Post # 1
Had my first fitting last night. The seamstress says it’s the most difficult dress she’s had to work with and it will be about $600 for alterations. She kind of left it like “I’ll do my best with it.” Not very promising. The issue is I’m not perfectly proportioned… I’m a 4/6 up top and a 10 on the bottom (big butt, big hips). So they ordered me the 10. I’ve also since lost some weight, 10-15 lbs, and the dress is HUGE in general. First problem, it’s roomy in the waist and hips… she said she can take it in but it will leave rippling in the fabric due to the boning, and there is “nothing” she can do to change that. Second problem, it’s especially huge in the chest area… the dress doesn’t sit flush against my chest and since it’s an open back, again there is “nothing” she can do since there is no support. So here are my questions…
1 – any other Bernadette brides out there that had a similar problem?
2 – should I take it to another seamstress, preferably one who has worked with this dress before?
3 – should I cut my losses, sell the dress (it’s new, never worn) and buy off the rack?
(The wedding is 9/1/12)
Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
That seamstress is so negative! Only problems, no solutions! I would maybe take it to a different seamstress? Is it the seamstress that works in the bridal shop?
Post # 4
@Happilyevaafter5: Yes, she works at the shop. I’m just pissed. The dress was $1650, now $600 in alterations with no guarantee that it’s going to look right.
Post # 5
I would definitely try a different seamstress. It sounds like she is ripping you off. How can she say 600 dollars when she admits it is the most difficult dress? I understand that they need to fit the largest part of you, however, if they just went and ordered it, and knew it wouldn’t be fitting you up top, obviously, I think it is irresponsible of the shop to advise you to buy it in that size…or to order it for you!
They should know their products and stock and if it was going to be such a nightmare, I am so sure they were disappointed to smack you with a 600 alteration fee so close t othe wedding.
I have been told by a few people who worked at bridal salons that the less than reputable ones make a ton of money on alterations and that’s where they hope to earn the most profit.
I would shop around for seamstresses in the area and visit three. It IS work but finding another dress is MORE work and if you love it, then I would try to find a new one.
The last thing you want is to rush to find a sample off the rack or something that fits you better! Also, selling your dress is tough….you are not going t get your money back and will probably lose the cost of alterations.
Post # 6
@fivemonthsnotice: I do love the dress, just not on me (not at the moment anyway). I agree, I think they ordered the wrong size. I would rather squeeze my butt and hips into a snug 8 to have the top fit better. The seamstress says “These designers make dresses with a certain shape of a woman in mind and it’s just not the way it is.” Yeah, no crap – that’s why I pay you… to make it fit me and my body. I’m calling them as soon as they open and getting it back and taking it elsewhere.
Post # 7
Unless you live in an area where this seamstress is the only show in town, or if you’ve gotten wonderful, rave reviews about her work and you don’t want to leave her – it seems wise to at least get a second opinion.
In my area, I found that private alterations shops prices were much lower than the prices offered by the seamstresses who work out of the bridal salons. Now, I’m not suggesting you take your wedding gown to the dry cleaners and ask the nice folks who hem pants for $10 to work on your dress! – Investigate whether or not there are shops that do alterations as their main business. (The one I like in Houston also makes customs men’s shirts.)
From my (very amature) sewing experience and working with boning in dresses, I suspect that the boning in your bodice will make alterations more challenging, but it should not prevent an experienced seamstress from making the necessary changes for you.
As the price you were quoted isn’t exactly “an amazing deal,” the seamstress was rather negative and didn’t have great faith in her abilities, and you obviously liked the dress, you’re likely to be more happy with someone else.
Buying off the rack might be a tricky thing for you anyway- if you’ve got a figure that is sized differently on top and bottom (I do too, though my top is bigger). There’s a chance that you’d need alterations on any dress that you decide on, and then you’d be back at square one!
Post # 8
I’d probably find another seamstress…
You don’t want to feel anything less than awesomewon your special day.
Dress woes can affect everything else… 🙁
Post # 9
I’d take it to a different seamstress and just see what they say. Also I did a quick search here on the bee and it looks like there are a few other ladies who wore this dress. Have you seen this thread? It looks like some of them had some alterations issues too: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/maggie-sottero-bernadette-spring-2011/page/2
Post # 10
I wanted t add- Ifeel your pain, OP and I wanted a Maggie dress (symphony with the lace jacket) but was worried about alterations so went with an a line with corset back. I am a 36, 32,47. Dress shopping was awful!!!
Post # 11
@Westwood: Thank you for this. After reading this, I knew I should have ordered the petite. I’m 5’3″ and 135 lbs. (measurements are 36, 29, 40) And they ordered a regular 10. I asked about getting the petite since I’m pretty short and they insisted it wasn’t necessary. It’s just annoying… I trusted them and their expertise in this and it’s blowing up in my face now.
Thanks again everyone for your input and kind words, I really appreicate it.
Post # 12
Find another seamstress! One of my girlfriends got her entire dress basically taken apart and put back together again for the same reasons and she paid less than your seamstress’ quote.
Post # 13
@JemmaWRX: Hi! I am in the SAME boat as you – except that I didnt go for my first fitting yet but the dress is expected in this weekend. What was the outcome??