The 10 Best Dress Alterations Near Me (with Free Estimates) (2024)

What do seamstresses do?

Seamstresses provide tailoring, alteration and custom sewing for clothing or costumes. Seamstresses can reshape clothing that is too big or too small so that it fits properly — for example, hemming pants that are too long or bringing in the waistband of pants or a skirt that is too large. Seamstresses can also provide more complex alterations such as adding tucks to shape a dress or bringing in the body of a shirt. More time and expertise will be required for challenging fabric such as silk or clothing with lining, like a blazer or lined slacks. Seamstresses are also skilled in altering wedding dresses and other formal wear. The time and skill required for these types of alterations is greater than for basic tasks like hemming, so be sure to find an experienced seamstress to handle your special items.

Many seamstresses can also custom-make clothing for you. To come up with the design, you can bring in a pattern you like or an item of clothing you want the seamstress to replicate, or ask the seamstress to create a pattern for you. You can bring your own unique design to life with the help of a seamstress. There is no formal job training required to be a seamstress; many learn to sew and design from practical experience. For larger projects, like tailoring a suit, always be sure to review portfolios of work and read about the seamstress’s experience before committing.

How much do seamstresses charge?

The price for seamstress services will vary depending on the type of work you have done. The national average rate for a seamstress or tailor is $150-$280. Simple projects like repairing holes and hemming jeans usually have flat rates; larger projects, such as sewing custom creations, altering suits or altering wedding dresses, are typically priced based on the specifics of the fabric and pattern and the amount of work time needed. Here are a few examples of tailor and seamstress average costs:

  • Shorten sleeves of a dress shirt: $19.
  • Shorten jacket sleeves: $23 (without buttons) to $28 (with buttons).
  • Take in the body of a jacket: $40 (two seams) to $52 (three seams).
  • Take in a dress shirt: $20.
  • Adjust the shoulders of a jacket: $35.
  • Hem a skirt or dress: $10-$14.
  • Take in or let out a skirt or pair of pants: $15 (unlined) to $20 (lined) or $25 (with a zipper).
  • Shorten top-stitched pants: $10.
  • Shorten cuffed pants: $14.
  • Shorten lined pants: $14.
  • Shorten lined and cuffed pants: $18.
  • Take in a sheath dress: $45.
  • Restitch a fraying seam: $5.
  • Replace buttons: 50 cents each.
  • Move a button: $2.
  • Add a hook and eye: 50 cents per set.

Are you supposed to tip a seamstress?

Tipping seamstresses is not standard protocol. That said, anytime a talented seamstress goes above and beyond, offering a gratuity is a thoughtful gesture. A gratuity might be appropriate if the seamstress accepted a large project for you at the last minute — for example, hemming new suit pants the night before your work trip or taking in your party dress the day before your birthday. A gratuity may also be appropriate as recognition for the long hours of skilled stitching that your seamstress has put in altering your wedding dress, which often requires multiple fittings and precise fixes to make your dress perfect. If you do decide to offer a gratuity, first ask if the seamstress accepts gratuities; if they do, offer them an additional 15 percent to 20 percent of the total bill.

How do you find a seamstress?

Look forseamstresses near youon Thumbtack. Here, you’ll see a list of the top-rated seamstresses in your area. You can narrow down the list of potential pros by viewing their profiles, reading their customer reviews and ratings, looking at photos of their past work and contacting them for price quotes.

How much does a seamstress charge per hour?

Hourly rates for seamstresses can vary depending on where you live and other factors. Contact seamstresses near you, and ask for free price quotes.

What is the difference between a tailor and a seamstress?

A tailor is a person who makes or alters garments to fit a specific person. These garments can include suits, jackets, dresses and more.

Meanwhile, a seamstress’s occupation is sewing. However, seamstresses can also tailor and alter clothing as well.

How long do clothing alterations take?

It can take less than a day or several days to complete your alterations. In some cases, an alteration may take an hour or even a week. It depends on the type of alterations you need and how many pieces of clothing that need to be altered. Ask tailors near you how long they estimate your clothing alterations will take.

Can any clothing be altered?

Many clothing pieces can be altered to fit your body. However, there may be some limitations on what the tailor can do. For example, it may be difficult to lengthen a jacket. Or, they may not be able to increase (or decrease) the clothing’s size drastically.

Consult with a pro to find out if your clothing items can be altered to your wishes.

The 10 Best Dress Alterations Near Me (with Free Estimates) (2024)


How much should hemming a dress cost? ›

For instance, if you're only having your dress hemmed, you can expect to pay between $45 and $90.

How much should hemming pants cost? ›

Pants alteration price list
ServicePrice guide
Shorten$10 to $20
Lengthen$20 to $30
Re-hemAround $18
Taper$10 to $50
6 more rows
Jan 17, 2023

Why is alteration so expensive? ›

If it was an inexpensive garment, paying someone to alter it may not seem like a good value. Why pay $50 to alter a dress that cost $75 brand new? The answer – you're paying for the tailor's time and skill, plus materials, meetings and fittings, regardless of what you originally paid for the garment.

What percentage do you tip for alterations? ›

Building a Relationship
Service/ScenarioTip Amount
Single Alteration or Item$10 - $15 if inclined on orders $40+
5-10 Items in Standard Time10% if inclined
Large or Rush Order Completed on Time10-15%
Gifting or Appreciation - After Several Orders$50 or equivalent gift
Oct 30, 2020

How much does it cost to take a hem up on a dress? ›

Depending on what alterations you need, to have a skirt or dress shortened by machine will cost between £10 – £20, but a vented skirt or dress may cost a little more.

How long does it take for a dress to be altered? ›

Depending on how busy your local seamstress or tailor is, alterations could take between two to four weeks to complete. On average, alterations typically take 1 to 2 weeks to complete across the industry.

Do you tip a seamstress for hemming pants? ›

You do not need to tip a tailor or seamstress during your visit.

How many inches should a hem be? ›

Determining the Depth of the Hem

Generally, skirts, dresses, and coats have wider hems (2 to 3 inches or 5 to 7.5 cm) than jackets, pants, and blouses (1 to 2 inches or 2.5 to 5 cm). Straighter edges have deeper hems (2 to 3 inches or 5 to 7.5 cm) than flared or circular edges (1/2 to 1 inch or 1.3 to 2.5 cm).

How much is a basic hem? ›

Skirts and dresses
Shorten hem, plain$20 to $25
Shorten hem, vented$25 to $30
Bias cut hem$35
Rolled hem, each full layer (price depends on hem size)$35+
13 more rows
Dec 12, 2023

Is it worth it to tailor a cheap dress? ›

Protect Your Investment. Every piece of clothing you buy and wear is an investment, and you want to maximize each item to make its cost worth it. Tailoring helps protect your investment, making it less likely to become damaged.

Are alterations worth it? ›

Rather than constantly replacing ill-fitting or worn-out clothing, or never purchasing outfits because you can't find anything that fits right, investing in tailoring allows you to maximize the utility of your existing wardrobe and opens opportunity for new pieces to be purchased.

Why does hemming cost so much? ›

This can happen for a couple reasons. One- the seamstress works by the hour. They may take a look at your dress and quote you a price based on 15 hours of work but once they start working on the dress it takes closer to 30 hours of work- doubling the quoted price.

How much should you tip your hairdresser if she owns the shop? ›

When it comes to tipping your hairstylist, always go with the golden rule of 20%, says Daniel Post Senning, spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute. "Remember that just like servers in restaurants, hairdressers depend on tips as part of their income," he says.

Do you tip for a dress hem? ›

Tipping seamstresses is not standard protocol. That said, anytime a talented seamstress goes above and beyond, offering a gratuity is a thoughtful gesture.

How much should I tip for a good haircut? ›

20 percent is the most common tipping percentage in the hair industry. Tipping anywhere from 20 to 25 percent is a great range for anyone who is a salon regular or just received a haircut they love. Tipping properly is a great way to strengthen the relationship with your stylist.

How much does it cost to take the hem up on a wedding dress? ›

Hemming a wedding dress costs between $70 to $280. The pricing depends on skirt style, fabric, and hemline embellishments. Most boutiques charge a la carte fee for hemming a dress. The costs increase when satin fabrics, applique laces, and intricate beading work enter the picture.

Is it hard to hem a dress? ›

If you've never hemmed a dress before, you might feel intimidated and unsure about where to start. It's actually pretty simple and you don't need a lot of sewing skills to do this well. In fact, you can complete this project in half an hour or less with just a needle and thread, using a blind stitch.

Why are wedding dress alterations so expensive? ›

The time and price on side seams can vary widely. A two layer mikado bodice gown that only needs taken in a little bit may not cost an arm and a leg. But a bodice that has lace or needs a lot of adjustment could be around $150. This is largely because she has to rearrange the lace or proportions of the gown.

How to shorten a dress? ›

Fold the dress in half length-wise and secure it with pins. Then, decide how many centimeters or inches you'd like to shorten your dress, leaving at least 3 cm (1.2 in) for the hem. Cut off your desired amount excess fabric and sew it with a straight, simple stitch that will hold the fabric in place.

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