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How much should I charge to hem a bridesmaid dress?

Are you a seamstress or tailor getting started in the bridal alteration business? Maybe you have a friend who is getting married and you’re looking to hem their bridesmaid dress as a favor. Whatever your situation may be, one of the questions you might be asking yourself is, “How much should I charge to hem a bridesmaid dress?”

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because there are many variables to consider, such as the type of fabric, the complexity of the hemline, and the experience and skill level of the person doing the alterations. However, we can give you some general guidelines to help you determine how much to charge for hemming a bridesmaid dress.

The Average Cost of Bridesmaid Dress Alterations

According to WeddingWire, the average cost of bridesmaid dress alterations in the United States ranges from $45 to $150, with most bridesmaids spending around $100. Keep in mind that this is just an average and your prices may vary depending on your location and other factors.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Hemming a Bridesmaid Dress

The cost of hemming a bridesmaid dress can vary based on many factors, including:

1. Type of Fabric

The type of fabric will affect the time and effort required to hem the dress. For example, if the dress is made of a delicate fabric like silk, chiffon, or lace, it will require more care and attention than a dress made of a sturdy fabric like cotton or polyester.

2. Complexity of the Hemline

If the bridesmaid dress has a simple hemline, it will be quicker and easier to hem than a dress with a complex hemline, such as a high-low hemline or a dress with a train.

3. Experience and Skill Level

The experience and skill level of the person doing the alterations will also affect the cost. If you’re just starting out in the alteration business, you may want to charge a lower rate until you gain more experience. On the other hand, if you have years of experience and are known for your expert alterations, you can charge a higher rate.

Factors That Should Not Affect the Cost of Hemming a Bridesmaid Dress

While there are many factors that can affect the cost of hemming a bridesmaid dress, there are some factors that should not affect the cost. For example, the price should not vary based on the size of the dress or the number of layers.

How to Determine Your Price

If you’re still unsure about how much to charge for hemming a bridesmaid dress, here are some steps you can take to determine your price:

Step 1: Calculate Your Cost

Before you can determine your price, you need to calculate your cost. This includes the cost of materials, such as thread and needles, as well as the amount of time you spend hemming the dress.

Step 2: Research Your Competition

Research the prices of other seamstresses and tailors in your area to get an idea of what they are charging for bridesmaid dress alterations.

Step 3: Determine Your Level of Experience

Determine your level of experience and skill level. If you’re just starting out, you may want to charge a lower rate until you gain more experience.

Step 4: Set Your Price

Once you have calculated your cost, researched your competition, and determined your level of experience, you can set your price. Make sure to communicate your pricing clearly to your clients so that there are no surprises.


In summary, the cost of hemming a bridesmaid dress can vary based on many factors, including the type of fabric, the complexity of the hemline, and the experience and skill level of the person doing the alterations. While the average cost of bridesmaid dress alterations in the United States ranges from $45 to $150, it’s important to calculate your own cost and research your competition before setting your price. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re charging a fair price for your services while also providing high-quality alterations to your clients.


How long does it take for a tailor to shorten a dress?

The length of time it takes for a tailor to shorten a dress can depend on several factors. One of the primary factors that can influence how long it takes is the skill level of the tailor. The more experienced a tailor is, the quicker they can typically get the job done. Similarly, tailors who specialize in alterations may be able to work more quickly than those who work on a variety of different clothing items.

Another factor that can impact the time it takes to shorten a dress is the complexity of the alteration. For example, if a dress has intricate detailing or embellishments, it may take longer to alter than a simpler, more straightforward design. Additionally, the type of fabric the dress is made from can also impact how long the alteration takes. Delicate fabrics that require special care may take longer to work with than sturdier materials.

The style of the dress can also play a role in how long it takes to shorten it. A dress with a simple, straight hemline may be a quick alteration for a skilled tailor. However, a dress with a more complex hemline, like a high-low or asymmetrical cut, may take longer to shorten and ensure the hemline is even.

The time it takes for a tailor to shorten a dress can vary widely depending on these various factors. In some cases, a tailor may be able to complete the alteration in just a few hours, while in others, it could take several days or even up to a few weeks to complete the job to the highest standard. It’s always a good idea to discuss your specific needs and timeline with your tailor so that they can give you a more accurate estimate of how long the alteration will take.

Why are dress alterations so expensive?

Dress alterations can be quite expensive, and there are a few reasons for this. The first reason is that lined garments are more difficult and time consuming to alter. Lining adds an extra layer of fabric to the garment, making it more complicated to sew and alter. In addition, the lining may need to be removed in order to alter the outer garment, which adds to the time and cost of the alteration.

Another reason why dress alterations can be expensive is due to the type of fabric that the garment is made from. For example, chiffon, lace, delicate fabrics, and beaded clothing cost more to alter because they require more time and care to sew. These fabrics are more fragile and prone to damage, so the tailor must take extra precautions to ensure that the fabric is not damaged during the alteration process.

Finally, men’s jackets are also expensive to alter because of their complicated construction. Men’s jackets typically have several layers of fabric, including the outer shell, lining, and interfacing. The sleeves and collar are often lined with a separate piece of fabric, which needs to be removed in order to alter the jacket. In addition, the construction of the jacket may be more complex than a simple dress, which adds to the time and expertise required to make the alterations.

Dress alterations can be expensive due to a variety of factors, including the difficulty of altering lined garments, the delicacy of certain fabrics, and the complicated construction of men’s jackets. While it may be tempting to try and save money by attempting to alter a garment at home, it is often better to invest in a skilled tailor who can ensure that the alterations are done correctly and with the least amount of damage to the garment possible.

Can a tailor shorten my dress?

Yes, a tailor can shorten your dress. In fact, this is one of the most common alterations that a tailor can perform on a dress. Shortening a dress is a relatively simple process that involves cutting the bottom of the dress to the desired length, and then hemming the new edge so that it does not fray or unravel.

However, it is important to note that not all dresses can be shortened. Some dresses have intricate hemlines or details that may be difficult or impossible to alter without ruining the overall look of the dress. Similarly, if a dress is too short, it may not be possible to lengthen it without adding additional fabric or compromising the style of the dress.

If you are interested in having your dress shortened, it is best to take it to a professional tailor or seamstress who can assess the dress and determine whether it can be altered to your satisfaction. They can also provide advice on the best length for the dress based on your body type and personal preferences.

In addition to shortening a dress, a tailor can also perform a range of other alterations to ensure that your dress fits you perfectly. This may include taking in or letting out seams, adjusting the straps or sleeves, or replacing a zipper.

If you have a dress that does not fit you quite right or is too long, a tailor is a great resource that can help you achieve the perfect fit and look that you desire.

What is it called when you shorten a dress?

When you shorten a dress, you are altering the length of the garment to fit your desired length. This process is called hemming. Hemming is a technique used to shorten the length of a dress, pants, skirts, or any type of clothing that has an excess material at the bottom. Hemming involves folding in the excess fabric and then sewing the fabric into the garment so that the hemline is raised to the desired length.

The process of hemming not only alters the length of the garment but also enhances its overall appearance. A correctly hemmed garment looks immaculate and polished and can accentuate the body’s shape well. Moreover, hemming a dress gives the garment a tailored look that can make it perfect for formal occasions.

The process of hemming requires precision, especially when it comes to dressmaking. A good tailor will ensure that the hem is nearly invisible and finished with a high level of sophistication. The overall process of hemming the dress might involve some intricate steps, but the result is always worth it. Hemming is an economical solution to make an old dress feel and look like new. It’s also a great way to customize the dress to one’s preference, regardless of the dress’s original length.

To conclude, hemming is the technique of shortening the length of a dress, allowing you to customize the garment to your preferred length. It is a great way to make an old dress look new and polished and provides a tailored appearance. The process of hemming entails folding in the excess fabric and sewing in, ensuring the hemline is clean and precisely finished.

Is it worth getting a dress altered?

When it comes to clothing, finding the perfect fit can be a challenge. But what do you do when you find a dress that you absolutely love, but doesn’t fit you quite right? Is it worth the time and money to have it altered?

The short answer is yes, it’s worth it. Even if the clothing item that needs tailoring is more costly, having it tailored is worth it. A perfectly tailored clothing item can save you time and money. Rather than going back to the store, returning the item and re-purchasing it in a smaller or larger size, you can have it tailored during one appointment.

In addition, having a dress altered can also make you feel confident and beautiful. When clothes fit properly, they can enhance your figure and help you feel your best. For instance, a well-fitting dress can define your waistline or accentuate your curves. On the flip side, an ill-fitting dress can make you feel uncomfortable, self-conscious and less confident.

Some people may argue that the cost of tailoring is not worth it, especially if the clothing item is not very expensive. But there are several instances in which the cost of tailoring is worth it, such as for a wedding dress, a prom dress, or any formal attire. In these cases, it’s important to have the dress altered in order to ensure a perfect fit and to feel confident on your special day.

It’S worth getting a dress altered if it doesn’t fit you perfectly. Not only can it save you time and money in the long run, but it can also boost your confidence and make you feel beautiful.