Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Hemming, Jean Hemming, Infant - Special Ocassion Dress Alterations - Bridal Gown Alterations
I do a lot of clothing or garment alterations. I do shy away from draperies or custom cushions.
I can make custom clothing for you, but most individuals don't want to pay by the hour to have me do that. You can usually buy a medium priced garment and have me alter it for you for less than you can make a well-priced home-made garment. (Unless of course you find your pattern, material and notions on sale.)
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. I love a challenge....and if you want it to look right when it is done....you want me to do it for you. There isn't hardly anything I haven't done. From casket covers, snowmobile covers, leather jackets, baby bibs and fancy dress's. If it will fit under one of my machines I can help you out.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. I wish I knew that my seamstress was an honest person, she will only do what I need, will not overcharge, and do the work in the most timely way possible. I wish my customers knew how hard I work to make them happy. If a customer is not happy, I am not happy, and I will do everything I can to make their garment look like they want it too.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Do you guarantee any or all of your services. If you don't, what happens if something your seamstress works on doesn't turn out as expected? What are you doing to do for them to make the item right?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. If you want me to hem your special dress or pants.....bring your shoes and under garments that that you plan to wear when your wear your item. It always helps make sure I get the alteration right, just the right length, not too short or too long.
If I measure wrong, I will gladly re-do the hem no charge.
If you change your mind, you will get an additional fee added to your invoice.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I aim to please! A lot of others will not go to the length that I go to, to ensure that your garment is altered and looks the best it can possibly be on your body. I always have a smile on my face, my home is clean and smoke-free, and my work hours are accomodating if the need should arise. I can also do emergency alterations if the need should arise.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love meeting new customers, hearing about their life....how I can help them with the garments or special needs.....and I love making others feel like they look like their clothing was made especially for them!
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How much do you charge to hem my pants?
$12 if it's a chop and hem by machine
$16 if you want me to cut the original hem off of your jeans and put it back on.
$14 for cuffs
$18 for pants that are lined when the lining can be done by machine.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. The Sweet Addeline's came to my home for a custom fitting for their preforming costumes. I asked for a song, and they sang me a beautifully harmonized women's barber-shop quartet song. It was awesome. I recorded it on my phone and listen to it to remind me how awesome they are!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish I could just do all my sewing and not charge. I hate to need the funds! I just love helping people. If it doesn't look right, or like I think it should I will always re-do till I get it right. I am a perfectionist. If it doesn't look right, it doesn't go out till it does. I know funds are in a high demand, so I want to make sure that if you are parting with some of yours, you are getting the best job possible. Besides that, you never know who might be checking your work out.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I am a musician.....but no one wants to pay a musician when you can just put in a tape. It has been so long since I played for a wedding I can't remember. I love to sew, so just took the 2nd choice. At least it is something I have done for a very very long time, I feel confident about my work, and I'm good at it!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I had a Bride that came to me on Thursday with her wedding gown....she was getting married on Saturday of the same week. She hadn't tried her dress on for a while, and when she did, she discovered it was almost 4-6 inches too small. I un-sewed every seam in that Bridal gown and put it all back together for her in time for the wedding. I double stitched all of the seams as their wasn't much to hold the garment seams together when I finished. It looked great, was ready on Saturday morning, and and she squeezed into it just fine. I just prayed that she didn't have to sneeze! We would have both been embarressed!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I don't do any continuing education, but I do get a lot of sewing magazines and belong to several sewing websites that keep me updated on all the new products that are every coming available. I always love to hear about a new and exciting way to do things.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. I don't think alterations will ever change, just takes time to do them right. It takes a lot of time to take the garment apart properly without damaging it, and put it back so that it looks like it was made that way. Unless our clothing becomes customed made, I expect to always be in need for speciality fitting! Machine embroidery is another thing! It is always changing and I can never learn enough about the different machines and programs that there are out there.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Today I had a lady come for me to work on her mother of the groom outfit. The pant suit needed the hem shortened on the pants (and the lining), and also taken up in the hips, , the blouse taken up through the bust area, and the jacket needed chopped off about 6 inches. It had detailed bead work on the jacket, and a special bead trim.
$15 for the very wide pants hem
$7 for the very wide lining hem
$10 for taking up the hip area on the pants
$15 for taking up the shirt through the bust
$7 for taking up the shirt lining
$20 for hemming the jacket and re-attaching the beaddwork. Total $74.00
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Not at all! If it's something out of the oridinary, I charge by the hour. If it's just a simple alteration I've usually done it enough that I can give you a fairly good estimate. I always give an estimate for all of my customers. I don't want them to be wondering what the charge will be when the alteration or work is finished.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Practice a lot! Practice makes perfect. Start by altering all of your own clothing and all of your family's clothing. Every time you work on something you will always learn something new. Patience is a virtue! Learn to rip, and keep a sharp seam ripper handy. I have a seam ripper and a pair of scissors tied to my working garment shirt. I never start work without them.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. Personality. I can make your item look the way you want it to look, not the way someone else wants it to look. But you have to tell me WHAT you want. If you don't tell me exactly what you what you want I can't help. So, be specific and let the facts fly. The more informaiton I retrieve from you the better off your garment will be. And if there is anything you don't like.....TELL ME....don't just expect me to figure it out. Everyone is different and a lot have different tastes....so just tell me what you want and I'll make you happy.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. I have had so much work that my turn around time was almost up to three weeks. I have hired a part-time helper to do little things like marking and pinning so I can spend more time with my customers doing the things that I do best for them. You may have to wait some, but by the time I get finished with your item it will be worth the wait.