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Wedding Gown Alterations Q&A:

Timiry McCaskell

When purchasing a wedding dress, one important factor to keep in mind are alterations. We wanted to create a blog post with some answers to common questions that we get about the alteration process. 

Q: Can I add sleeves to this dress?

A: Adding straps or cap sleeves to a dress is a no-brainer! Some dresses come with detachable straps, or can easily have them added to the gown. However, if you are thinking that you want to add a sleeve to a gown, this is a more difficult alteration and can be very expensive. Another thing to  keep in mind is that a dress that comes strapless may not look good with a sleeve added as it may not flow with the style of the gown. A good option if you are wanting to add a full sleeve to a gown is to look at different bolero styles with your consultant.

Q: How does this dress bustle?

A: Our dresses do not come with a bustle in them, that way you can customize your dress further in alterations. Your bustle's main purpose is to get your train off of the ground so that you can move around freely throughout your reception, but there are a few different ways to bustle a dress. 

Photo by Rhema Faith Photography

The photo above shows this stunning gown with an English Bustle. This bustle is done by folding the train and pinning the length to the outside of the dress, typically done with just a few simple pickups in the back of the dress held together with buttons and loops. 

Photo by Pinkerton Photography

Photo by Pinkerton Photography

This photo shows a French Bustle, which is another option for a bustle pinned to the outside of the gown. This bustle is held together, again, by buttons and loops and creates gorgeous layers in your gown. 

The last bustle style that we would suggest would be an under bustle which is created by folding the train and securing it inside the gown. 

Q: How do alterations work for a backless dress or a dress with an illusion lace back?

A: These dresses can be altered just the same as any other dress such as having cups sewn in, hemming the gown, and creating a bustle. You can always tighten your straps to fit, but when it comes to taking the dress in, they are a bit different. Because there is not a lot of structure in a backless or illusion lace gown they are not meant to be extremely tight. The main concern with an illusion lace gown is that, if altered to fit too tightly, the buttons may pull across your back instead of laying flat. Your best bet with these dresses is to talk with your seamstress and beware of what can, and cannot be done to the gown. Keep in mind while shopping too that if you are wanting a very structured dress you may not like the fit of a backless gown. 

In general, your consultant will be able to answer your questions regarding alterations. However, if you are considering major changes, it is best to have a consultation with a seamstress beforehand. 

Best of luck with your alterations!