Attire & Accessories Forum

Alteration Costs

I looked around my area for a seamstress with really good reviews. I called her this morning to make an appointment. I need a hem, bustle, and bust taken in on a three layer chiffon sheath. There is very minimal beading on the small of my back and the neckline. It's a halter with a mostly open back. She said about $400, but without seeing the dress it may be more or less. 

I have no idea if that's a good deal or not. I called the place I used to get a bridesmaids dress taken out over the summer but they wouldn't give me an estimate over the phone. I wasn't thrilled with their work and the place that quoted me the $400 doesn't have one bad review so I'd really like to use them as long as that doesn't seem astronomical. 
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Re: Alteration Costs

  • Can you ask around on your local board if that is the norm for the area, or if they have a seamstress they recommend? I think that sounds kind of steep, but the layers may be a factor.

    Independent seamstresses out of their home tend to be MUCH cheaper than those at a salon or boutique due to less overhead.

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Honestly the bust is what is making the cost high.  Doing a hem and a bustle is not very involved (unless you are doing a 20 point bustle which I doubt that you are).

    I would not rely on any quotes over the phone.  The seamstress needs to see you in your dress to determine what all needs to be done.  I would definitley chose an independent seamstress because they are typically less expensive.

    Not sure where around Baltimore you are from but I live in Bel Air and use a seamstress right off of main street who is pretty good and I think offers a decent price.

  • bridalmarchbridalmarch member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited November 2012
    I'm in the White Marsh area. This particular shop is in Hampden. Could you PM or post the name of the shop you're talking about? Bel Air is only 15-20 minutes. 
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  • I've been told that just to do the hem is $300 at my bridal salon.  So based on that, $400 sounds reasonable to me.
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It is called Bel Air Alteration Shop.  It is right off of Main Street in Bel Air diagonal across from the Shop Rite food store.

    My family and I have used this place for a long time and never had any issues.  She really gained me as a customer when I tried on my prom dress and it basically fell off of me.  I had lost a lot of weight and my dress was a size too big only 1 week before prom.  We rushed to the store and they were able to fix it.  This was 10 years ago but the lady who did the work is still there.  She has own this shop for many, many years.

    I will warn you that the look of the shop is not super appealing but as long as the work is done right then I guess that is all that matters.

    I have also used the seamstress that Amanda Ritchie bridal salon uses.  She is very good.  I had my dress done by her because that is where I bought my dress but her pricing is pretty reasonable.  I had a hem, bustle and strap moved and it cost me about $125 or so.

  • I would not recommend a seamstress out of her house, is she bonded and insured, what will stop her from leaving the store and taking your dress with her?   This happened to someone I know.

    I would recommend getting your alteration from a dressmaker/alteration shop or a bridal salon that does bridal alterations as part of their services.

    The cost quoted sounds reasonsable, don't skimp on the quality of the fit of your dress, you will totally regret it.  Experience on bridal gowns is very specific it is not like sewing any other garment. Good seamstresses are like artists and do not like haggle with their prices.

     Just my opinion.  Good luck to you.
  • The shop I got my dress from is about 2 hours away. This place is a licensed dressmaker with stellar reviews. 

    I'm going to check out that shop, Maggie. Thanks! 
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  • My seamstress is doing a 5 point bustle, taking it in, and completely redesigning the necklinetaking off the beading, adding on lace, and changing it to a sweetheart...and something else that I can't think of at the moment for 130
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  • I bought my dress in Ontario, Canada at a high-end store in a small town. I have been quoted that alterations will cost a maximum of $275. That is the maximum assuming that I will need full alterations so the store has told me that chances are quite likely that I will pay less than that once we figure out what alterations are needed.
    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
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