Meet Sarah C…

“the belle of the ball…”  sarah belle bride

The mother of the groom reached out to me and asked if I was able to come take measurements so her new daughter could order her dress. It was a custom made dress. When the bride comes to me for measurements, and contracts my services for alterations after the dress arrives, I don’t charge for the measurements fitting time. I consider that a part of my customer service.

Sarah was a nervous wreck when I arrived. She was unsure of what exactly she needed to send the company for her measurements. There are many “terms” that describe places to measure…and depending upon the garment depends the measurements needed. When using measurements to figure out what size to buy, always go with the size that is the largest that accommodates ALL of the measurements. A good seamstress alters that garment to fit you like a glove.

Sarah’s dress came in a month later, slightly big in the bust line. Due to the way the dress was made, there was a lot of bead work that needed to be reattached during the alteration process. ALL bead-work is hand sewn, driving the cost of the alteration up quickly. Sarah’s dress was no different.  She wore a hoop skirt underneath to keep the skirt full. The hoop skirt kept collapsing during the fitting sessions. I got creative…my favorite part of my job…and used thin PVC pipe to reinforce the hoops instead of the wire that it was made with. I alternated each layer – 1 layer wire, the next layer PVC.

     belle wedding dress back

Several fittings later the dress fit her amazingly. Despite her original concern over her full figure, she beamed with delight at the finished product.

From her photos, you could tell she was a happy gal. She thanked me for making her day special, shared all of her wedding photos, and I made a new friend. Sometimes I don’t think what I do – making alterations – is really all that special. But Sarah reminded me that I make a difference. What may seem like a small alteration to me, boosts the self confidence of someone on her special day. May you never forget how special a woman you are, Sarah!


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Cathy Zacharias

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