Post # 1
After getting fed up with the huge prices for the classy dresses made of nice fabric and the overinflated cost of even the mosst tacky of gowns ($2,000? for polyester?) I made an appointment with with a local dressmaker/seamstress — Olga in Cary, NC. Hopefully she can make me something out of decent fabric, that’s within my budget, and I can keep my money out of the hands of the wolfish bridal boutiques. Take that bridal industry!
Anyone else going this route? What were your reasons? What was the cost?
Post # 3
I am, but the dressmaker is me! Not only because I’m more of a DIYer, but because the prices are over-inflated, I know where to find high-quality fabric at a relatively decent price, and I can make the dress fit my frustrating shape (hippy & smallish in the waist – comparitively) with some help from my mom. Also, how great will it be, if the dress turn out great, to say that I made it?! In your case, how great will it be to stimulate the small economy and give that dressmaker a boost, and possibly more word-of-mouth business?
Cost depends on the skill, fabric chosen, extras, such as beading, and the area. I’m obviously not paying myself time, but I think I can do a wonderful art-deco dress for myself under $500, which won’t include muslin samples.
Go for it, and good luck!
Post # 4
The mark-up on wedding gowns is ridiculous but the lines force them to buy so many samples and they end up marking down in the end. In my opinion the entire industry needs an overhaul. Discount sellers online did not turn out to be any discount at all UNLESS you pick something from a current collection and buy it when it is discontinued. I would try to get an estimate from your dressmaker before you start. Also if you need boning is she skilled in fitting/constructing this? Will you need beading? You can price fabrics yourself, she will likely be able to get 10-20% discount or at least no tax. You might want to consider someone who makes pageant dresses (for teens and Miss) since you are already in pageant country. If you know what fabrics you want I can give you an estimate just bear in mind that natural silks vs poly blends tend to wrinkle more easily.
Since I am getting married in your neck of the woods what are you doing about photography? I’m not lying when I tell you prices in NC are triple what I would pay in Beverly Hills–didnt expect that!
Post # 5
Yay Violet for making your own dress! Hats off to you! You’ll have to post some pictures of the finished product.
ju1244 — The "inspiration dress" I’ve selected is bead and lace free, which should make things easier. As for boning, I’m probably going to be needing it. My dressmaker said she had about three books of dresses she’s done — so hopefully this will clue me in as to what she is skilled in making. I’m comfortable with modifying my dress to take advantage of her skills.
The fabrics that I’ll probably be using are silk satin with a silk organza overlay. Ah silk… so easy to forget you’re wearing anything at all! If these will wrinkle heavily, let me know. Cost estimates are also invaluable to one who knows so very little about buying fabric (me).
We actually decided to get married in the mountains near Asheville and our photographer is from there — Sarah Whitmeyer — but she does travel for a reasonable fee and her prices are also good. Photographers are sooo expensive!
Post # 6
I’m having my dress made! I just tried it on yesterday. I didn’t want to pay the retail price for a Paloma Blanca, and didn’t want to deal with the heft of an Alfred Angelo, so I had the two combined into my dress.
The dressmaker is a friend of my family though, so she’s cutting me a monster deal (practically cost) for lace, and beading added on at no charge. The custom fit is so much better too – no worrying about ordering a size whatever and hoping it still fits when it finally comes in. I had an initial "fitting" where she took my measurements, a second where the dress was nearly completed and she looked to see where she had to take it in, and then next time I go, I’ll be picking it up!
Post # 7
I found a site online that custom makes a replica of a Watters & Watters dress I tried on this week, only $300. It’s snythetic instead of silk, but custom-fit to my measurements and $1300 cheaper. Has anyone ordered one of these dresses? I’m curious if they turn out as well as the originals…
Post # 8
I am…I’m having a garden wedding and everything I’ve seen that isn’t pricey is made of heavy, hot fabrics! I have made myself have a budget of around $500 (Well, I’m really hoping it’ll be that)…all the dresses that were about that price that I liked were shot down by my mom and Fiance …
they said they weren’t bridey enough…but i really don’t care about the dress and there’s NO WAY I’m spending more than $1000 for a dress…no matter what occassion and even if it’s only once.
If they want me in a princess gown they’ll have to pay for it…AND pay me to wear it!
Post # 9
I decided to get my dress made after finding VERY limited options for a v-neck dress and a mermaid/fit and flare style. My inspiration dress was $3200 and polyester and not so impressive detailing for the cost, but a pretty dress none the less. My other inspiration was $4000+. Both unrealstic for me.
So I found a seamstress who is making my dress for $600 plus fabric. All of the fabrics were about $700 for beautiful silk satin and lining and embroidered beaded lace detail so I made out much better
Post # 10
where do you find a seamstress? I googled "tailors bridal" but came up with nothing…anyone know a seamstress in dallas area?
Post # 11
Woo hoo! Three cheers for local talent — or tapping the talent of family and friends… and even your own! You can get something twice as nice for half the price. Case in point: the dress I liked was 3,300 + alterations. The dress I’m having made — which is way more unique — 1,000-1,200 (depending on the fabric I choose). Alterations included.
col705 — just keep searching online, try other boards, ask around. It seems like some really talented people work out of their homes and have fairly low profiles. I’ve also heard that fabric stores usually have some good recommendations for seamstresses.
Post # 12
My mom is going to make my dress. She’s an awesome seamstress. I’m not looking for something super glamourous though. I’m going the "made with love" =)
Post # 13
yup, I did, for exactly your reasons. I just could not see why the dresses I tried on cost what they did, and I was having a hard time finding what I had in mind anyway. I sourced good material myself, and had a simple cut and it saved me a bundle.
Post # 14
After months of searching all over the country, I found an Angel Sanchez evening gown in L.A. and fell in love, but it was RED! I’m a modern girl, but I still want to wear white (ok, ivory).
So I snapped a couple of pics, brought them to a dressmaker, and sketched out a couple of small changes. The Angel Sanchez gown was $3500 and my seamstress is charging me $1800. I go next week for my first fitting and I’m both a bit anxious and excited!
Post # 15
holy shit it’s still over $1000 to have a dress tailored…doh. i might have to go to china 🙁
Post # 16
My mom is making my dress. It was hard to let go of the idea of a Monique (did anyone see that Jewel wore one in her recent wedding??) but I think I will be happier with a dress that is tailored directly to my taste. PLUS, no dress designer knows what my boy likes better than I do, so I think we’ll both be glad I made this decision. My mom has made several dresses before, so I know she’ll be able to pull this off. 🙂