Since both you and your gown are unique, there is no magical number or price list that I can post. There are simply too many factors.
Costs are based on the combination of two things:
- The complexity of your gown. Unfortunately, not all gowns are created with the alterations specialist in mind. Some are very easy to take apart while others are not. Things that add to the complexity and cost of alterations (examples, not a full list):
- Beading and lace
- Lace appliques that cover seams (vs seams being exposed)
- Multiple structural layers
- Internal corset layers or underwire
- Several layers of skirt
- Each task that needs to be performed. For example, I will charge for taking it in, hemming, tightening straps, adding a bustle, etc.
If you would like a general estimate, please email me a photo of you in your gown and a brief list of what you think you needs altered. Detail shots of the lace/beading, side seams, hem, etc are helpful in getting a more accurate quote but not necessary. A lot of stores will clip your dress where it’s too big while you are shopping –if you have photos that show these clips, that can be helpful as it tells me where exactly it’s too big.
If you would rather do a consultation in person, we can certainly arrange that! At an in-person consultation you will try on your dress, we will go over exactly what needs to be changed, and I will give you exact pricing. For a consultation with the mobile service option, I charge a $50 deposit that will go towards your alteration fees but is not refundable.
Please contact me for more information on how to get an email estimate.
We will go over the exact charges at your first fitting and you will pay when you take your dress home with you. I accept cash, check, and all major credit cards.
Unless you specify otherwise, the default location for your appointments is my home studio. However, I do offer a couple of other options!
My Place – I work from my apartment which is near University Village/Ravenna Park. Since this is a home business, my exact address and other location details will be given out once your appointment is booked. This is the default option and is easiest to fit into my schedule.
Your Place – Schedule permitting, I am happy to come to your home for fittings– please see travel fees and more info about this in another FAQ.
Brides for a Cause (Seattle) – If you purchased your dress at Brides for a Cause we may meet there during their normal business hours of 10:00-5:00. (Our appointment times would be between 10:00-4:00.) No additional fees apply for this option.
I have been in business for myself for over 7 years now and over those years I have chosen to keep my business in my home because it affords me a great deal of flexibility in my professional and personal life. During peak wedding season I often work up to 80 hours a week and having everything in my home makes my life easier. I hope you appreciate the laid back ease of coming to my home as much as I love having it this way!
I am currently located in an apartment near Ravenna Park. The building is from 1969 and even though it has been updated, it has a lot of character. There is a funky mural outside and each unit is a lofted studio space with 20 foot ceilings.
Please note that the building is a walk up and I am located on the top floor– which even though there are only 2 stories, since each unit is lofted it makes the trip up the stairs a bit of a hike. There are about 45 steps in total and no other way to access my apartment. If this is an issue, I suggest the mobile service option of my business or please contact me if you have other arrangements in mind.
I also must mention that I do have a cat named Pigeon. She is the perfect companion to my home business because she couldn’t care less about the dresses–no scratching, climbing, or clawing has ever happened! During your visit, she will likely say ‘hello’ to you then go back to napping. I mention all of this to give fair warning to anyone with allergies, but I also have had several brides over the years with allergies to cats and they haven’t had a problem at all. Please let me know if you would like to chat about this further– I’d be more than happy to!
Even though I operate out of my house, I am licensed and insured as a business in the state of Washington.
A quick note: This business used to be almost exclusively a mobile service. This means I use to travel to my clients for their fitting, bring their dress home, sew it, take it back for another fitting, and repeat if necessary. Doing so meant I spent a lot of time traveling all over the city (and the surrounding areas!), coordinating all kinds of schedules, and overall it limited the number of clients I could take. In 2019, I moved the business to a location where clients could come and have their fittings, which now most people choose to do, but I still love being able to offer the mobile service for those who prefer that option.
You do not need to have anything special prepared for your in-home fitting. A full length mirror is nice so you can see yourself but not necessary for my purposes. I have done fittings in kitchens, bedrooms, walk-in closets, offices, and even an elementary school classroom! There really are no requirements– only you with your dress and shoes on!
Mobile service fees are calculated by distance from my studio near Ravenna Park to your house. We may instead meet at your work, a parent’s house, a friend’s house, etc. if you would prefer. I’m happy to accomodate a location that would work well for you.
The fees are per trip added to your final bill.
Using Ravenna Park as a guideline, you can check how many miles away you are.
0-3 miles: Free
3-6 miles: $20 per trip
6-10 miles: $35 per trip
10-15 miles: $50 per trip
15+ miles: subject to approval, generally not available during the busy season
Besides your dress, the most important thing to bring is shoes. Please, please bring the exact shoes you plan to wear with your gown. Bringing a pair of heels that is “probably around the same height” that you will end up wearing will most likely cause the hem of your gown to be off. If you do not have your shoes yet, please reschedule so we can pin everything at once.
Undergarments may include a strapless/corset bra, an adhesive bra (for backless or low back dresses), a crinoline slip, Spanx (or similar shapewear) or it may mean nothing at all. If you are unsure of what undergarments your dress needs, I’m happy to advise you at the first fitting. I have bra cups for you to try on at the fitting that can be sewn into your dress. Please see the next FAQ about bra cups for more info.
Bra cups are wonderful little things that help fill out and round the bust seams of a dress and are a great option for most, though not all, women. If you are someone that needs more lift or would like more cleavage definition then you will need a separate bra. Since bra cups are sewn into the dress and they aren’t pulled tight to your body (like a bra is), they don’t support you in the same way.
I have two styles of bra cups for you to try on at the first fitting. If they don’t do what you are hoping, then you can find a bra by the time of your second appointment.
Typically there are only two fittings, but I leave time for a third fitting in case some tweaking is needed. That being said, sometimes a complicated task can take a little bit longer but we will discuss this in person.
I suggest doing your first fitting around 2-3 months before your wedding, but don’t wait until then to make your appointment—call early and get an appointment set up as soon as you can as I can fill up quickly.
By starting 2-3 months before your wedding we will have your second fitting around 4-6 weeks later and this is typically when everything will be done. If any minor tweaking or additions need to be made at the second fitting, there will still be plenty of time to make these.
Why I recommend this timeline:
- If you gain or lose weight. Sometimes this happens without us trying or even realizing and we want your gown to fit you perfectly on your wedding day.
- More time to find shoes (you need your exact shoes for the fitting) and other accessories that may need attached to your dress or their own alterations. These may include belts, toppers, boleros, separate over skirts, or veils.
- If you finish with your alterations months before your wedding and need or want something different as your wedding date gets closer, I cannot guarantee that I will have time for those changes. As much as I want to always have time for you, once you pay and take your dress home with you I will consider your alterations completed.
- I have limited space and will not store gowns for longer than 3 months.
We can certainly start sooner than the recommended timeline, but please know that you will get your dress back early and as I mentioned above I may not be able to help you if you need changes as your wedding date gets closer.
If you are pregnant or become pregnant, please let me know as soon as you can so we can do your alterations as close to your wedding date as possible.
Toppers: No, not at this time. It simply takes too much time to do all of the designing, sourcing the materials, creating the pattern, sewing the item, and making any tweaks/changes that need to happen.
Veils: Plain/raw edged veils, yes. Any beading or lace veils are considered on a case by case basis.
Depending on how full my schedule is, sometimes I can take on a rush job. Please ask!
The rush fees below are priced based on how quickly I need to sew your gown, not on how long you have until your wedding. For example, if your wedding is 6 weeks away, but you need it back 2 weeks before your wedding that will most likely incur a rush fee. Also I may not be able to get you in right away so that might incur a rush fee as well.
Rush fees: (subject to change at any point)
- Sewn in less than 4 weeks: $150
- Less than 2 weeks: $200+
Please note that even if I have previously altered your gown, I may not be able to do any last minute fixes or changes. Once you take your gown home I consider your alterations completed. That being said, please ask if you need something. I will try my best to accomodate you but I cannot guarantee anything.
Minor repairs are free (with a minimum alterations total of $100):
- Replacing one set of hook and eyes
- Resewing a few tack points
- Tacking down lace that has come unstitched
- Resewing a hole where a seam has come apart
- Tightening or resewing a button (when button is present)
- Trimming loose threads
- Tying and knotting a few threads from loose beadwork
Charged, prices vary:
- Replacing buttons, beads, or rhinestones
- Extensive re-beading, even if beads are present
- Replacing a broken zipper
- Resetting a zipper that has come unsewn
- Repairing holes (when possible) that are not on a seam
- Adding lace appliques to cover holes or fill in spaces
- Replacing straps or anything else that is broken and is is needed to be completely replaced
- Replacing more than one set of hook and eyes
I do not do any sort of cleaning on dresses. If you choose to clean your dress, even spot cleaning, you must take it elsewhere.
You certainly do not have to have your gown cleaned before your wedding day. If you are happy with how it looks then you don’t need to worry about it. But if it is visibly dirty or you would be more comfortable with having it cleaned, I usually recommend having a gown dry cleaned before starting your alterations. Although it is not common, sometimes dry cleaning can cause problems to a dress and having this happen before alterations means that I can fix them during our normal timeline. For example, sometimes a lace overlay can shrink and if we have already hemmed your dress then it can become too short.
While I do generally only take wedding gowns, if my schedule permits I will gladly accept a few other dresses if I am able to pin them at the same time as your wedding gown is being pinned. This may include a rehearsal dinner dress for yourself, a bridesmaid dress, or your mom’s dress. In other words, if everyone can come with their dresses and shoes to your wedding gown appointment then I will make time for them. Generally not accepting other dresses is more about scheduling appointment times than anything else. Please ask if you have questions about this or would like to have any other dresses tailored.
I do not tailor suits, pants, menswear, or general clothing.
I’m happy to coordinate payment with someone else. They can call to pay over the phone, I can email them an invoice, or they can purchase a gift card.