Prom is surely a very special event that everyone wants to remember and talk about for years. To all our girls, Prom Dress is one most important piece of this special ceremony, and we all want it to be perfect. Let’s have a look at some common prom dress alteration services.
The thing is, if you can find a perfectly fit prom dress, you are very lucky because it is rare. Most of the time, your prom dress will need some adjustments. Knowing which is a small alteration and which is a big one can help you choose your dress more wisely and do not end up spending too much money to turn it into your dream dress.
Based on our experience working with prom dress, I will summarize some common alterations you may need to make your dress fit you perfectly and the average cost of those services. The cost will be reflected by how much time we need to work on that, and the hourly rate for this service is around $35-50. At Halifax Tailor, we normally make $40-45 an hour for Prom Dress Alterations.
Like all other formal dresses, the prom dress is usually made quite long for most of us. Standard length that many people agree on is about 1” above the floor for the main layer. If your dress comes just a bit too long or short with the shoes you plan to wear, you can firstly think about changing your shoes.
Shortening the hemline can be a very easy job for a plain dress with invisible hem, roll hem or tulle. Laces, ruffles, beads or horse hair at the bottom line can make it more time-consuming if you want to keep the original decorations.
The number of layers and the width of the skirt should also be considered. The balloon gown with 6-8 layers, even when they are just tulle and normal fabric can not be a small job. The skirt with 3 layers or more sewing altogether normally takes us the most time to do since all the layers must be perfectly line-up.
Lengthening is not always possible to do. We’re lucky if there is some extra fabric to let out. If not, we will need to add other materials at the bottom if the design allows us to do so. For example, we can think about adding a line of similar laces at the bottom if the dress also has a lace top.
Working time: 45 minutes to 2 hours normally, maximum can be 5 hours.
2. Adjust shoulders:
This is the second most popular service we need to do on prom dresses. Sometimes, the dress may not fit properly on your body, but just pulling it up or letting it down a bit to fit the shoulders, all the problems can be solved. That’s why many dresses come with adjustable straps to have this flexibility. However, I agree with some of my customers that the adjustable one sometimes can make the dress look less formal.
Spaghetti straps are normally easy to adjust. Raising up the shoulder in sleeveless dress is also not a big job, either. Decorations like beads or laces can take a bit more time to do. Some dresses can have 3-4 straps on each side and it’ll takes longer to do all of them.
When it comes to long-sleeved dresses, anything to do with the shoulder is a big deal, especially when your dress has many layers or special decorations.
Working time: 30 minutes to 2 hours.
3. Take in waist or bust:
A lot of Prom dresses may need to be taken in from the waist or bust area to have the perfect fit. The difficulty of the job depends on the material and style of the dress, and also your body type. We normally can only figure it out at the fitting to see how the dress sits on your body.
Sometimes, a small pleat on each side of the dress can help. The other times, we may need to make the whole dress 1 or 2 sizes smaller. Normally, upto 2 sizes taken-in can be easily done. To make it more than 2 sizes smaller, it may need more work to restructure the dress.
Working time: 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.
4. Take out the bodice:
Firstly, it’s normally easier to take in compared to letting out any clothes, especially prom dress.
If we’re lucky enough, we have enough extra materials in the seam to let out exactly the amount you need to feel comfortable. In this situation, it may take about the same time as taking in.
In case we don’t have anything to let out at the seams, which is very common for prom dress, we will need to extend it. Most of the cases, we will make it into an open back dress with a tie and some loops to adjust and close it. We may also need to put a patch under and it will look like a corset bodice. In some cases, we can consider adding gussets to the side or the back of the dress. Finding the perfect matching fabric is a challenge of this job.
Working time: 1 to 3 hours.
5. Remodel the Prom dress:
Sometimes you just can not find your dream dress with all the details you want it to be. That’s when you will need some more work and creativity to make it more like yours.
Some common services are:
- Change the neckline
- Add sleeves
- Add ambelishes and decorations
- Close or open slit on the skirt
- Raise or lower the waistline
All of those alterations may not be a very big deal with certain styles, but can be impossible with the others. There is not a recipe for all of them, so I think it doesn’t hurt to ask your tailor if it is possible to do before you decide to buy the dress. That way, they can suggest the thing you need to look for so that it’s easier for the alterations and doesn’t surprise you later.
Working time: 1 to 5 hours.
Other small services we also do a lot on prom dress are:
- Add bra cubs
- Increase or reduce the bustle (of the skirt)
- Add pockets
- Add button to keep the train (when dancing)
I hope it is useful. And if you need any help with your prom dress alteration, we’re happy to help.
Book appointment online at ot give us a call at 902-832-0600