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help! altering a wedding dress!

rouquinne | Posted in General Discussion on

why do wedding shops insist on ordering dresses too big for brides? *sigh*

a co-worker brought me her dress. it’s about 1.5 inches too big at the bust, however, it seems to be okay at the waist. it’s a corset back and lacing it as tight as she can stand it and still being able to breathe doesn’t help the top. the dress is quite similar to the Mori Lee Julietta model 3033.

i’ve lifted off the trim at the sides where it needs to come in, but i’m not sure of the best way to do this.

should i take in a tiny dart going toward the heavy-duty plastic boning (that isn’t encased, btw)? should i remove some of the beading on the bodice and re-sew the seam and hope i can re-bead to make it look similar? (eek!)

there aren’t many layers to this dress and it’s made of a heavy polyester satin.

any assistance/advice will be gratefully received! TIA!


  1. andsewon | | #1

    Hi, I have a bridal alteration shop that I run out of my home and I do about 90% of my alterations at that part of the dress. I take off any beads/adornments that is at the side seam. Then I mark on the side front of the dress the amount that needs to be taken in. I turn the dres inside out, find the side seam and open it up. Move the side Back panel to where you marked the side Front panel and resew the seam using the original side Back panel seam allowance. You now have brought the front of the dress towards the back and have tighten it across the bust. You will have to readjust the upper seam of the dress, but it's not that difficult. Replace any adornments you have take off the dress and you're done and the dress will fit great!!

    1. rouquinne | | #2

      thank you so much!

  2. mainestitcher | | #3

    Because it's okay at the waist, that's why she got the size she did.Women think because we take three measurements, they're getting a custom-made dress. What they get is the standard size the manufacturer decides swill fit them.We could order a dress too big on the bodice, or order one too small for her waist. Which, logically, makes more sense for the customer and the seamstress, especially when one is dealing with special occasion fabrics? I lift the lace and take in the seam on the outside.On the inside, sometimes I cheat. If the boning is stitched onto the seams, I take a seam on either side, rather than take out the boning and re-insert it.

    1. rouquinne | | #4

      thank you!i ended up taking a dart as close the seam as i possibly could. there was no way i could safely get the decoration off the bodice and then re-do it. especially not with bilateral De Quervain's syndrome!

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