As you know, I don’t usually agree to doing alterations if you didn't buy your dress from my boutique. However, a bride rang me just after Christmas and
was very upset about the quality of the seams on her new dress. After she explained what the problem was, I gave it some thought and said "You know
what, January is a quiet month for alterations, and I cannot stand being idle in the shop. It’s your lucky day - I will do your alterations!'
She had originally tried the dress in that particular brand's storefront, and the sales assistant told her what size she was, based on the larger size
she tried on. This is something that a good bridal boutique can successfully do, based on your measurements. However, what the sales assistant DIDN'T
factor in was that the smaller size was at least 1" shorter in the bodice, with the hip line sitting much higher than the bride's natural hipline.
As her size wasn't available on the day she tried the style on, the bride didn’t buy it immediately at the shop. But she felt comfortable with the sales
assistant's advice and later purchased the gown online.
When it arrived, the fit was horrible! In addition to the poorly fitting waist-to-hip line, the light-weight fabric showed every lump and bump, including
the unnecessary overlocking of the excess material in the side seams. These two flat areas of stitching caused a line of twin ridges down each side
of the dress, and puckered and pulled at the material, causing the side seam to twist and warp. The lightweight nature of the fabric also meant that
the gown needed a good amount of ease to ensure it draped correctly, however the size was firm and did not allow any movement at all. In addition to
this, there wasn't much leeway in the amount of seam allowance - a sure sign of a budget style.
I worked my best seamstress magic, but could only fix it to an extent. I unpicked the overlocking and pressed the side seams flat. I left the edges raw
as the dress was lined and so the raw edges were unlikely to fray with one wear. I also let out the seams as much as I could and reshaped the drape
so that the bodice was more suited to the bride's figure. I said to the bride "You paid good money for this dress, and now it is a lesson learnt."
Brides - PLEASE make sure the sales assistant is also a seamstress if she is advising on alterations or the potential fit of a different size. This
assistant did not know that the smaller size was a whole inch shorter in the bodice.
Photo attached shows:
1.Dress as it was, before alterations. Notice the heavy puckering along the side seam, and the two ridges either side formed by the overlocking.
2.Dress altered the best I could. The puckering is less and the excess fabric now sits smoothly under the seam.
3.And example of one of my plain dresses from my lower budget end. Notice how there is no puckering of any seams and the dress uses panels and shaping
seams to give the dress structure and form.