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Bridal Mending Tips
Buying a sample wedding dress is a terrific solution for the woman who loves
designer style and lives on a budget. But what if the gown you love comes at an
unexpected price - visible fitting room wear?
For a woman who buys all
her apparel "off the rack," missing buttons, missing beads, broken zippers or
stains can be viewed as insurmountable drawbacks. In the hands of a wedding
professional, they are simple mending projects.
Even when you don't want
to "do it yourself," knowing how to fix fitting room wear can calm your fears
and make an otherwise "iffy" wedding dress a fantastic bargain. So here are easy
fixes for a few of the most common kinds of wear you'll find in sample wedding
Making covered buttons for a wedding gown or
formal is easy peasy.
To replace covered buttons, you need shank buttons
and fabric that closely matches the color of your wedding dress. Choose from
full, flat or half ball button styles; they are available at any fabric store
and many online sources. Then simply outline the proper amount of fabric with a
pen, cut, stitch and sew into place on your dress.
Matching the fabric and color is often the most
difficult part. So you may want to replace all the buttons rather than try to
match one or two missing buttons.
Most professional seamstresses have all
this material on hand including fabric remnants which have been saved from other
projects. If your dress is shortened, the excess fabric at the hem makes a
remnant with more than enough fabric to replace all the buttons if that is
Sometimes problems are opportunities in disguise, so get creative. Replace
staid covered buttons with dazzling crystal rhinestones, pearl shank or silver
shank buttons. Once you start looking, you will find many choices! !
the selection of trim, buttons, ribbon and other notions at M&J Trimming and order from
them all the time.
Replace a Broken
Before you decide to replace a zipper, examine it carefully
to see if you can repair it. Invisible zippers typically used in bridal and
formal construction are self healing. They use plastic coils rather than metal
Get a good grip. Zip all the way down to the foot.
Then zip all the way up again.
If a coil is missing in the upper
two-thirds of the zipper's tracks, the zipper should be replaced. If a coil is
missing near the bottom of one of the tracks, zip up the zipper so that the
slider is above the damage. Thread a needle and make several stitches around
both rows of coil, just above the missing coil, to make a new stop for the
slider. Stitch over the new stop several times to make sure it's firm.
If the problem is a missing pull tab, check to see whether the slider
has a hole where the pull tab was attached. If so, slip a length of knitting
wool or narrow ribbon through the hole to serve as a substitute.
zipper is beyond repair, replace it with a new one of the same color and length.
Since it requires a sewing machine, I don't consider this a do it yourself
project . But for a sewing professional, the job is fairly routine.
Mending Open Seams
Mending a loose or open seam, usually at the base of the zipper, is
another easy fix.
Turn the dress inside out. Pin the fabric where it
should meet. Thread a single length of thread into a fine needle. Knot one end.
Take a stitch to the left of the opened seam to secure the thread. Then use a
loop stitch from the start of the opening to the end. When the seam is snug,
double stitch the end in a knot. Voila.
Replace missing beads on the bodice and body of your dress
by sewing on replacements with a thread color which closely matches that of your
dress. Many dresses come with replacement beads. Most bead styles can be found
at any fabric or crafts store. In some cases, a few missing beads is
unnoticeable. In other cases, strategically removing other similar beads makes
resolves the problem. No one but the designer knows they are gone.
Rather than trying to repair a section of damaged trim, replace the
entire strip. Local fabric stores and Internet sources offer many bead and trim
Budget to have your dress dry cleaned before the
All silk or silk blend wedding dresses wrinkle when they are
shipped. Almost all sample gowns have a little ordinary soil under the train.
TLC wedding dresses may have soil marks, ink marks or cosmetics inside or on the
skirt. Any oil based or water based stain can be remedied by dry cleaning. This
includes ball point pen marks, lipstick smudges, foundation spills, water marks
and ordinary soil.
The best bridal salon in town will be able to
recommend the dry cleaning professionals in your area who specialize in wedding
Don't be afraid of
alterations. Yes they add cost to your wedding gown. At the same time, almost no
body is the perfect manufacturer's size. And this is one day you want to be
beautiful and perfectly comfortable. So easing out a seam here and nipping in a
seam there is normal. In fact, bridal gowns are constructed for just such
A good bridal salon in your area can refer you to a
seamstress who specializes in bridal. Other brides you know or connect with in
online bridal forums can also recommend sewing professionals. Search online or
in the yellow pages of your phone book.
Costs can vary widely.
It's smart to get three estimates before you choose, so give yourself
time for sourcing a seamstress you like and trust as well as plenty of time for
The wedding dress of your dreams may be just a nip,
tuck and trip to the cleaners away. All you need is the willingness to give it a
little tender loving care.
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