(Closed) How hard is it to shorten an all lace wedding dress?

posted 11 years ago in New York City
Post # 3
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I had a lace dress that had some scalloped lace on the bottom and my seamstress did a great job. I have no idea how she managed to hem it without cutting the bottom. I would ask your seamstress how she is planning on hemming the dress and how much of the dress is going to be compromised. Just remember they have been doing it for years and I’m sure your dress is going to be perfectly tailored.

Post # 4
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

They actually cut to the scallop shape and sew the lace on loop by loop.  It’s very time consuming, but it’ll shorten just fine.

Post # 5
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I also have an all-lace gown that needed to be shortened. I went to two seamstresses and they both said it would be a very difficult process.

There are two ways to do it:

1. Like what Mighty Sapphire wrote, they cut the delicate lace design from the bottom and move it up by hand.

2. My dress has a seam at the mid-thigh area, so another option for me was to take in the lace from that seam. Because my dress is a mermaid dress, that also meant that the lace had to be cut along the side and re-sewn as well, along with moving some of the lace designs near the seam.

It’s not going to be cheap, and I’m actually going in for my first fitting today. The dress shold be done within a week, so I can let you know how it goes, how much it cost, etc.

Post # 6
34 posts
  • Wedding: August 2009

My dress also has a scalloped lace hem, and my seamstress said that it will be just fine.  In fact, she said there’s no such thing as a dress that can’t be altered– anything is possible!  She basically described the same process as MightySapphire mentioned.  She said it is very labor intensive, but not difficult, if that makes sense.  In other words, it will take time and money, but will shorten just fine.

Post # 7
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I just got my dress back today and I highly, highly recommend the tailor (http://laistailoring.com). It is BEAUTIFUL and you can’t even tell that the dress was altered. My dress is DaVinci 8317, if you want to see the lace design on it.

Best of all, she was very affordable and quick. I had first gone to Senel (located 30s on the east side) and she told me that because it was such a difficult and labor-intensive job, it would take 4-6 weeks. She was going to charge me $375 for the hem and $50 for a simple bustle.

I got my alterations and the bustle done for only $120! And she was able to do this in a couple of weeks. 

She’s located in Chinatown and has a clean office. Her English isn’t that good, but I’m not Chinese (I don’t speak Chinese either) and we were able to communicate fine. And she definitely knows what she’s doing.

Post # 8
119 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I had asked the same question about a dress I was going to buy, and the salesperson said the seamstress would take the dress in at the very top of the lace (near the bodice), leaving the  scalloped bottom as is.  It cost an additional $300 more for this. 

Post # 10
1044 posts
Bumble bee

I’m just the same height as you and got the same sort of dress with scallops on the bottom as well.  Thankfully, it is tailored in my size so by the time I get it, it will fit me perfectly.  I talked to the wedding dress shop owner who said that if my dress doesn’t fit, they have ways to hem it and bring the dress up a few inches or even lower it if needed.  I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

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