It doesn’t matter whether you’re a size 8 or a size 28, finding clothes that fit your body is really hard – this is one things that all women can agree on! I have lots of clothes in my wardrobe, and they range from a fourteen to a twenty-two, depending on styles and fabrics. Usually if I order something and it doesn’t fit quite right, I just send it back and size up or down as needed, or I get a refund if it’s not worth the effort or the money.
This year though, I faced a dilemma of boobular proportions, and that was when my brother got married. I cried tears of surprise and happiness when my now sister-in-law asked me to be her maid of honour, and because she is cool and quirky, she chose a dress for her bridesmaids that suited pretty much every body shape – a fifties-style circle dress, which I bloody loved! Yay!
I was worried about sizing as I wasn’t familiar with brand and sizing, so played it safe with a size 20. The dress was in my hands in late January – I tried it on and it fit really well, so that was a relief. However, the dress was designed with a much less busty woman in mind, and as you’ll see below, would have probably been a bit distracting at a family wedding! The back of the dress was a bit loose as well, and I somehow managed to break the zip when I tried it on – disastrous.
This dress needed to be wearable, and not require an age restriction before it came down the aisle, so I went about looking for a seamstress to do alterations. Luckily, I have a friend whose mother literally used to make wedding dresses, and she was happy to take me on as a client! If you are from the Hertfordshire area, and would like a bespoke dress made or have alteration needs, please consider Susan Young Sewing. We had our first appointment at the end of May, three months before the wedding, where we discussed what the dress needed and how to do it.
We met twice more between then and August to make sure that everything worked. Sue ended up using a piece of the waist tie to create a modesty panel in the bust, as well as taking in the straps on the back so that they were flat, and attaching hooks in to the shoulders so that bra straps wouldn’t be exposed. She even put in a new zip for me! I think what was really great was that every bridesmaid ended up wearing their dress slightly differently to make it work, but I’m so glad that I invested in getting my dress altered to fit me personally.
Alterations vary in price depending on who you go to and the amount of work required on the garment, as well as the materials that they’re working with! You need to be prepared to pay someone for their work and their skills – I couldn’t even sew a button back on something, let alone do the kind of work that a seamstress does! Make sure that you’re prepared for your appointments – wear the underthings that you’ll use with the garment, the shoes if leg lengths will need adjustment, and don’t forget to put on deodorant!
My sister-in-law also had some alterations made to her wedding dress – she knew exactly what she wanted but couldn’t find it anywhere. She ended up buying a gorgeous full-length dress off the rack and having it fitted – she had the bardot shoulders altered to fit her better, as it was a little stiff, but the biggest thing she had changed was cutting the skirt to a tea-length. It fit perfectly with the rock n’ roll theme of the big day!
You don’t need to be buying a once in a lifetime dress to have alterations – investing in getting your clothes fitted is worthwhile even if you’re talking about trousers or a blouse. Plus, you can always have something bespoke made especially for you! Either way, invest your money in a quality seamstress and quality materials, and you’ll see a huge difference in the fit of your clothes.
Here’s a few fun pics from the wedding back in August!