I just mailed in my second to last David's Bridal payment. Let's all have a moment of silence in commemoration of a year of payments winding down. Ha. 

Of course, the job here is not done. Alterations are a must, for one, because I'm a short woman who needs roughly four inches hemmed even while wearing three-inch pumps, and for two, I didn't spend this much on a gown to not have it fit like a glove. Of course, there's also the need to have a bustle added, and in lieu of buying a whole bunch of undergarments, my tailor is adding cups, too. 

There's also something she's doing to transform one part of the gown, but I can't say what since a certain groom of mine tends to read his fiancée's blog. I'll be sure to share before and after images after we're married.

Meet Miranda.
Now, meet her inspired, vintage shop in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood.
One of the reasons I'm so drawn to Miranda and her store is her obvious attention to detail. Her intricate dresses from the past (and from the present) hang on a rustic ladder. And even her scissors are cute.
'Course, any seamstress can buy cute scissors. Not every seamstress is of Miranda's caliber, though. Before she opened her quaint shop in Cleveland in April 2012, stocked with dresses she finds online and at antique malls and vintage stores, she was lead seamstress at a local bridal shop. In all, she's worked as a bridal seamstress for nine years. 

Even before that, she was sewing. She made a shirt, a scrunchie and a belt when she was eight. Eight! And, she was a young 4-H, state fair-going girl.

Let's back up a moment. Initially, I planned to hire David's Bridal. But my day-of wedding coordinators raised a red flag, and true to form, I asked why. (Have you seen? I like asking questions.)

To be clear, they aren't saying David's Bridal does poor work. But what they did say made enough sense that I decided to look elsewhere: At a corporate shop, it can happen that one day, an experienced seamstress is working on your gown and the next, a less experienced person is. I wanted experience all the way.

Miranda certainly has her share. She estimates she's altered more than 2,000 bridal gowns during her career, from hems and neckline changes to all-out transformations of mother of the bride and grandmother of the bride gowns. Her love of the latter is one reason why Miranda's shop displays so many vintage dresses.

"It's so special," she said of revealing the vintage dresses she transforms. "The mother would always cry. The whole family would come."
I absolutely SWOONED over this one:
Of course, no vendor visit of mine would be complete without asking the vendor lots of questions. 

Q: I wanted to know: What should a bride make sure to ask a seamstress or alterations department?
Miranda: Experience is important. Bridal work is not like a pant hem. It's a whole 'nother world. Also, ask the professional when you should commence alterations and how much you can expect to be charged.

Q: What tends to be a wedding gown alteration no-no?
Miranda: Remember that weddings are classy affairs. Steer clear of cheap alterations and super-plunging necklines. And don't drop or gain significant amounts of weight following the fitting that takes place six weeks before the big day.

It's not just experience that convinced me Miranda was the one to hire; for one, hanging right in the shop for all to see are cards from her happy past customers.
For two, Miranda is very sweet-spoken and happy to offer her opinion when asked. For me, that's been most helpful in deciding what jewelry I want to wear. I've gone up and down, back and forth about the style I think I want, only to try on certain pieces this past Friday (my first of three fittings!) and LOVE what I didn't expect to love. Of course, I won't reveal what I'll wear, but I can say this: I'm pretty sure I'll wear one of the sets of earrings pictured below. 
I'll leave you with a non-Miranda-related photo. My mom, day-of wedding coordinator and I visited our venue not too long ago to draft a plan for where everything will go (which I've since sent to all of our vendors), and I am pretty pumped with how neat the burlap and tree trunk centerpieces look in the venue. (If you see this and want to know where the venue is, I'm happy to share privately.)
8/3/2013 02:55:57 am

I love Miranda!!! When I ordered my gown last year I ordered an extra yard of the sheer dotted overlay material. Miranda worked her magic and transformed my gown from strapless to having a full back and little sleeves. It was better than I had imagined and made me feel so bridal and lovely. She was the seamstress the shop I ordered my dress from, Something White in Independence OH, supplied me with. I was so thrilled. Plus also, shes so fashionable and sweet she was such a pleasure to be around.

The Bartering Bride
8/5/2013 11:46:13 am

Yes, yes, yes! Could not agree more. Just had my second fitting, and I am THRILLED with what she's done. Simply THRILLED.

9/18/2013 08:40:10 pm

Miranda is a gem, as well as a nice person. I knew her when she was at her previous shop, and she not only altered my dress, she fashioned a non/typical bustle that went much better with the style of dress. She also altered my rehearsal dinner dress. You can't beat her level of craftsmanship.

The Bartering Bride
9/18/2013 11:57:08 pm

My dress fit incredibly well. Cannot wait to share more images. I wasn't pulling it up because it wasn't falling down, and my gown is heavy. :)

Kate, I'm trying to determine where some of my readership is coming from. How did you find my site? :)

10/10/2013 02:22:18 am

Looking for a seamstress in the Cleveland/NE Ohio area and Miranda seems to be a top contender. Do you mind if I ask how comparable her prices were to what David's was going to charge? I've been told it is generally cheaper to go with a private seamstress but her little shop is so cute and fancy I sort of think she would be pricey...

The Bartering Bride
10/10/2013 05:19:58 am

I never really considered David's, but I did vet two other private seamstresses and all the prices were similar.

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