“Seamstress Secrets” - Why using a Bridal Seamstress is vital when buying my wedding dress?

Sharing the truth about choosing the size of your gown and why we think it should always involve a seamstress.

After entering the bridal industry at a very early age I remember watching colleges perform fittings with jealousy and awe. I even offered to do all their fit notes, so I could be a part of the appointments. I decided I would dedicate the rest of my education to making myself the best I could be. Many years later I own Blush by Jena Louise. Trained in alterations & fitting, pattern cutting, designing garments from scratch and steel boned corsetry. I spend my professional life ensuring that the purchase of a wedding gown is as knowledgeable and uncomplicated as possible. That is why I always insist on sizing up a bride personally for her wedding gown.

I insist on this for one simple reason – I know my gowns. I know which designers have 2 inch seam allowances and which designers clip onto the seams at the waist. I know that I can take a strapless gown in by 3 sizes but a low backed dress should only be taken in 1 size.

I thought I would also try to dispel some of the Bridal Shop myths that I have heard an explain why I personally disagree with them.

Myth - Taking in is easier than letting out

Truth – In fact, taking in a gown and letting it out are the same amount of work. The only difference is you are limited to how much you can let out by the ‘seam allowance’ in your bodice. This allowance varies from gown to gown.

Myth - Always order your gown two sizes bigger than you need as it can be taken in

Truth – Not all gowns can be taken in by two or more sizes. And taking a gown in 3 or more sizes involves a full bodice reconstruction. Backless dresses for instance loose shape if we take too much from the underarm seam. Therefore, we insist on using a trained seamstress for all our consultations. Always talk to your consultant about how you expect your body to change over the coming months. A trained seamstress will listen and work out a size both of you are happy with.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you choose my gown size?

All bridal designers have their own size chart for their collections. When you decide on your gown a Bust, Waist and Hip measurement will always be taken. We then see where you sit on the designers’ chart. If you are a mixture of sizes (e.g. your bust is a 12 but your hip is a 14) then we will discuss the best size based on you and your gown. Many people are hocked to find that sometimes letting out your gown may require much less work than taking in your gown a whole size elsewhere.

Unless you are buying the sample dress, sizing should never be done by solely seeing if the sample fits. This is because after a few months in store the sample is no longer a ‘true size’. We may use a sample as a judging aid but this will ALWAYS be backed up by measurements.

What if I want to loose weight before I order my gown?

Always discuss any expected changes to your body with your consultant. Are you expecting to loose a few pounds or are you expecting to loose a considerable amount of weight?

Many people can panic over this as dresses need to be ordered a minimum of 8 months before the wedding however we do not start alterations until 6 weeks before your wedding. As a general rule dresses can be taken in around 2-3 sizes but this is not always the case so tell us what you expect and we will find a size that all parties feel comfortable with.

Why is my size different to my normal High Street Size?

Bridal sizes are very different to high street sizes. This is because bridal gowns must sit on the international size chart; most high street stores do not use this anymore. We always use the designers chart as gospel as this is what they will use to when cutting their gowns.


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