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How to tailor / alter a prom dress

a few ways that a Professional seamstress can alter your gown.

Let’s start with the hem. Tulle ball gowns like this dress I made (style number P812), are very easy to hem.  As a matter of fact, you can probably do it yourself with a little box of hem tape and a sharp pair of scissors. However, I don’t ever recommend a person to “do it themselves” unless you are very versed in altering. In this case, this dress sells for $418. dollars and I would hate to have someone try to alter it and then end up with a dress they cannot use. But this type of alteration is simple. Once you have the proper undergarments on, the seamstress will basically measure where you want the hem to fall. This is typically one inch up from the floor. 
P812LG prom dress tulle

Can I send someone in my place?

Don’t send someone else who is the same height as you to your alteration appt. Your buttocks may be bigger which means the dress will be lifted off the ground more in the back. On this dress, the seamstress will hem the inside lining with her sewing machine. If you want to do it yourself, you can purchase hem tape and simply stick it to the inside of the dress then flip the lining up and stick. The only problem with this is your heel could get caught in the opening of the fold and you could fall. But then I’ve had girls tell me that they fell down stairs in their prom dresses and most claim they fell over their own feet and it had nothing to do with their prom dress. But you want to take out any probabilities of falling – if possible.

How to alter or tailor tulle dress?

The tulle on this dress is simply cut. No need to hem the tulle you can see on the outside of the dress. Tulle, not hemmed, doesn’t fray.  The hard part is making sure you have someone cut the tulle who has a steady hand.  Stand up straight and tall and do not slouch over trying to see what the seamstress is doing because this will make the dress go up and down and the cut could be lopsided.

What can be tailored on a dress with a train?

This dress (my style number J527) can basically just be hemmed to the proper length.  It also has a train which many girls like to put up for the dance.  I like to use rhinestone buttons to attaché my trains so I would sew the button to the dress in the proper location to have the hem equal the floor. Another option for trains is to attach a train holder to the bottom of the train and then rest it on your wrist.  So when you dance it looks like you are a queen at King Louis the 14th’s ball at Versaille in France. 
P527promdress with train debora rachelle

What is an easy dress to alter or Tailor?

Dresses can be taken in or let out at the seams or at the zipper.  It’s always nice to have a dress with a corset back. This dress P793 has a lace up back. These types of dresses are wonderful because then you won’t need to alter the top, you just pull the lace tighter like a tennis shoe. 
P793 corset dress gown prom

Click here for more information on what you need to know about tailoring / altering your prom dress. What to bring with you to the tailor, how to find a tailor, etc.


Written copy on this web page is open to be used freely in any professional and ethical, magazine, newspaper, or publication. We only ask that the website www.PromMagazine.com be given as a reference with their writer, fashion designer, DeBora Rachelle.

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