Don’t you just love a good tailor?

I truly believe in the necessity of a good tailor (I’m sure you’ve figured this out about me by now).  I wanted to share this alteration with you because it’s something that I feel people wouldn’t automatically think to tailor… but I certainly would!

Here’s a bit of background:
I was looking for more of a dressy-casual summer dress that was more feminine and “light” looking (does that make sense??).  I stumbled across this fun and flirty dress at Thread Hill, a great boutique in downtown Edmonton.  I fell in love with the dress but realized that it needed some tailoring to make it work for me.  Since I’ve been working with my tailor for a few years now, I usually do a mental run-through to see if a garment is worth tailoring.  Here’s my mental checklist:

  • How much is the garment?  I usually ask this question to see if the additional cost of tailoring is worth purchasing the piece I’m interested in (i.e.- what’s my cost per wear after the tailoring job??).
  • How much will tailoring cost? This can be difficult to answer since I don’t always know what the prices are for the tailoring job I have in mind.  However, I do know my tailor pretty well (I see her on a monthly basis… I know, that’s nuts) so I have a good idea of how much she charges.
  • Do I REALLY love it? If I like it, and am willing to pay the money for the new piece AND the tailoring, I usually ask myself if I’ll actually wear this custom piece.  For garments that are basic or neutral, I usually lean towards “yes” but for those items that can’t be worn on a regular basis, I have a much tougher decision to make

So, I decided to purchase the lovely dress – of course with specific alternations in mind.  I decided to share each stage of the tailoring process with you!

  • The lovely dress… as is.  It’s WAY too big on me but definitely has a lot of potential (my tailor took these pics).


  • Here’s some pictures of what my tailor intended to fix.  You’ll notice all the areas that have been pinned.


  • Here’s the final dress!  It’s custom-altered… just for me.  I love what she did to this dress.


This is what was done to this dress:

  • The back was taken in because it was too wide for my frame.  This was causing the beautiful lace to fall off my shoulders and expose my bra… not cool!
  • The waistline in the back was raised to align with the waistline in the front.  Originally, the dress drooped in the back which made my butt look saggy (and it’s not… in case you were wondering).
  • Extra material was removed from the back.  Initially, there was too much billowing above the waistline in the back (more than what my preference is).

As you can see, it didn’t take major work, on the part of my tailor, to take this dress from “meh… it’s ok” to “I can’t wait to wear it”! I’ve definitely enjoyed this fun, feminine dress this summer!

I bet there have been amazing pieces that you’ve passed on because they didn’t fit quite right.  As always, I encourage you to utilize the services of a tailor and think about how to make a garment your own (whether it’s a new piece or something you’ve owned for years)!

Let me know what you come up with…