Can a tailor alter my dress so it would fit me EXACTLY how the size smaller would?

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  1. #1 Feb 23, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
    I bought a dress made out of a stretch sateen material and it's gathered in the front at the waist.
    Here is a pic attached at the bottom!

    I need the bust altered so that it fits tighter and I'd love for them to be able to alter the bottom part so it hugs my hips better-- but due to the style being gathered in the front, would this maybe be difficult to do without it being a huge project? I pull it closer on me and just have no idea how they'd manage.
    On the mannequin you can see the hem part of the dress hugs the thighs... but mine does not and goes straight down in the back from the widest point of my behind.

    Can a tailor make these adjustments without it being obvious that it's been altered? My local tailors are closed for tonight, but even by asking them, I'd like to know from other people's experiences if this is even possible.
    The size I bought was a small as they sold out of the extra small. So basically I want them to make it fit like the extra small would... I hope this is possible!!

    Also, about how much time and how much could it cost? I'd just be going to a little shop, I've brought jackets and jeans there to be pressed and hemmed and it took just a couple days. Should I be pickier about where I go rather than those tiny tailor shops? I've never had this done.

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  2. You can't make it the same as the smaller size without major alterations. You could potentially make it smaller and a nice fit, just not the exact same fit. I think the best way is to try the dress on and pinch it in at the seams where the tailor would be able to easily take it in. That will give you an idea of whether or not the dress would look good after an alteration.
  3. I've never had this done before but generally when there is that much alteration/labor involved it doesn't end up being cheap. Hopefully the cost will still make the total cost of the dress worthwhile!
  4. what you're asking for is doable at any good tailor. it won't be cheap, of course, but it can even fit better than a size down.. it would basically be custom fit. i do this a lot!
    good luck, cute dress.
  5. i am leaning towards not doing a major alteration on a'll never look the same. i did one for a jacket once....just looked weird. may be mine seamstress wasn't good enough.
  6. I had a bridesmaids dress with similiar ruching...when the seamstress had to take it in (essentially cut it in half), it didn't look the same, and was still way too big.
  7. I second that!
  8. another "nay" vote from me.. IMO difficult to do and have it come out the way you are envisioning .. I had a gown that I wasn't wearing (bought it for a black tie).. so I figured get it shortened and tapered and get some more wear out of it.. My seamstress is excellent and she charged a lot ..but it just didn't come out wasn't the same.
  9. It can be done but only by a very good tailor. the tailor may tell you he/she can do it but it really depends on their expertise. It is a gamble unless you have a top notch seamstress.
  10. I alter just about everything for a perfect fit. Time and cost will vary. Tailors can work magic and the alterations are generally not noticeable because they use the existing seams. Be aware though that some types of alterations make items fit differently. For example, I have a lot of jackets/coats taken in at the waist. Most of the time, it turns out just fine. However, with some jackets/coats, it makes it feel tight in the shoulders, especially when lifting my arms.
  11. I alter everything down as well...but the answer to your question depends heavily on which tailor you choose. My tailor would be able to do that and make it look exactly like it should, for probably $40. But I would not trust the local dry cleaners who do my hem jobs to do what you are asking at all. If you currently don't have a really good tailor, then I vote to pass on the dress.
  12. Thanks for all the help!

    I don't know of a good tailor. How could I find one other than word-of-mouth? I don't know how I'd be able to determine that!

    I think I may pass on this dress getting altered. I am afraid it may not come out the way I want it to by the sounds of it :sad: I'm glad I asked first! I am almost 100% decided on a different dress for the occasion and will probably end up going with that one.
  13. the best way to find a quality tailor (also dry cleaner! :P) is to call around to your local high end RTW (Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Dior, etc.) stores, and ask who they use. I've had excellent experiences with all the service providers recommended by the designer boutiques in my area (SF).

    the other benefit of going to a reputable, professional tailor is that they will err on the side of caution. be very specific when you bring it in about how you want it to look; if they don't think it's doable, they'll say so and refuse the job. the good tailors always have more work than they need, and they won't want to ruin their reputation by taking a job they can't do properly. I've definitely had mine tell me he didn't feel comfortable working on a few pieces I brought in, which was obviously much better than being stuck with a poorly altered item that was no longer returnable (^(oo)^)v
  14. Great suggestion on how to find a good dry cleaner! I'm too scared to take my coats to the regular old neighborhood cleaners after one of my dresses got ruined. Will definitely have to call around and ask.

    Agree about good tailors turning away stuff that can't / shouldn't be altered. I've been to my share of tailors, and in retrospect the bad ones have never turned away a job (just turned over a horrible final product!) whereas my current one has refused two pieces already that she wasn't comfortable with.