet with the seamstress your FMIL suggested and in the meantime look into others yourself. You should not automatically write the suggestion off because of the side of town the shop is located on.
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    edited June 2012
    My DB's alterations were only about $95, which included tightening the halter top and putting in the bustle. Fortunately, I was able to afford that since there weren't a lot of alterations to be made, but it did seem pricey! I didn't want to to deal with searching around for a local seamstress that could be trusted, so I just went with DB. If it had been much more money, I would have been forced to look elsewhere.

    You could look for a local wedding dress seamstress, but you will most likely find that as soon as you attach the word "wedding" to a business, they raise their prices. So . . . your best bet is to keep searching if you have the time, but accept that you might have to go with this lady that you mentioned.
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    Ohh no I didnt mean to seem as though I am coming across as judgemental about the side of town the shop is located in. I suppose it did come across like that though. What I meant was that the ladys shop was kind of run down.. and doesnt get much business. The business that she does get is mostly jean and etc... but Idk.. I will go back Monday with my dress and ask her to price it for me.Thanks!

    And, 2012FutureMrsB, thanks! I wish mine only cost that much! Apparently its like $50 for the first three points (for the bustle) and $7 for each one after. I had 14 all together, so its like $127 just for the bustle! 

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    edited June 2012
    It's so dear . If I were you , I'll cancell that too. But I'll order one online as I know one webiste which sells cheap replicas and can make the dress according to your measurements .
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    I would look for someone that does wedding dresses.  I have a tailor/seamstress that I use for hemming pants and stuff but they don't do wedding dresses, so I went somewhere else. Check your local board, someone there may have recommendations for you.

    BTW, my alterations cost me $300!
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    The only alterations I needed were the bustle.  She charged $10 a point (I had 9), so your bustle charges seem reasonable to me.

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    avoid DB alterations. yes PP are right - they're pricey.

     all in all your alterations sound fairly reasonable. the more work you do, the more expensive it is.  bustles and hemlines are fairly cheap (total usually under $100), but once you get into more complicated bustles or alterations to the bodice, the price goes up fast.  $292 sounds pricey -- i wouldve expected more like $170ish.

    take your dress to other bridal salons to just get an estimate of the work. use Yelp or other sites to check references and reviews.
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    kaos16kaos16 member
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    I got a very bad vibe from DB alterations department, like many PPs.  What I did though, was post on my facebook asking for bridal alteration suggestions.  I got a few from local recent brides and picked one.  It is turning out much cheaper, and better, than DB.  Asking on your local board could have a similar effect.
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    I researched other seamstresses and wound up going with DB because they were cheaper and will back up their work- for instance, if they screw it up, they will reimburse you/reorder/etc. If you go to an outside seamstress, though, and they mess it up, there's no insurance from DB once someone else alters a DB gown. My alterations from DB were $330 for a corset back, taking the dress up about 6", and restructuring the bustle because of how the corset is going to change the shape. There is beadwork on the bodice, multiple layers on the skirt, appliqued be honest, the price was more than reasonable for my area, I thought (a highly recommended seamstress in my area was ballparking my alterations and figured to charge $500- and that wouldn't include cleaning the gown, which DB includes.) I think since DB is a chain, things like service and other aspects are going to vary from location to location. I have nothing but good things to say about the one I went to but I know that's not everyone's experience. To be honest, there's no shortage of great seamstresses in the NYC area- I feel like if one of the seamstresses at my DB actually sucked, she wouldn't be working there anymore, period. OP, I would definitely research the prices in your area for the work you want done and see if you can find a better deal. I totally get not wanting to pass 1000 on the dress, I'm in the same situation!
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