Wedding Alterations

So, you’ve found the perfect velvet wedding dress, but it’s not quite fitting you like a glove. No worries, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of altering a velvet wedding dress, giving you all the tips and tricks to ensure a flawless fit on your big day. Whether you decide to consult a tailor, tailor, or alteration expert, we’ll provide you with insightful advice to guide you through the process. From finding the perfect bridal tailor to considering the implications of altering a delicate velvet gown, we’ve got all the information you need to make your dream dress a reality. 


Understanding the Velvet Fabric

Before embarking on altering a velvet wedding dress, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the fabric itself. Velvet is a luxurious and elegant fabric that adds a touch of glamour to any garment. However, it requires special considerations when it comes to alterations.

Characteristics of Velvet

Velvet is known for its soft and plush texture created by its densely packed fibers. It has a smooth, lustrous surface and a slight sheen, making it highly desirable for wedding dresses. However, due to its pile, velvet can be prone to crushing and receiving marks, which makes handling and altering it a delicate process.

Types of Velvet

There are various types of velvet, each with its own characteristics and variations. Some common types include silk velvet, rayon velvet, and synthetic velvet. Silk velvet is the most luxurious and expensive option, known for its natural luster and drape. Rayon velvet is softer and more affordable, while synthetic velvet is budget-friendly and durable.

It’s essential to consider the type of velvet used in your wedding dress when consulting with your tailor. Different types of velvet may require different alteration techniques and handling methods.

Considerations for Alterations

When altering a velvet wedding dress, it’s crucial to approach the process with care and attention to detail. Velvet is a delicate fabric that doesn’t readily forgive mistakes, so it’s essential to work with a skilled tailor who understands the intricacies of working with velvet.

Common alterations for velvet wedding dresses include hem adjustments, bodice alterations, sleeve modifications, taking in or letting out, and adding or removing embellishments. Each alteration requires precision and expertise to ensure the integrity and beauty of the fabric are preserved.


Pre-Alteration Preparations

Before taking your velvet wedding dress to the tailor for alterations, there are a few steps you can take to ensure a smooth and successful process. It’s essential to thoroughly inspect the dress, identify desired alterations, and consult with the tailor to discuss your vision.

Inspecting the Dress

Carefully inspect your wedding dress for any imperfections or areas that may require alterations. Look for loose threads, missing embellishments, or any fit issues that need to be addressed. Take note of these details so you can discuss them with the tailor during your consultation.

Identifying Desired Alterations

Consider the changes you would like to make to your velvet wedding dress. Do you need it hemmed? Would you like to adjust the bodice for a better fit? Are there any sleeves or embellishments you’d like to modify? Clearly identify your desired alterations so you can effectively communicate them to the tailor.

Consulting with the Seamstress

Schedule a consultation with your chosen tailor to discuss your desired alterations. Bring your dress and any reference images or inspiration you have gathered. During the consultation, the tailor will assess your dress, offer professional advice, and provide you with an estimate for the alterations. Use this time to ensure that you and the tailor are on the same page and that your vision for the dress is understood.


Fitting and Measurements

Accurate measurements are crucial to achieving a well-fitted velvet wedding dress. During the alteration process, you will likely have multiple fitting sessions to ensure the desired fit is achieved.

Taking Accurate Measurements

The tailor will take precise measurements of your body to ensure the alterations result in a perfect fit. These measurements will guide the tailor in adjusting the dress to your specific proportions. It’s important to stand still and follow the tailor’s instructions to obtain the most accurate measurements.

Fitting Sessions

Fitting sessions are an integral part of the alteration process for a velvet wedding dress. These sessions allow the tailor to make adjustments to the dress based on your body’s unique shape and measurements. Fittings may involve trying on the dress with temporary alterations or pins to achieve the desired fit.

Evaluating the Fit

During each fitting session, take the time to carefully evaluate the fit of the dress. Communicate any concerns or issues to the tailor. They will use this feedback to further refine the alterations until the dress fits you perfectly. Be patient and trust in the tailor’s expertise to achieve the desired result.


Alteration Techniques for Velvet

Working with velvet requires specific alteration techniques to ensure the fabric’s beauty and integrity are preserved. Here are some common alteration techniques used for velvet wedding dresses:

Hem Adjustments

Hem adjustments are often necessary to achieve the desired length for your velvet wedding dress. The tailor will carefully measure and mark the appropriate length before making any alterations to avoid any unintentional damage to the fabric.

Bodice Alterations

The bodice may require alterations to achieve the desired fit. This can include taking in or letting out seams, adjusting the neckline, or repositioning darts. The use of delicate hand sewing techniques is often preferred for velvet alterations to minimize the risk of damage.

Sleeve Modifications

If your dress has sleeves, you may want to modify their length or shape. The tailor will carefully assess the design and structure of the sleeves before making any alterations. Be sure to communicate your preferences and desired changes during the consultation.

Taking in or Letting out

Taking in or letting out the sides or back of the dress may be necessary for achieving the perfect fit. The tailor will carefully consider the construction and design of the dress to ensure any alterations are inconspicuous and well-blended with the original fabric.

Adding or Removing Embellishments

If you desire additional embellishments or would like to remove existing ones, consult with the tailor. They will guide you through the options and techniques for adding or removing embellishments while preserving the integrity of the velvet fabric.


Working with the Seamstress

To ensure a successful alteration process for your velvet wedding dress, it is essential to establish clear communication and work collaboratively with the tailor.

Clear Communication

Maintaining clear communication with your chosen tailor is crucial from the initial consultation until the final fitting. Clearly express your desires and concerns, and listen carefully to the tailor’s advice and recommendations. Regular and open communication will help ensure that both parties are on the same page throughout the alteration process.

Sharing Reference Images

To help the tailor visualize your vision for the dress, provide reference images or inspiration during your consultation. These images can help convey the specific alterations or design elements you desire. Keep in mind that alterations may be influenced by the structure and style of your dress, so be open to the tailor’s professional judgment.

Discussing Timeline and Budget

During your consultation, discuss the timeline for the alterations and establish a clear understanding of the expected completion date. Additionally, ensure that the tailor provides you with a detailed breakdown of the costs involved. It’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of the financial commitment before proceeding with the alterations.


Considerations for Special Design Elements

If your velvet wedding dress includes special design elements such as lace, beading, sashes, belts, or a train, there are additional considerations to keep in mind during the alteration process.

Lace and Beading

If your dress has lace or beading, discuss with the tailor how alterations will impact these elements. Certain alterations may require special care to maintain the integrity and beauty of these decorative features. The tailor will utilize their expertise to ensure any alterations blend seamlessly with the lace or beading.

Sashes and Belts

For dresses with sashes or belts, alterations may involve adjusting the length, adding additional beading or embroidery, or even swapping out the sash for a different style. Consult with the tailor regarding your desired modifications and allow them to guide you on the best approach.

Adding or Removing Trains

If your velvet wedding dress has a train, you may want to modify its length or change its style. It’s important to consider the weight and drape of the velvet fabric when making any alterations to the train. Your tailor will provide guidance on the best techniques to achieve the desired result.


Trial Fitting and Final Adjustments

After the initial alterations are complete, you will have a trial fitting to evaluate the progress and make any necessary final adjustments.

Fitting the Altered Dress

During the trial fitting, you will try on the altered dress to assess the fit and overall look. Pay close attention to how the alterations have affected the dress’s silhouette, comfort, and movement. Communicate any concerns or desired refinements to the tailor for further adjustments.

Evaluation and Possible Refinements

Once you have evaluated the fit and look of the dress during the trial fitting, the tailor will assess any requested refinements. They will make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the dress meets your expectations and achieves the desired fit and style.

Finalizing the Alterations

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, and you are satisfied with the final look and fit of your velvet wedding dress, the alterations are finalized. The tailor will ensure that each alteration is secure and that the dress is in pristine condition before returning it to you.


Post-Alteration Care

After your velvet wedding dress has been altered, it’s important to take proper care of it to maintain its beauty and longevity.

Professional Steaming and Pressing

To remove any wrinkles or creases that may have occurred during the alteration process, consider having your dress professionally steamed and pressed. Velvet can be sensitive to heat, so trust the expertise of a professional to ensure the fabric is treated correctly.

Storing the Dress

When storing your altered velvet wedding dress, take extra care to protect it from any potential damage. Store it in a breathable garment bag, away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and high humidity. Avoid hanging the dress by its straps or sleeves to prevent stretching or distortion.

Transporting and Handling

If you need to transport or handle your altered velvet wedding dress, make sure to do so with care. Handle the dress using clean, dry hands to minimize the risk of transferring oils or dirt to the fabric. Avoid folding the dress unnecessarily and be mindful of any embellishments or delicate details that may be prone to snagging or damage.



Choosing a professional tailor who specializes in working with velvet wedding dresses is crucial to achieving a beautifully altered gown. The tailor’s experience, expertise, and clear communication will ensure that your vision becomes a reality. By understanding the characteristics of velvet, properly preparing for alterations, and providing detailed feedback during fittings, you can have confidence in the successful alteration of your precious velvet wedding dress. Remember to consider the unique elements of your dress, such as lace, beading, sashes, and trains, and take proper care of your altered dress post-alteration. With the assistance of a skilled tailor and proper care, your velvet wedding dress will fit flawlessly and make you feel absolutely stunning on your special day.