There comes a time in every sewers journey when they will be asked do some alterations. “Just a little off here” or “taken in a bit there” and often, thats exactly what they are; simple, quick adjustments. Then comes the trickier alterations that involve a lot more effort and time but the person asking, still thinks it a simple task. You know, things like “Can you shorten the sleeves on my tailored jacket” (yes one with proper opening, buttoned cuffs) or heaven forbid, Bridal alterations, “My Wedding Dress just needs a little tweak!”
Well personally I steer away from every type of alteration except the more complex ones! I don’t have the time to take up your trousers or replace your zip but I am certainly happy to re-tailor your suit or adjust your Bridal gown! I like the challenge and without doubt Bridal alterations are certainly a challenge. If you have ever looked closely at a Bridal gown, you will see the amount of work involved: The layers of fabric, the skirts, the embellishments etc. If you decide to alter one then the fun really begins! Often the simplest of tasks can result in you having to deconstruct the gown a lot more than you would think. Luckily help is at hand with a fabulous new book by Sarah Harbour aka the Bridalseamstress.
Bridal Alteration Techniques
‘The essential sewing guide for perfect bridal alterations’.
A new book that will certainly help you, if you ever do decide to tackle bridal alterations.
Disclaimer: I have no connection to the publisher or author but was kindly gifted a copy for review. All views expressed are my own.
The A4 sized paperback consisting of 116 pages, is not overly big but it covers every aspect of Bridal alteration you are likely to come across.
The book is split into 3 main sections:
- The Basics of Bridal attire is a must read section. It deals with all of the intricacies of bridal wear: Fabric, fastenings, combination seams and hand sewing, to list a few.
- The Alteration Processes is the ‘bones’ of the book: From fitting issues, re-shaping, hem finishing, bustles and more.
- Giving a little more not only covers corset backs but provides sample paperwork and useful resources.
The book is well written with clear precise explanations. The authors 25 years experience in the Bridal industry and her passion is clear; without being full of unnecessary, complex vocabulary. In fact the writing style is very relaxed which I like. Every step, discussed or demonstrated, is accompanied with clear colour photographs and occasional line drawings to clarify details.
There is also a really good ‘handout’ style document that covers “1 dress and 4 very different figures” This in itself is invaluable as it describes the alterations needed to fit the same dress to four different shaped figures.
I have done many bridal alterations over the years but reading through this book made me realise how differently (and probably quicker/easier) I could have tackled some of them. It will almost certainly prove useful for any further bridal alterations I take on.
Should I buy a copy?
In sewing there are many many books that are the same. See my Hidden Gems post to see my thoughts about that. Once in a while a book comes along that covers something different or something more specialised, a hidden gem. This book is exactly that. It gets to the point and explains what you need to know. Also many similar title are overpriced but at £16.99 this book is a steal. The book can be bought direct from Sarahs website so go and grab a copy.
I would certainly recommend the book to anyone who has, or is considering, any form of Bridal alteration.
So next time you are asked, think twice and go for it!
Until next time…..Happy sewing (or altering)