The need for a competent and highly skilled bridal alterations seamstress is in high demand and the skill of sewing in general is a dying art. Bridal shop owners and Brides depend on having a good seamstress, and it’s hard to find! There’s a lot more than just sewing that goes into this job. It takes a lot of patience, communication skills and training to enter this line of work.  Here are 5 things every bridal alterations seamstress should know!

Know The Dress 

 First off, you get to be surrounded by all these gorgeous dresses! I love walking into my sewing room and seeing all the lace, beads and fluff. However, all these things can be difficult to work with. Bridal alterations is a very technical skill. You need to be comfortable working with princess seam bodices that have lining and boning in them. The bride may want to add a bustle to her dress or change out the zipper for a corset. It’s kind of the epitome of sewing, you will be doing a lot of advanced stuff! 

The First fitting 

a seamstress fitting a bride for a bridal gown

 It is very important to have an inviting, tidy and clean fitting area that makes your bride feel welcome.  The first fitting is where you will find out all the information you need in order to get the job done on time. You need to make sure you know when the wedding date is and also what day she actually will be needing the dress. Some brides have plans with the dress before the wedding day or they may be flying out of town. Make sure you write down all the measurements you will need as you are pinning her dress. Also, be sure you go over all pricing, policies and schedule her next fitting before you send her out the door.

How to Communicate With your Bride 

You don’t want bridezilla on your hands!  Be sure to compliment the bride in her dress! You want her to feel special and good about her dress. There’s certain things seamstresses can say that may make the bride feel very disheartened about the dress. You want to avoid anything negative about her dress. During the fitting, make sure you explain how things work throughout the process. As you alter the dress to her liking there may be a few more adjustments at the second fitting that may need to be done. Explaining this to her beforehand will avoid any disappointment or miscommunication. Truly listen to the bride and understand how she wants the dress to fit. Ask her to make decisions on hem length and how snug she wants the dress to fit.

Confidence and Skill

A confident woman pointing directly at you

 Feeling good about your skills and the work that you’ve done is huge in having success in this line of work. Understanding what the brides wants and their vision of beauty and making their dream dress a reality is what’s important. Sometimes the bride may want a dress altered a little different than the way it’s “supposed” to be and that’s what will make you a good seamstress. Confidence is not knowing the way the dress is supposed to look but the skill to alter  it the way the bride wants it to look. 

A good business model


Make sure you look and speak professional and be kind.  Always do your best work. That will generate the positive word of mouth you need to have brides and bridal shops calling you. Having this special set of skills is something people seek after so don’t sell yourself short. You don’t want the reputation of being the “cheapest seamstress in town”, you want customers that value your worth and will pay you for it. In my courses I do personal one on one career counseling with you. We will talk about your dreams and your goals. Everyone’s situation is different and I want you to succeed!