It is well-known in Africa that as you eat a stalk of sugarcane, each segment gets sweeter and sweeter as you go. When my husband proposed, he told me our love would be like sugarcane...each segment of life getting sweeter and sweeter. This is why I named my shop Sugarcane Studios, and why I specialize in bridal alterations.
I want you to feel that your wedding day is just the beginning of so much to come. No matter whether you will be in a huge church, or with only a handful of loved ones on a mountain, or anywhere in between, you will do your best to make it the most beautiful and memorable day you can. It is MY job is to be sure you are not thinking about the fit of your dress at all. It is my personal belief that a well-fit dress is the most essential item for feeling beautiful and confident on your day. A perfectly-fit dress means that you can walk the aisle confidently, hug every last relative with ease, dance all night with abandon, and run to the getaway car without tripping. Your memories will be of these special moments, and not by a memory of constantly pulling your dress up, or tripping on your hem. With a degree in garment technology and design, and a 10-year career in the New York costume industry, my knowledge of FIT is solid, and my eye for proportion is honed.
You may have bought your dress at a store that does not provide alterations...or online...or at a trunk sale...or a second-hand shop, etc.
You may have a vintage dress that needs new life.
You may just need a bustle, or some bust pads.
Your dress may have bought a sample dress and now you need to make it work.
You may want a custom veil, or a unique sash, or something blue sewn into your hem.
Or, you may simply want a personal touch...to just not feel like a part of the wedding "factory".
Come in and let us take care of you and your dress. Wedding alterations do not have to be stressful. We do our best to do our job and make your bridal alterations as simple and painless as possible.
We want you to come in as soon as possible, but, a minimum of 6-8 weeks is needed to do your bridal alterations. We charge a rush fee of $150 for brides that have less than 5 weeks before their wedding. Also, please come AFTER you have lost the weight you plan to lose, AFTER you have decided which shoes to wear on your wedding day, and AFTER you have any special undergarments you need for your dress. I advise brides to get on my calendar as soon as they have a general idea of when their dress will arrive. We get very busy and sometimes limit the number of brides we can help. Once you are on our calendar, however, you are set.
Also keep in mind whether your menstrual cycle causes you to bloat or not. If this is an issue, you will want to fit your dress during the same time of the month that you will be getting married. Even emotional responses can affect how you feel about your body and, therefore your dress. Scheduling your fitting during the same time of the month that your wedding will take place will ensure that we are fitting to the way your body will be on your wedding day also.
MANDATORY--the shoes you will be wearing with your dress.
MANDATORY--any pieces or parts of things you want to include on your dress (your grandma's lace, a special ribbon, a brooch, etc.)
SUGGESTED--the veil and jewelry you plan to wear. (Many brides LOVE to see it all put together to get an idea of the whole picture.)
SUGGESTED--a camera and a friend or relative (to get an outside opinion)
I like to fit most dresses without any undergarments. Most dresses are made with boning, cups, and/or enough layering so that once they are fitted correctly, they will support the bust without additional undergarments. Sometimes strapless bras or corset-like garments fight against the dress, causing slipping....they can also cause bulk inside...and often the neckline shapes are not the same and they peak out the top. We use sew-in cups and a few other "tricks" or methods to fit the bust. HOWEVER, if you need an undergarment to feel comfortable, supported, or confident, by all means, bring it. We will make it work. Also, some curvier women, or older women, like the shaping or smoothing that an undergarment provides, and that is GREAT. Wear and bring what makes you feel good...that is no problem. I just don't insist that it is always necessary for everyone like some boutiques do...they are trying to make a sale after-all.
Don't worry, we've done it several hundred times. You will be in capable hands. We will start by looking at your dress and talking about what you want done. You will then put the dress on (with appropriate undergarments) and I will troubleshoot on the best way to alter your dress. I will pin/mark/measure your dress according to the desired fit. I also take notes during the fitting.
Once you are pinned into your dress, you will move, dance, sit, hug, and anything else you will need to do on your wedding day...in order for you to feel how your dress fits. I aim to have each bride wear her dress for at least 30 minutes to determine if it needs to be loosened or tightened. This is because your dress, especially if it is brand new, will ease out after being worn and/or will settle onto the body after the bride moves around. Or, if we have pinned it too much, and is uncomfortable to move or breathe, we can let it out a bit and find the perfect median.
During this time of wearing your dress, you will put on the shoes and we can mark the hem, if necessary. This is also the time to add the veil or any other details you want to include or discuss...lace, ribbons, adding sleeves, etc.
Once we feel like your dress is as close as we can get it, you will take it off and I will keep it to alter. I will add up the cost of your alterations, ask for your approval, and take a deposit. We will choose a date for the next fitting....usually around 3 weeks away, depending on our schedules.
Most of the wedding dresses I alter need 3 total fittings. Sometimes I can get it right with only 2 fittings (initial fitting plus one more), but with the multi-layered, complex way most dresses are built, pins can only do so much in giving the idea of the fit. Also body changes and emotions might mean we need to do another fitting to get it just right. Please remember that it is a PROCESS, not a magic wand. Sometimes it takes extra time to get it right.
After working with hundreds of brides and seeing just about everything, I am pretty confident that I can find a solution, no matter what your situation is. But, the only way is to meet in person with your dress, and discuss it together. I strive to be as clear as possible in my communication and pricing, and to lay everything out initially. If you are doubtful, please plan a consultation and we can meet in person to see if we are a good fit.
Most brides in our shop average $300-500 for their alterations costs. Of course, it can be less or more than that, depending on your situation. We use mostly flat rates for our pricing so that we can quote you a firm quote for the work at your initial fitting. But, if you want to have an idea before your fitting, we have a price sheet on our website for you to use to add up your costs. Please click the button at the top of the page to see our bridal alterations pricing sheet.