The 10 Best Clothing Alteration Services 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 Clothing Alteration Services Near Me (with Free Estimates) (2024)


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 do alterations cost so much? ›

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.

How much can clothes be altered? ›

It can be increased a bit, just 0.4″ in width (0.8″ in total circumference), but a remake is likely required for serious adjustments. You can, however, reduce the Hip Width significantly more–up to 1” (2” in total circumference). Excess fabric can be taken from the back rise seam in the center of the rear.

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.

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

How many inches should a hem be? ›

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).

What is the difference between alterations and seamstress? ›

Generally, a seamstress sews clothes, fabrics and apparel for a living. A tailor works at altering clothing and apparel to fit a client/customer. They can make clothes as well and might be tasked with hemming and mending. Usually, a tailor will work more with suits and coats and even fancy dresses such as ball gowns.

Do you tip a tailor for alterations? ›

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

How long should you leave for alterations? ›

Typically, straightforward alterations like shortening straps or hemming can be completed in about 1-2 weeks, while more complex alterations like taking in a bodice can take up to 3 weeks. It's also worth noting that you'll need to schedule up to 3 hour-long fittings to ensure the perfect fit.

What can tailors not do? ›

Remember, your tailor can't reduce something by more than four inches. Specifically for pants, the limit is closer to two inches. Any more than that, and you're going to start seeing some weird proportions. So, it's a good rule to not attempt to reduce an item by more than one size.

How many inches can you alter pants? ›

The waist of a pair of trousers can be let in or taken out 2-3". Look inside the seat for extra fabric at the waistband – this, minus half an inch or so, is as far as you can take the pants out. Trousers are easily shortened, but lengthening them requires fabric at the hems.

How long does it take to alter clothes? ›

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.

What's the difference between hemming and alterations? ›

Tailors offer personalized services that can reshape a garment's silhouette or adjust specific details like sleeve length, whereas alterations focus on fitting issues such as hemming pants or taking in a waistband.

Should I wash clothes before alterations? ›

Yes, always clean your garments before altering or repairing to ensure the best fit and maintenance.

Is altering your own clothes difficult? ›

Trust us: it's dead simple. You just need a machine and a little practice for a perfectly fitted future. The very first rule of dressing well is making sure your clothes fit well. You can drop half your rent on a pair of obsessively crafted selvedge denim jeans, or four figures on a handmade full canvas suit.

Is it worth getting pants hemmed? ›

Seeking professional help is more critical in the event that your pants are to be worn professionally or at special occasions. Using a tailor is also advised if you foresee wearing your pants or jeans formally, a situation when everything about you from head to toe is under the scanner.

Do you tip a seamstress for hemming pants? ›

It is not a standard in this industry. However, you build great rapport with your tailor and show appreciation by tipping when they do you a favor or after several successful projects, offering personal gifts to build your relationship and sending them additional clients.

How much does pants shortening cost? ›

Questions about custom alterations? Contact Us
AlterationPrice $
Pants - Shorten Length10.00
Pants - Shorten with side slits15.00
Pants - Alter Waistband25.00
Pants - Taper Leg - 2 seams22.00
54 more rows

Is hemming at Lululemon free? ›

Free Hemming

With a lululemon Membership, you can get the perfect length every time—on us. Come see us in store (excluding outlets and select locations) to get your gear hemmed, no tags or receipts required.

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