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Altering an Older Dress

Hi everyone!

I was just wondering if anyone has had experience altering a dress. My aunt would like me to use her wedding dress and it would mean a lot to both of us, I'm just concerned about the cost. I've been told by one seamstress that her base price is $1500 and the extra material might bump it up to $2000. I just want to make sure this is the going rate for such a project. I could get a dress for much less than that, it just means a lot so I want to see what my options are. I've heard good things about Hollywood Bridal, but am unaware of their prices. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciates!

Re: Altering an Older Dress

  • That seems rather steep. Does it need a lot of alterations? Just sizing it to you? Or completely transferred into a new dress, but with old elements?

    (maybe see if you can participate in "Something blue"? )
  • Thanks, Anna. It does need a lot of work, more about taking things off like the big 90s sleeves and the multiple pounds of lace lol. There's also an applique that needs to be removed in the bodice and replaced with another. Luckily, she and I are the same height, but she had a cathedral-length train that needs to be shortened. I like the shape of it, so luckily that's not an issue and the seamstress said it's totally doable. I'm still just so apprehensive about that price sticker and I'm havin trouble finding other reputable seamstresses that will do it. Hollywood Bridal said they had no time for me :-/.

    What is Something Blue? 
  • It's a tv show on TLC, they let you take your old dress, then alter that to a new style. And then some guy takes you shopping for new dresses, you pick one of those. Then you see your heritage dress altered and then you get to choose which one you like best. It's pretty fun show!

    I would def shop around though to see if there is maybe a costume maker that can do it cheaper? 
  • Long time lurker but had to comment on this one. I'm wearing my mom's dress and I'm having a seamstress reconstruct it. By some miracle the dress basically fits me perfectly, it just doesn't match my vision. My changes sound similar to yours. The bodice supported, the train shortened, removing sleeves, and adding straps among other things to take it out of the 80's. A lot of work. The seamstress I went to said, ballpark $450/$500 for everything. 
    I think pricing will depend on the amount of work that needs to be done, fabric condition, what you want to add, etc. But the number you got sounds really high. Honestly, I'd shop around.
    Not sure where you are but I'm going to Silvia's tailoring in Metuchen. She has been a dream to work with so far. 
  • AnneNLNJ I would love to get on that show! I think it's called Something Borrowed, Something New, but I have no idea how to get on it lol, I'll keep trying though!

    And Knottie96720892 that sounds amazing! I'm going to check them out. I was reading reviews that the owner is rude, did you get that impression?
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