"My dress is WAY too long, but it has a deep lace hem! Can you fix it?"
"I have a dress I love but it's about 5" too short! Can you fix it?"
"I found a dress really cheap- but it's about 5 sizes too big- can you make it fit me?"
"My dream dress is gorgeous! But it's a couple sizes too small. Can you help?"
The good news is - in most; not all, but most; cases, the answer is yes.
Deep lace hem?
This deep lace hem was about 6 inches long. After measuring exactly how much it needed to be brought up, and pinning the extra length above the top row a lace -
I carefully trimmed away and separated the bottom segment of lace and hem from the upper part of the skirt, cutting just above the top row of lace.
This is the hardest part - re-pinning the lace that I removed, to the correct and level length. Not as easy as it looks. Then it is hand basted on before being machine stitched. If there is beading, it is usually all hand stitched.
This is a gown that came in several sizes too small. I added a lace-up panel at the back, that the bride loved even more than the original zipper!
Here is a case of a dress that came in way too short! About 12 inches to be exact! Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a sample dress with the same lace. After re-making the satin, crinoline and lining layers to the new length, I trimmed away the bottom 'trim' layer of the lace. I then very carefully removed about 15 inches from the bottom of the sample dress, and positioned in in place on the dress.
You can see the pins here, if you look closely! Hand basted, very carefully, to make sure it was all even and at the correct length; then machine stitched in place.
A challenge, to be sure- but can I tell you a secret? Shhhhh!!!
(The bride never knew! It was obvious when the dress arrived from the manufacturer, that it was much too short. In looking at her measurements, it was not difficult to figure how much length was needed, so I added it before she even saw it!)
There are many other alterations that can be performed on your wedding dress- including adding straps or even sleeves, adding or removing a petticoat, adding beading or other embellishments, and of course, my favorite - bustling! But that's another post!