Alameda Sewing Cottage - Sewing & Alterations - 3229 Central Ave, Alameda, CA

Alameda Sewing Cottage   - Sewing & Alterations - 3229 Central Ave, Alameda, CA
9/20/2016

The five stars goes completely to customer service. While I did not have the pleasure of having Cathy alter my dress, it was the best and easiest experience I have ever had with a seamstress. She responded to my Yelp inquiry within a few hours of me reaching out, was able to accommodate what may have been a very short notice request to get a bridesmaid's dress altered, and when I arrived to have it checked, she was honest and said that it probably wasn't worth trying to alter much of it because it was the appropriate length and fit. ( when I had tried it on in the store it was bigger, but the one that was ordered ended up being a better fit). She was easy going, honest , and I will definitely look to her again in the future if I need anything altered.

5/4/2016

Cathy Marie is amazing!! I was referred to her from a good friend of mine and really needed help for my wedding dress! Long story short, I bought my wedding dress to Cathy Marie after the dress shop where I had initially bought my dress told me it could be turned into strapless (I actually ended up getting some money back on my dress from the dress shop because their consultant clearly didn't understanding anything about alterations). I completely understood when Cathy Marie explained why there was no way it could be strapless, so I really disliked my dress the way I had bought it. Cathy Marie completely changed my mind on my dress! She had the amazing idea to turn my dress into a halter, and added a strap to the back to make sure it stayed on throughout the night. My dress looked like it was specially designed just for me!She is so professional and well qualified that I had no worries at all even though she completely re-did the top half of my dress. I also loved the hem that she did. Her price was very fair, she was friendly and personable and clearly knows what she is talking about. She turned a potentially awful situation into a very happy one, and I can't thank her enough for the amazing work she did on my wedding dress!!!

Thank you Cathy Marie! Thank you Cathy Marie! 8/3/2016

I wish my experience with Cathy Marie was as good as the other women who reviewed her. We got off to a bad start. I was heading to her house in Alameda from San Francisco and although I left in plenty of time there was an accident on the bridge about 1/4 mile ahead of me. Traffic came to a stop and although I tried my best to make up the lost time once traffic started to move again, I arrived 8 minutes late for my appointment. I apologized profusely, but it was evident that Cathy Marie was annoyed. She told me I should leave earlier for my next appointment so I wouldn't be late again (I had given myself an hour to get there even though the traffic app said it would only take 40 minutes). It was a hot day and my hands were sweaty from stress and the heat. I asked her if she had a towel or if I could use her bathroom to wash my hands as I didn't want to stain my dress. She heaved a pointed sigh and pointed me down the hall to her bathroom. She didn't say much during the rest of the fitting - it was evident that she was still annoyed. After the fitting she asked if I had cash to pay her. I said no, I was going to use a credit card, and she told me that there was a $50 discount if I payed in cash (she doesn't take checks). The alteration fee was $280 if I paid with cash, and as I didn't have that amount of cash on me she suggested that I go to an ATM. She gave me directions to an ATM, but I couldn't find the one she told me about, and finally found another one. I returned to her house, hot and frazzled, and gave her the cash. As I was preparing to leave she said "You should leave earlier next time so you're not late for your appointment." I was so angry and frustrated that I almost took my wedding dress back, but I had that she was good, so I decided to try and make it work.The next appointment passed without much incident, except that she said she needed to take the side seams in more to make the bodice fit better and shorten the dress length (I'm a petite size 2). That time I was ready with the $300 cash. My last visit was a week before my wedding, and I brought one of my bridesmaids with me so she could see how to lace up the corset style dress. Cathy Marie laced me into the dress and it was really tight because of the seams she had taken in on the bodice. Once she had me laced in, my friend was silent for a moment and then suggested that I take a look at the back of the dress. Cathy Marie handed me a mirror and when I saw the back of the dress I was horrified. She had laced me so tightly that the skin on my back was gathered into folds. I asked her if she could lace it more loosely and she no, to have the fabric panel across the back, underneath the lacing, meet it had to be that tight. She said the only way to fix it would be to take out the bodice seams that she had put in. I told her that I couldn't wear the dress the way she had it because it looked terrible and there would be lots of photos from the back. She asked me if I wanted her to take out the seams that she had put in and I said yes. She said if I could come back in an hour and a half she could have them out. My friend had to leave before I could try on the dress again, but after she Cathy Marie took out the bodice seams she was able to lace me into the dress more loosely so that my back looked nice. Either Cathy Marie didn't know or didn't care that taking in the bodice and lacing me that tightly would cause the skin in my back to wrinkle and gather. However being experienced she should have known, so the only thing I can think is that she didn't care. I can't imagine that any bride would want to wear a dress that fit her so badly that her skin on her back was scrunched up into folds. My entire experience with her was a nightmare from start to finish.

Comment from Cathy M. of Alameda Sewing Cottage Business Owner 8/3/2016 Hi Glen, it is my goal to serve all brides fairly. As you know, even though we had 2 fittings to… Hi Glen, it is my goal to serve all brides fairly. As you know, even though we had 2 fittings to review the top of the gown, I should have had you look at the gown back during both of those fittings, Also, I have reviewed this with The Wedding Party as well so that each bride is aware of how the back looks when the bride picks up her gown and also will look once the gown is taken in. Certainly, we want every bride to be pleased with the front, as well as the back view.  In any case, I want you to know I did my best to correct your gown on the spot to your liking and return it to you as immediately as possible. I believe I did that. I am sorry you felt this way. Also, I would like to point out  that you initialy paid $185 in April for taking in the front bust and torso, adding a traditional bustle and putting in bust cups. During the fitting in June, we reviewed the bust area and torso which was fine from both your and my point of view (although you no longer wanted bust cups.)  I marked your hem. At the end of that fitting, your bill was $230. The entire bill was $405, not as you wrote $580. Regardless, again I am sorry you felt this way.  My best, Cathy Marie Read more 9/20/2016

Cathy was recommended by The Wedding Party, where I purchased my dress. She removed just enough of my train to still keep the wow effect and made the dress much more manageable on my wedding day. She also added a really nice button bustle which held for the entire day. Thanks Cathy!

9/1/2016

I found Cathy Marie through Yelp! Her shop is darling. She is warm and friendly, and she made me feel very comfortable and confident. More importantly, her work was perfection...she hemmed a fully lined, stretchy, full length dress for my wedding. Polite, professional, on time, and reasonable. I love Alameda Sewing Cottage!

9/20/2016

5 stars for excellent customer service, beautiful hem on my wedding dress, overall great experience.

8/28/2016

I've had wonderful experiences working with Cathy. She first altered a bridesmaid dress for me, and then my own wedding dress a few months later. She took the bridesmaid dress in at least a size and hemmed it, and she did minor alterations on my wedding dress including taking the shoulders up slightly and hemming it. Cathy was so nice each time I went in for fittings, and always made me feel beautiful in my dresses when trying them on. On my wedding day, I received so many compliments on the fit of my dress. It truly fit like a glove. I didn't want to take it off at the end of the evening! Thank you, Cathy, for helping me to look my best on my big day.

My wedding dress: Purchased at The Wedding Party and tailored by Cathy. My wedding dress: Purchased at The Wedding Party and tailored by Cathy. 12/8/2015

Thank God for Cathy! I was originally quoted for alterations from the place I purchased my wedding dress. Alterations was almost just as much as I paid for my dress! I immediately knew I had to find someone else.I will admit, my dress was definitely a toughie to alter. Not only was it A LOT of lace, I was practically swimming in my dress.  However, Cathy made me feel comfortable and let me know she was able to do the job. Not only that, she quoted me for a fraction of the price the other place did. I paid alterations in full the minute my first consultation with Cathy was done. After a few fittings, my dress was perfect in time for my wedding. Thanks, Cathy!

Here is another photo of my dress from behind, the train was long and was alot of elegant lace that was SUPER hard to altar.. but she did it Here is another photo of my dress from behind, the train was long and was alot of elegant lace that was SUPER hard to altar.. but she did it I was swimming in my dress before Cathy came along! Not an easy dress to alter by any means..but she did it! I was swimming in my dress before Cathy came along! Not an easy dress to alter by any means..but she did it! 3/26/2016

When getting fitted bring the bra and shoes you're going to wear on the day! There's nothing quite like a dress that fits your body exactly and Cathy did a beautiful job. It was quick to be measured and once the work was done there was nothing to fix, the dress fit just perfectly. Thanks Cathy!

11/16/2015

What a wonderful treat! Cathy Marie has a wonderful home where you'll be greeted with a little sign and your name listed for your scheduled appointment. She has such a friendly face, and a perfect front room to change in. Once in my dress, Cathy Marie immediately began to consider all of the possible ways to fix my oversized corset top. From seams on the outside and inside, I was convinced that she would find both the most direct, but most subtle way to take in the top.Cathy Marie was both patient and fair, priced just right, and answered all of my questions via email first, which alotted us the perfect amount of time should we need to make changes.On top of it all, she was so complimentary of the dress, and so friendly to talk over the plans of the big day with. I am so happy I found her, and have already shared her information with other brides to be. I couldn't be happier and I will send photos as soon as I have them!

5/22/2016

Cathie is amazing!!!!!! She got me in on short notice. Did my dress in three weeks. I even picked up my dress on a Sunday. She recommended a dry cleaners in Oakland that is half the price of any other wedding dry cleaners.

8/13/2015

This lady is in demand!  Upon arrival to her cute little East End cottage, you see the whiteboard outside the door, showing every half hour back to back time slot from open til close - does Cathy Marie not eat or use the restroom ever?!The demand is not unwarranted - I found her to be warm and welcoming, and very helpful in figuring out what can be done with a dress.I brought two in, since I was undecided.  She gave me honest feedback and very fair pricing.  I left one dress behind for alterations and picked it up about two weeks later.It was perfect - still a bit long, so she cut a little more off the front while I waited.  She gave me a big hug and told me to send photos to her.  Basically, she's your favorite aunt who is a whiz with a sewing machine.  Definitely recommended.

8/21/2015

Cathy Marie is amazing!!  I purchased my dress from Monique Lhuillier's sample sale.  I wish I took a before photo, but it was pretty beat up with some tears and stains.  Not only was Cathy Marie was able to take it down from a size 10 to a 0, she was also able to make it look brand new, fixing the tears and removing some stained fabric!  We had a destination wedding; I hauled this dress through 6 flights to come back with some stitching that came undone.  Cathy Marie squeezed me in on short notice and fixed everything up for me so I could wear my dress one more time for my reception.  On top of all that, her pricing is definitely reasonable.  She is super amazing and such a sweet woman!  Can't go wrong with her!  Thanks Cathy Marie!!

8/3/2016

I decided not to get my dress altered at David's bridal (where I bought it) because the reviews for their alterations department were terrible, and the service people were weirdly rude when I called to make (and later to cancel) my alterations appointment. I wanted my dress taken out a tiny bit because although it zipped, I couldn't breathe! Cathy initially tried to discourage me from taking it out, but agreed to do it when she was positive that I understood the risks (I might lose weight from stress). She decided to take it out 1/4in and I trusted her completely. She quoted me $80, which was within $5 of what David's Bridal had quoted. She was done when she said she would be, and the result was a perfect fit on the first try. She was friendly but wasted no words and no time. I appreciate that she is direct, gives her professional opinion, and does good prompt work. I would definitely go to her if I ever needed alterations again.

2/6/2016

Cathy Marie is a dream to work with! I bought my dress at Emerald City Gowns and was referred to Cathy Marie. It was a big job to take a size 8 sample gown with several layers and a tulle overlay down to a size 2. Cathy did a fabulous job, and also made helpful suggestions like putting in an invisible zipper, or taking it in a certain way that would look the most flattering. She is such a warm and lovely person-- I will miss working with her! Her prices cannot be beat and I highly recommend her to anyone. Also, P.S. Check out the selection of veils that she has in the store. A former bride of hers makes them by hand. I wasn't happy with the veil I was planning on borrowing from a friend and bought one from Cathy. It was absolutely gorgeous. Two thumbs way up for Alameda Sewing Cottage. Let's support our fantastic East Bay wedding vendors!

10/3/2014

I bought my wedding dress at The Wedding Party in Rockridge, and they recommended that I contact Cathy Marie at the Sewing Cottage to have my dress alterations made. Cathy was lovely to work with and clearly very good at what she does. She has a very cute alterations studio in her home in Alameda.Cathy expertly took my dress in in all the right places so that it was elegant, beautiful (and comfortable!) for my wedding. I received so many compliments on the dress! Thank you, Cathy Marie!

WToo Aveline dress, alterations by Cathy Marie Ashley Forrette Photography WToo Aveline dress, alterations by Cathy Marie Ashley Forrette Photography WToo Aveline dress, alterations by Cathy Marie Ashley Forrette Photography WToo Aveline dress, alterations by Cathy Marie Ashley Forrette Photography WToo Aveline dress, alterations by Cathy Marie Ashley Forrette Photography WToo Aveline dress, alterations by Cathy Marie Ashley Forrette Photography 5/20/2016

I have never had the opportunity to use her services, but I did inquire and she was unable to accommodate me due to the urgency of my request.  I completely understand, as it is last minute, but I would like to say that I appreciate her prompt response in letting me know that.  I hope to use her services sometime in the future.  So, many thanks to Cathy Marie at the Alameda Sewing Cottage!

3/29/2015

I loved working with Cathy Marie to make my wedding dress fit perfectly.  She was always on schedule, her work was high quality and she has a beautiful heart!

I loved working with Cathy Marie to make my wedding dress fit perfectly. She was always on schedule her work is very high quality. I loved working with Cathy Marie to make my wedding dress fit perfectly. She was always on schedule her work is very high quality. 7/26/2016

My daughter found her dream wedding dress at the first place we went, The Wedding Party.  As the dress was strapless, we inquired at that time about whether the dress could be altered to fit snugly but not too tight.  It was recommended by The Wedding Party that we order the dress a size larger than needed so that the dress could be altered to fit properly.  We were assured that the seamstress could make the necessary alterations.  The Wedding Party advised that to guarantee the dress, we should contact Cathy Marie for the alternations.  We did so and had problems from the very first visit.  The dress arrived in March, but Cathy Marie did not schedule our first visit until the beginning of May.  My daughter was very excited for her first fitting, and Cathy Marie curtly informed us that she could not do anything for us during that first visit as we did not have a bustier.  She told us that the only way the dress would stay up during the wedding was to sew a bustier into the dress.  My daughter asked about sewing cups into the dress as suggested by The Wedding Party, and Cathy Marie was insistent that we needed a bustier and would have to purchase one and come back before she would even do any measurements.  My daughter was obviously disappointed and concerned about having enough alteration appointments to make the adjustments necessary.  Cathy Marie was insistent that she would add an additional fitting if needed but assured us that the remaining appointments would be sufficient.  My daughter hustled to purchase several bustiers to ensure Cathy Marie would be satisfied with one of the bustiers and agree to start working on the necessary alterations.  Our next appointment was not until the end of May, and Cathy Marie chose one of the bustiers my daughter purchased and started working on the alterations.  The next appointment was in the middle of June, one month before the wedding.  My daughter expressed concern at that appointment that the dress was too tight and causing "back fat."  Cathy Marie stated that is what happens when you buy a strapless dress and assured my daughter that the dress looked beautiful.  The next appointment was five days before the wedding, and my daughter again expressed concern about the tightness of the dress, and Cathy Marie stated if she didn't want the dress to fit that way, we shouldn't have bought that dress.  Cathy Marie again assured my daughter that the dress looked beautiful.  My daughter went home and started researching online what could be done about the dress.  She tried it on and took pictures of how the dress looked in the back.  She sent the picture to her maid of honor who stated that the seamstress should fix the dress as it looked too tight.  My daughter contacted Cathy Marie again voicing her concerns.  Cathy Marie stated she was sorry that my daughter was not happy but there was nothing she could do and that the dress looked beautiful.  My daughter inquired about the possibility of taking out the bustier, and Cathy Marie said my daughter could take it out herself.  My daughter was in tears.  It was three days before the wedding, and my daughter started ordering jackets and veils to try to cover up the back of the dress.  In her search for a veil, she contacted a local bridal shop.  She told them the situation, and they asked her to send them a picture of the problem.  She emailed the picture to the bridal shop, and they scheduled an appointment for the next day to see if there was anything they could do to alter the dress.  The staff were WONDERFUL.  There were three people in the room helping us, and they offered to take the bustier out to see if that would help the problem and said they would sew it back it if needed.  There were three people in the room offering suggestions and assistance.  They were giving my daughter hope and comfort.  I was so grateful.  Within 15 minutes of arriving, they had removed the bustier, and the problem was solved!  My daughter went from tears a few days ago to that smile every bride should have when wearing her wedding dress.  They only charged us $55 to sew in cups and for Hollywood tape and had the dress ready the next morning.  They stated if we needed anything the next day (the wedding day), we could contact them.  The seamstress who we paid over $500 to offered nothing!  I was so disappointed with our experience with Cathy Marie.  I know this time of life can be very stressful, but Cathy Marie did nothing to make the experience even pleasant.  So disappointing!

Comment from Cathy M. of Alameda Sewing Cottage Business Owner 7/26/2016 Dear Debbie, I am sorry I disappointed your daughter Alyssa. That was not my intent. After I… Dear Debbie, I am sorry I disappointed your daughter Alyssa. That was not my intent. After I received her email and picture, I spoke with her directly on the telephone to decide on a course of action. A day later I followed up with her too, she stated that she would let me know what she decided to do. I heard nothing further from her.  It is very unfortunate that you feel, on behalf of your daughter, that her concerns were not handled at all. I am sorry, given the chance, I would have stepped in to help. Also, I will point out that the charge for my work included the hem on a beaded and lace gown, alterations to the top of the gown and bustling the train for the bill of $480. I can only assume you had no issues with the alterations but simply the addition of the bustier. Again, I asked Alyssa to unhook the bustier when trying it on and let me know what she thought. I heard nothing further until your unfavorable  review.  My very best to you and Alyssa, Cathy Marie Read more 4/4/2016

I hope this place does great work. Personally $500 for a simple alteration is just too pricey for me.

Comment from Cathy M. of Alameda Sewing Cottage Business Owner 4/5/2016 Hi Sherilyn, your gown is beautiful however not an average alteration. The biggest portion is your… Hi Sherilyn, your gown is beautiful however not an average alteration. The biggest portion is your hem, which is complicated and the estimate was $250 for that, which is half your bill. I do hope you find someone you trust with your gown. Best wishes, Cathy Marie Read more
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