What is a bustle and do I need one?
A bustle is a system of buttons, hooks, and/or ribbons sewn in strategic (and hidden) places outside or inside the dress to hold up the train when needed. Bustles are pinned while the dress is being worn to insure that the bottom of the gown will be even all the way around.
Most brides need a bustle. Without one, the train will be dragging across the ground behind you through the entire wedding day. Trains are incredibly pretty, but if not taken care of they can be cumbersome, stepped upon by others, and can become quite dirty underneath. If you plan to dance at your wedding, you will definitely need a bustle.
My dress has a lot of lace and/or beading. Can it still be altered?
Most of the time: yes, though it depends on the gown. For most gowns, the lace, appliqués, and beads can be taken off, the dress can be altered, and the embellishments can then be reattached. This method also insures that the gown will look just as perfect as it did before it was altered.
I fell in love with a strapless wedding gown but I can’t wear strapless. Can you add in sleeves?
Yes, though how it will look depends upon the dress. There will always be a seam where the neckline originally ended, but it can often be covered or disguised. I’ve done many fills, as they are called, and they can look absolutely gorgeous. However, they can take some time and are often pricey.
An alternative to adding sleeves into a dress is a customized bolero jacket. You can choose the style, the length of the sleeves, embellishments, etc. so that it matches your dress. Having a jacket made is a less expensive and less time-consuming alternative to a fill.
Can I add straps or a halter to my dress for more coverage?
Certainly. Straps, even wide ones, can be added much more easily than sleeves. Straps are normally sewn into a dress later on, so they often look more natural than added sleeves. Straps or a halter can also be added to help hold up the weight of a strapless gown. When paired with a coordinating jacket, no one will even know the straps are there, but you may feel more comfortable in your dress.
My dress seems a little long. Do I need it hemmed?
The ideal length for wedding dresses and evening gowns is between ½ inch to 1 full inch off of the floor. Having the hem reach the floor may be pretty, but it makes it hard to dance or walk down the aisle without tripping, and you don’t want that! Dresses with trains in the back only need to be hemmed in the front and tapered into the sides. If you have to lift up your dress each time you walk, it really should be hemmed.
What do I need to bring to my fitting?
Obviously you need your dress, but there are other things as well. You will need to bring the exact bra you will be wearing with the dress. Wearing a different bra can dramatically change the way the bodice fits. You will also need to bring a crinoline slip if you plan to wear one. And you will also need your shoes. So many girls forget their shoes and have to reschedule. The length of your dress cannot be hemmed without your slip and shoes. Both of them can drastically change the hem-line of the gown.
Can I have someone bring in a dress for me?
Not if you want the dress to fit perfectly. It is highly recommended that you try on your dress at your fitting so that it can be pinned to fit you. That last thing you want to happen is to find out on your wedding day that your dress is too long, too short, too big, or too small.
It’s getting close to my wedding and my dress is too small! Is there anything you can do?
Some gowns can be let out at the sides and/or the zipper. If there isn’t enough fabric in the seam allowance inside, sometimes a corset-back can be added; the zipper is taken out and loops are inserted instead. Then the dress can be laced up in back with ribbon. A panel can be made, as well, so that your back is still covered behind the lacing.
I will be wearing an older gown that is missing some beads. Can you fix it?
Bead work can be time-consuming, and thus, a little bit on the expensive side. However, if you are able to find some matching beads, or some that would work for a complete replacement, I can certainly hand-sew them in.