Post # 1
This may sound like a dumb question, but how much smaller can most dresses be altered? I hope to find a dress I like at a sample sale (need to save some money), but most run sz. 10. Does anyone know? Thanks!
Post # 3
What is your street size? The amount of alteration you can do can really vary according to the amount of detailing and the construction of the dress, and the meaning of "size 10" can really change from designer to designer. I’ve heard of brides having dramatic alterations made to their dresses by skilled seamstresses, but bear in mind that the cost of those alterations could be hundreds of dollars, depending on your area.
If you’re planning to go this route, I’d recommend a couple of preparations before you go.
First, do your research before you go to a sample sale. Know what dresses/designers you’re going to see at the salon, and find out how their gowns run (measurements are best to have, if you can get them). That way you’ll know how the gowns are likely to run and how far off from your usual measurements the gowns should be.
I’d also recommend talking to a few seamstresses/alteration shops and asking them what the average cost for their bridal alterations is. They probably won’t be able to give you any kind of estimate for your specific case since you won’t have the dress yet, but they should be able to tell you an average number so that you’ll have something to work with in your head as you shop dresses.
It’s also good to know how much those gowns usually cost. If you buy a dress that’s normally $1000 for $800, that seems like a great discount. But if average alterations cost $200 and the dress you love might be more difficult due to intricate beading or draping, you might not be saving that much, if any, when you add in cleaning and altering the dress as compared to buying new.
So, that said, if you find a relatively simple dress to alter in a sample size that is relatively close to your measurements at a good discount, you can really save a ton. If the sample is huge in comparison to your street size and has lots of details that would make it more complicated to alter (and you live in an area with more expensive seamstresses), then you might not be saving much at all when you factor in the hidden costs that come with a sample.
*phew!* I’ll stop with the novel, now! I hope that helps!!
Post # 4
You are awesome! That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for! Thank you so much!
Post # 5
I’m glad it helps. I actually bought a sample gown 2 weeks after getting engaged at a Priscilla of Boston sample sale, and it ended up not being THE dress for me. Even though it started out being a $6000 gown and I got it for $1000, the alterations on the alencon lace and box pleats would have been another $300, which was above my personal budget for my dress alone. It was a bummer, but now I have a gorgeous PoB gown that I don’t need! 🙂