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Bridal Alterations Expert Sheena Spills The Secrets

Bridal Alterations

Sheena Ha is our resident bridal expert at The Fitting Room, and most of her time is spent in fittings with our beautiful brides and VIPs. Sheena has spent years specializing in bridal fitting at our sister company PQ Alterations before joining us at the TFR in 2021. Sheena studied fashion and design, alongside her work to further enhance her knowledge and skills across pattern making and in-depth garment construction.

We got the chance for Sheena to take time out of her busy schedule and have a coffee where she answered some of the most asked questions. Brides to-be, this one’s for you!

What do you love most about working in bridal?

The end result. From the initial consultation to the final fitting, it is so rewarding to see my brides feeling confident in their dress and feeling good in general. I love the challenge of bridal alterations and the idea that I can help them create their dream gown. It’s not enough for my brides to look beautiful in their dresses – they need to FEEL beautiful in their dress as well.

Your most memorable bride?

I once had a bride that required extensive alterations to the back of her dress and a design change to make it work for her shape. She was so positive and receptive during our fittings and the outcome was incredible. She really trusted me and the proces. It was truly an amazing feeling when we saw the final outcome.

Your most challenging dress?

Our brides come to us with an idea of how they want their dream gowns to look, and we love that! However sometimes that vision may not be  possible. There was a bridal who wanted to make her strapless dress also be backless, which means there will be nothing holding up the dress. I explained it to her, and we worked together to create another look that she loved. I will always be open to the discussion and we will explain the pros and cons of each of the alterations you may be asking for. Just let us know what your vision is and we will work with you to create it.

What do you need before starting your wedding dress alterations?

Bridal alterations generally take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, so I always recommend our brides to book in at least 3 months before the wedding. This gives you some breathing room before the day. Bring your shoes and underwear! These are key to ensuring that your dress fits you perfectly on the day. If you haven’t quite sorted out your shoe situation yet, don’t stress – just bring one that is similar in height and we can adjust the length from there. Another little tip is to limit the amount of makeup you wear. This will prevent foundation marks/smudges on your gown that may require dry cleaning before your big day!

The scary question: How much will it cost me?

It is difficult to give an exact price until we have you in for a fitting and see you in the garment in person. Finishing stitching, style, number of layers, type of fabric and many other factors can vary the price of the alterations. Wedding gowns are not designed like your standard evening dresses, and they require a more in-depth look into the construction of the garment before a price can be offered. At The Fitting Room, we also make sure the dress is altered in a way to preseve the original design. For example, lace and beads are carefully unpicked, and sewn back on after alterations. This may mean it’ll take more time or cost a bit more, but it’s worth it to perfect your dream dress. 

Tips and tricks when dress shopping.

The size you may wear in your day-to-day clothes, may not be the size you wear in your wedding dress. And this is OKAY, because they are not designed to be. Don’t stress on the size of the dress as much as how the areas of the dress fit individually. Is it comfortable across your bust, your waist, and hips? If you have sleeves on your dress, how does the armhole feel? Can you easily move around without cutting off circulation? Something to keep in mind: It is easier to take fabric away, then it is to add it in.

Where can we find you when you aren’t fitting wedding dresses at TFR?

Cooking! And online shopping…….And decorating my home with the things that I bought when online shopping. I am loving furniture and glassware at the moment.

Carmen and Will both had their wedding attire altered by The Fitting Room recently. Read about their beautiful wedding story. 

Got a question? Click the Get a Free Quote button at the top of the page.

Book a consultation with Sheena who will make sure you turn heads on your very special day!

Book your appointment here.

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