Wedding Gown Alteration Tips And Advice - Part III

Posted on December 16, 2011 23 Comments

Q: Do certain design aspects make a dress more difficult to alter, for example: rouching, boning, overlays, beading?

A: Rouching is no problem. Boning and overlays are simple - they may have to be undone and then redone, but it’s simple. Dresses that are heavily beaded, especially near the hemline, can be time consuming to alter, only because it means a tailor may need to re-bead the detailing by hand. But, this is what we do, it’s not difficult, it just might take a bit more time.

Q: Are certain materials harder to alter than others?

A: The material of a dress makes no difference: organza, satin, lace, they all require care, but an experienced tailor knows how to work the material.

Q: When altering gently used gowns, is it difficult to match missing materials like corset ties, buttons, or beading?

A: It’s very easy to make or match a corset tie. As for buttons, most fabric stores, like Joann Fabrics, have great selections of covered buttons. A bride would be able to find a matching button no problem. Same with beading. I would simply have the bride go to a bead shop or arts and crafts store and more than likely they can find an exact match that can be hand sewn back onto the dress.

Q: What if embroidery is pulled or frayed?

A: Embroidery is a bit trickier because it would need to be sent out to an embroiderer with a special machine, and then you have to try and match the thread. The easiest way to touch up a fray is to disguise it with pearls or beading that matches another part of the dress.

Q: All of our dresses at 

have been professionally cleaned – after alterations would a dress need to be cleaned again?

A: No. No good tailor would get a dress dirty. Tailors will steam and press a dress so that it is ready to wear when you walk away with it.

TIP: Your dress is usually given to you in a zipper garment bag or in a basic plastic bag to protect your dress. When you get home, take your dress out of the bag and hang it up in a high place so that it can hang absolutely straight. It is important to take the dress out of the bag because the bag will lose air and end up de-poofing the skirt of your dress and potentially even wrinkling it. To protect your dress, loosely drape or wrap a bed sheet over the dress, this will keep it in perfect condition.


Q: How often are you asked to make matching caplets, capes or wraps?

A: I often make a matching wrap, but there are so many great textured caplets and fur wraps that enhance the beading or coloring of a gown… usually brides find these on their own and are equally as excited about this accessory piece as their gown!

Q: Anything else you think a bride should know before altering their dress?

A: For the most part, a good tailor, with enough material, can basically reconstruct any dress into a completely new dress if that’s what a bride wants!


This “Wedding Gown Alterations” interview was generously given by Kenber Gulbas of I&G Tailoring in North Andover, MA. Kenber is originally from Istanbul, Turkey and comes from a long line of tailors. He picked up his first needle at age 7, practicing basic stitches on fabric scraps off his father’s shop floor. He has been tailoring and designing custom clothing for 30 years and his shop has been continuously voted Best Tailors of The Andovers since 2007.







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Wedding Gown Alteration Tips And Advice - Part II

Posted on December 09, 2011 18 Comments

Q: What should a bride bring/wear to a fitting?

A: They must have their shoes or at least a shoe that represents the correct heel height for wedding day, and ALL of the undergarments they will wear. They should have the exact bra, underwear, spanx, etc. Each undergarment piece will make a big difference in the precise fit of the dress. 

Q: What are the most common alterations for a wedding dress?

Most all brides will need the hem and sides adjusted. If your dress has straps usually straps need to be adjusted, as well.

A: I also take off alot of trains, add bustles, and add pick-ups. Pick-ups and pleats can be added to any dress, any material (you just have to add layers underneath the dress), but they look particularly impressive with a heavier silk-satin.

Q: How many sizes smaller can you make a dress?

A: Generally, two sizes is safe, and the higher the size of the dress the easier it is to alter. It all comes back to being able to balance the many different pieces and angles of the dress. And, again, the more experience your tailor has in completely taking apart a dress and putting it back together, the more you will be able to alter your dress without wrecking it.

Q: Is it ever possible to make a dress size bigger?

A: Yes. This will depend on the amount of material left around each hem and seam, but typically you can go up at least one size. Most seams have 1 inch of extra material, so if you have 6 seams around the bodice it’s possible to enlarge the dress by 6 inches.

Q: Is it fairly common to alter necklines?

A: Yes. It’s very easy to make a straight strapless neckline into a sweetheart shape, or to add straps.

Q: What about changing a corset back to a zipper and buttons or visa versa?

A: No problem to do that. I’ve even completely cut open backs or made them into deep V’s.

Q: Where does the extra material come from to make straps or sleeves?

A: Usually from the hemline, but if you need more material, or if a bride doesn’t need her dress shortened, they can contact the manufacturer of their dress and get the extra material that will be a perfect match. 

This “Wedding Gown Alterations” interview was generously given by Kenber Gulbas of I&G Tailoring in North Andover, MA. Kenber is originally from Istanbul, Turkey and comes from a long line of tailors. He picked up his first needle at age 7, practicing basic stitches on fabric scraps off his father’s shop floor. He has been tailoring and designing custom clothing for 30 years and his shop has been continuously voted Best Tailors of The Andovers since 2007.

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Wedding Gown Alteration Tips And Advice

Posted on November 24, 2011 18 Comments

Q: What should a bride ask or be looking for when choosing a tailor for her wedding gown?

A: The best way to find a qualified, talented tailor is WORD OF MOUTH. Brides should seek glowing references from satisfied customers who have had major alterations done with a tailor… not just had a pair of pants hemmed. If you can’t find someone by word of mouth, don’t be shy, ask a tailor for customers they can contact!

You can also find some comfort in knowing that a person is qualified to alter your wedding dress if they design and create clothing themselves. A true tailor, versus a seamstress who mainly does hemlines and basic stitching, makes garments from scratch and therefore can be trusted to take a gown apart and put it back together in perfect balance.

Q: How much time should a bride plan on to have alterations completed?

A: At most, six weeks. Many times a bridal shop will tell you 2-3 months is necessary. However, if you have a tailor that is separate from a bridal boutique they should be able to get it to you within six weeks. That amount of time works well, because most people don’t drastically fluctuate sizes very much in only six weeks time.

Q: On average how many times do you see a bride for fittings?

A: Generally, just two times. Again, an experienced tailor should be able to get the alterations right in two fittings. That is why it’s important to research the work they’ve done on wedding gowns and make sure they have happy customers!

Q: That being said, what is your top advice to brides in selecting their wedding gown, knowing that they most likely will need alterations?

A: BODY SHAPE. Brides should spend time figuring out what style works best for their shape. Getting advice on this first will make all the difference in being able to alter a dress so that it fits seamlessly… and it will help determine how comfortable a bride will be on her wedding day!

This “Wedding Gown Alterations” interview was generously given by Kenber Gulbas of I&G Tailoring in North Andover, MA. Kenber is originally from Istanbul, Turkey and comes from a long line of tailors. He picked up his first needle at age 7, practicing basic stitches on fabric scraps off his father’s shop floor. He has been tailoring and designing custom clothing for 30 years and his shop has been continuously voted Best Tailors of The Andovers since 2007.

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Veils and Headpieces, Oh My!

Posted on November 16, 2011 13 Comments

There are numerous questions to ask yourself before picking your veil. You need to decide the type of dress you’re wearing, the type of wedding you’re having, the religious requirements of your church and the way you’ll wear your hair. Whew! And you thought choosing a veil would be easy!

Type of Dress

Once you’ve chosen that ever important dress, you’ll want to choose a veil that complements it. A vintage look lends itself to a birdcage style veil, while a modern bride might choose a very couture headpiece with a sculptural aesthetic. But, by the same token, don’t feel boxed in. If you’re an eclectic style bride, choose pieces that aren’t necessarily the same, but that will complement one another, instead.

Wedding Style

After you’ve decided on the type of wedding you’re having, you’ll be in a much better position to choose the right veil. If you’re getting married on a tropical island, you might not want a cathedral veil dragging behind you down the beach, but this might be a perfect option for a traditional church wedding.

Religious Considerations

And speaking of church weddings, be sure to take into account any religious requirements you must adhere to. For example, some religions require that the bride’s face be covered with a blusher-style veil. On the other hand, some religions have no restrictions at all. Talk to your local clergy to find out if there will be any restrictions on your choice of veil.

Hair Styles

Your choice of hairstyle should be a prime consideration in your choice of veil. If necessary, visit your stylist prior to choosing your veil to try out multiple looks for your wedding day. The fact is that some wedding headpieces complement an up-do, while some complement those romantic free-flowing locks. Decide what look you want for your wedding day before splurging on your veil.

Finding Your Veil

Now that you’ve taken everything into account, you can work on successfully choosing the right veil or headpiece for you and your wedding. One current trend focuses on choosing a veil or headpiece with some fun, funky adornment, such as a large flower. Another trend is anything that glimmers, shimmers and sparkles, such as tiaras or headbands. And, you can’t go wrong by choosing any style headpiece from some of the top designers in the industry, including Christina Garcia or Guy Carsone. If, however, you prefer something that’s a bit more handcrafted, you can’t go wrong with handmade bridal veils where no two will ever be alike.

The smart, savvy bride knows that online shopping has opened up an entire world of choices. Instead of only having one or two local bridal stores from which to choose, the entire bridal realm is at your fingertips - literally. A search in your favorite search engine will bring up thousands of bridal veil and headpiece choices! Basically, if you can imagine it -- you can find it. Also, many locations allow brides to custom design their own veil or headpiece to their exact specifications - which is a perfect choice for that no-nonsense bride who knows exactly what she wants.

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Bridal Shoes are Important, Too!

Posted on November 07, 2011 1 Comment

As closets all over the world can attest, women often have an uncanny love affair with their shoes. And the perfect bridal shoes are no different. You put a tremendous amount of time and effort into planning the perfect wedding and choosing the dress of your dreams. Don’t leave your shoe shopping to the last minute -- after all, shoes are an important component of your wedding ensemble and should definitely be chosen with the utmost of care.

Where to Shop

Online bridal shopping is growing in popularity for many reasons. First, brides can expect to receive an exceptional product of the highest quality. In addition, the choice of designers and shoe styles far surpasses what you can find in your local bridal boutique. And, of course, shopping at numerous stores from the comfort of your own home is a huge benefit, as well. So, where should you begin your search for the bridal shoes of your dreams?

Nordstrom - The name itself evokes a feeling of class, sophistication and time-honored tradition. Whether you’re looking for a perfect pump, a beautiful ballet flat or a sexy sling, the Wedding Shop at Nordstrom is your one-stop shop for all of your footwear needs.

Bloomingdale’s- Savvy brides should take a peek at the amazing collection from the best designers in the industry. From Kate Spade to Ralph Lauren, you’re sure to find the perfect shoe to complement your wedding gown -- no matter your taste, budget or style. A mecca for any shoe lover, is strictly an online shoe boutique, catering to fashion-forward brides everywhere. You’ll find the perfect styles for everyone in the wedding party, from the bride to the flower girl. No matter what color, material or heel height you’re searching for, is a must see for all brides.

Bellissima Bridal Shoes - True specialists in the wedding industry, Bellissima Bridal Shoes offers high-end styles at affordable prices. From a sparkly pump to a sweet kitten heel, brides around the world know to check Bellissima Bridal Shoes for uncompromising style and a great value.

What's Trending Now

Wedding trends change throughout the years, and wedding shoes are no exception. Right now, shoes embellished with glitter and metallic are popping up all over the runways, and can offer adventurous brides a touch of the unexpected on their special day. Vintage shoes, accented with lace, ribbon and pearls, are also all the rage and are a perfect choice for a bride who’s looking to go back in time on her special day. And, believe it or not, another trend in bridal footwear is brightly colored shoes. No more matchy-matchy! Brides who are interested in making a chic fashion statement will jump for joy (well, maybe not in 4” heels) over this option.

Consider Your Gown

Another important consideration in your bridal shoe choice is which shoes are appropriate for which gown! And, how long exactly should your gown be? Your alterations specialist can certainly help you achieve the look you want, but there are several things you should consider before making a decision. First, think about the type of wedding you’re having. If you’re having a small ceremony on the beach, you might not want to wear 4” heels. Instead, choose a lovely ballet flat that will peek out slightly from beneath your dress. For a gala, fairytale affair, your princess-style gown will cover your shoes and they’ll only been seen when you take your steps down the aisle. Make sure what peeks out from beneath your dress is dazzling. No matter what you choose - your shoes should match the style of your dress and be a touch extravagant. After all, it’s a very special day!

A wedding is more than just the big day -- there are many events leading up to your special moment. Ensure you choose enchanting shoes for your engagement party, regal ones for your rehearsal and a coordinated selection to match all of your honeymoon outfits. Let’s face it! Gone are the days of the simple satin pump. These days, designers are creating bridal shoes in all shapes and styles, perfect for every dress and every wedding dream. Remember to choose a shoe that suits you and will offer both looks and comfort on your special day. Remember, shoes are important, too!

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