Cost to Hem a Dress
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How Much Does It Cost To Hem A Dress?

Last Updated on March 17, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

It might get pretty costly to hem your own dress. It not only takes a lot of work but also at least some basic knowledge to properly hem unique clothing items like dresses. So, to make sure you’re getting the job done as best as possible, you should talk to a professional and you should also be ready to spend a couple of dollars on the job as well.

As a guideline, your average pair of pants will cost roughly $10 per pair to have hemmed by a professional. When it comes to a dress, you surely understand that it will be a little more expensive than that, although the final cost will depend on factors like the professional you’re going to and your geographical location.

It’s always a great idea to just shop around until you find the price that best suits your budget.

This article should give you an idea of how much it will cost to hem different types of clothes, with an emphasis on dresses. This should help you get as close to the average cost as possible, as the exact pricing will usually depend on the dress you have and other factors we have listed above.

How Much Does It Cost To Hem A Dress?

Usually, you should expect the cost of hemming a dress to be anywhere from $30 and $175, depending on several factors that we will go through in the next part of the article.

Of course, the first factor to influence the price is the type of clothing you are going to hem. The second factor on the list will be the complexity of the hem style, as well as the size of the hem. And of course, the tailor that will take on the task of hemming, as well as their expertise and skills, will also influence the final bill.

Let’s dive deeper into these factors and see how they influence the final cost to hem a dress.

1. The Dress Type

As the design of the dress is more intricate and detailed, the process of hemming it will also be more expensive. So for instance, it won’t be easy to hem a wedding dress. But when it comes to wedding dresses, you should know that most wedding boutiques will have one or two sizes for each wedding gown design in their stock.

Most of the time, these dresses will be considerably smaller than street sizes. This is why a lot of women have found themselves needing to hem the dress that they just purchased. It isn’t unusual for wedding dresses to be made hemming-friendly right out of the box so that you can make any needed adjustments with ease, later along the way. It is rather easier and cheaper to take in a dress than let it out.

You might also like our articles on the cost of David’s bridal alteration and curtain hemming.

If the dress is too large on the other hand, the cuts will have to be remade. When remaking is done, this might have to include the shoulders and the neckline of the skirt, as well as the side seams. Of course, all of this hemming will be a must, as without it, you’ll have some quite annoying wardrobe malfunction issues.

When it comes to having a costume hemmed, this can also become a costly hob as they are made for specific reasons. They have to look in the way that they have been designed to look. This is why these hemming jobs will require more complex fabrics, as well as more complex threads. This will also increase the overall price of the hemming job.

2. The Complexity of The Hem Job

The hemming price will be very dependent on the complexity of the job, be it repairing or remaking, or even letting out a zipper.

Let’s go over two different scenarios. You might want to alter the gown your daughter wants to wear more often. On the other hand, you’ll also want to take the family heirloom dress through a little makeover. These jobs will be completely different and it will be the intricacy of the hemming that will decide the price you will have to pay for each job.

Among the most inexpensive hemming job, will, of course, be shortening or tightening the garment. This should set you back around $30. The dress might also need to be enlarged so that it can fit bigger frames. This is done by applying several tricks by the seamstress to add materials to your garment.

So, as you might expect, the cost of hemming will depend on several different things. First off, the ease of finding fabric and materials that are similar to yours will affect the price. The second thing will be the number of layers needed to be hemmed. And, of course, the cost will also depend on how much time will be needed so that the finished dress looks flawless.

3. Stitch Type & Fabric

The type of stitch to be used will be determined by the style of the dress needing to be hemmed. If you were to compare the blind-stitched dress hem to the top-stitched hem, the first one will be cheaper, of course. If any hand sewing will be included in the hemming job, then this can get time-consuming and labor-intensive, so of course, the final cost will increase.

Hand sewing becomes essential for bridal gowns and formal attires with intricate lace designs, delicate fabric, and long beadings. Thus, it becomes costly to hem such dresses.

The thickness and type of fabric that must be hemmed also add to the hemming cost. For instance, a sewing machine with threads and heavier-gauge needles becomes essential for hemming a dress made of denim.

Also, leather is rarely used to make dresses. It should be noted that it costs 50% more to hem a dress made of leather.

Other Factors That Might Influence The Cost To Hem A Dress

There are some other factors that can influence the cost of hemming, aside from the dress and fabric type, the stitch type, and the complexity of the job. Your geographical location as well as the expertise and skill of the seamstress can also influence the final cost of the hemming job.

So why would your geographical location be important? Just like in the case of other sewing projects, where the professional seamstress is located will take a toll on the overall cost of dress hemming, as each community has its own cost of living. Storefront taxes and rental charges could also influence the cost of providing the service.

As for the level of expertise and skill set of the seamstress, these will influence the final result of the job, which is why they will also influence the hemming cost. A professional sewist that has years of experience and thousands of dresses hemmed in busy urban locations is likely to charge more than your average professional.

How Much Does It Cost To Hem A Wedding Dress?

Hemming a wedding dress is one of the most expensive jobs for a seamstress. You will end up spending anywhere between $150 and $700 to have a wedding dress hemmed by a professional.

And if you want to customize your own gown or plan to use your mom’s dress after modernizing it, you might end up spending over $1,000. There are some bridal boutiques that will have a flat fee for this service, although most seamstresses will charge you by the hour.

How Much Does It Cost To Hem A Bridesmaid Dress?

It is always nice to be invited to someone’s wedding party. However, what’s not all that amazing is how much you will end up spending on the bridesmaid dress, especially if it also requires hemming.

You are likely to pay to have the bridesmaid dress altered if you’re either the bridesmaid or the bride herself. Either way, having to pay for this isn’t fun either way. And regardless of your role in the actual wedding, as long as you pay for the hemming, having a grasp on how much you’re going to pay and why will help with setting up the budget.

The cost to hem a bridesmaid dress will range between $50 and $175. Of course, this price will depend on several factors, the most important being the complexity of the dress and the expertise and skills of the seamstress.

Of course, other factors that will take a toll on the final cost will be whether you need rolled hem or horsehair hem, the number of layers in the dress, as well as the width of the dress.

Here’s a great tip!

To know the ideal size of the bridesmaid dress, you should take measurements. Of course, it is always better to just wear the dress physically so that you can decide whether it is a perfect fit for you or not. Dresses that fit better will also need fewer alterations. Keep in mind that it will always be harder to make the dress bigger through hemming than to make it smaller.

How Much Does It Cost To Hem A Prom Dress?

Hem a Dress BasicsThe first thing you should know is that you shouldn’t leave your prom dress hemming job for the last minute, as it will be pretty hard for a sewist to hem it properly on short notice. It’s also very important to know how much you will be charged for this job when you find the right seamstress.

It will typically cost somewhere between $30 and $60 per hour to hem a normal prom dress with a professional seamstress. These costs will obviously vary based on the factors we talked about, including the complexity of the alteration, the type of fabric, and your location.

There are prom dress hemming jobs that are trickier than you might think. This will usually happen if the professional will have to deal with multiple layers and linings, adjust embellishments, or face delicate fabrics. Of course, more work, or rather, more complex work, will translate into an increased cost of the prom dress hemming job.

Be sure to ask not only about the hemming cost but also about the time needed for the project to be completed before you hand over the prom dress. This is to avoid any surprises once the project is done and you are shown the final results.

So ask for an estimation for the hemming job beforehand so that you know whether the job is worthwhile or not. It might not make sense to go forward with the hemming project if the final price is twice or three times higher than what you’d spend on a new prom dress altogether. The wiser move, in this case, will be to just exchange the dress for a different sizer or style.

How Much Does It Cost To Hem A Sequin Dress?

You can shorten or take in the waist of a sequin dress like the sequin pencil skirt. If you do want to do this hemming job, you should make sure you find a professional sewist that has a lot of experience with sequins. Always ask for samples of the previous sequin work when dealing with a seamstress for the first time, to understand the level of expertise she has.

Most tailors and seamstresses that have many years of experience behind them will keep detailed portfolios of their work to showcase to new clients.

When it comes to the cost of hemming, although there are seamstresses that charge a flat fee, most will work on a per-service or per-hour pricing.

A sequin gown, for example, is likely to cost $200 to $250 to have hemmed. On top of this, you might have to pay somewhere between $75 and $100 additionally for things like adding beading or reshaping the silhouette.

How Much To Hem Chiffon Dress?

As you might know, chiffon is not only lightweight but also a very slippery fabric. This is why this material is very hard to work with, and especially hem properly. This is one of the reasons why chiffon dresses will be more expensive to hem than dresses made of other materials.

Of course, the price of hemming will ultimately depend on the factors we talked about above. For the usual chiffon dress, you should expect to pay anywhere between $75 and $175 to have hemmed by a professional. If you live in a bigger city, like New York, for example, you might end up spending $500 or more for the same type of chiffon dress.

Alec Pow
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