In my twenty plus years working with brides on bridal gown alterations, I have been asked to do almost everything that’s possible to do to a wedding gown. There aren’t many ideas that could surprise me, as I’ve done everything from upsizing, downsizing, cutting off the top, cutting off the bottom and various things in between!
During the coronavirus outbreak, bridal gown alterations have become particularly relevant for brides-to-be. There are currently many brides who, rather than cancelling or postponing their weddings due to the pandemic, are making the decision to downsize and go ahead with the wedding as soon as they can – albeit in a less formal way.
Now is the perfect opportunity to restyle a bridal gown you have already purchased, but might consider ‘too much’ for the downscaled event. It’s also a great way of adjusting the gown slightly if your wedding has been postponed by a year and you’ve changed your mind about the choice of gown.
Why do I need bridal gown alterations?
Every bride should be able to have the gown of their dreams, but it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. By combining your imagination with the skills of a bridal seamstress, the possibilities are endless!
But why would you choose a gown that needs so much restyling? Why not just buy a gown that already incorporates all your desired features?
There could be many reasons for this, from the sample gown having been discontinued and no longer available, to simply wanting the experience and service at a particular bridal boutique to continue permanently.
I often hear a bride comment that they loved the experience at our boutique so much that they were determined to buy from us, even before choosing the actual gown – such is the psychology of the wedding gown purchase! It’s always all about the service and the magic of working together to create something amazing.
Jane’s bridal gown alterations
A prime example of all this was a recent bride of ours, Jane. She knew exactly what kind of gown she wanted, and that she was going to buy it from Fross Wedding Collections. However, she didn’t find exactly what she was looking for on our rails, so her imagination started to create her gown from others she had seen before. When Fross introduced Jane to me, the dream became a reality.
Jane had chosen an allover lace gown with a sheer lace decolleté and cap sleeve shoulders, featuring buttons all down the back and a full skirt with petticoats.
She had always wanted her gown to feature a lace up back as she believed it to be more flattering for her waist, so I removed the zip and buttons and cut the back to create a lace up panel.
Jane’s ideas didn’t stop there though: she also wanted the gown to be strapless, so I added an inner corset layer with extra boning for support. To ensure the right amount of coverage – the bodice layer on a lace gown with a sheer top can be quite low cut – I raised the neckline all around and added the lace appliqué that had been removed from the top section.
After many hours of work and four fittings, it was ready: Jane’s perfect gown, perfectly fitted and perfectly finished. The combination of Jane’s imagination and my experience and skill made not only Jane’s gown dreams come true, but was another extremely satisfying transformation for me. This is an aspect of my work that I find particularly rewarding.
Written by Helen, Seamstress at Fross Wedding Collections