Sew perfect

Now that you’ve acquired a few articles of clothing that really flatter your body type, it’s time to get them tailored so that they fit perfectly.

My favorite seamstress, Verna, is amazing at making your clothes look A.MAZ.ING, but she’s a bit camera shy, so I interviewed her off-camera to get all the juicy details about tailoring and what it can do for you.

How long have you been sewing, Verna? I made my first dress for myself when I was 11 years old. I am past retirement age now so that would be a good clue as to how long I have been at my sewing machines!! A long time no matter how you calculate.

How did you begin tailoring clothes? I started doing alterations after my daughter was born in ’72 and I was a stay at home Mom. I needed to help with the family income and actually did full dressmaking. I no longer take on that task.

What are the easiest tailoring “fixes”? The easiest are just minor fixes like to lengthen or shorten pants, skirts and day dresses.

Most difficult? The most difficult would be garments that have many pieces in the design and any piece with a lot of detail or trim, such as beading.

What are the least expensive tailoring services? Least expensive are the minor changes such as hemming and seam repairs.

Most expensive? Working on anything with lots of detail and fabrics that don’t lend well to reworking can be expensive, if it can be done at all. Fine fabrics and silks are not forgiving.

If I see an article of clothing in the store, but it doesn’t fit quite right, how can I know whether or not a tailor can fix it? If you need something made a little smaller it can be done within reason. You must take into account the seams, pockets etc and know how it will place them after the work is done. To make something bigger can be limited. There is only so much seam allowance to work with and it may not be worth the effort.

What are some fit problems that can’t really be fixed by a tailor? That would depend on t he garment and the person it is for. Bear in mind that you only have the fabric in the garment to work with. You can take away but you can’t add fabric. Your tailor must be reasonably sure that he can alter the garment to your specifications.

What is your favorite sewing project that you’ve ever done? I love making a bride happy with the fit of her gown. I recently did the bride and bridesmaid gowns for my granddaughters wedding. They were all beautiful. My other favorite project is my quilting that I do for myself and my family. I learn something every time I go to work on a quilt and it is an art form all its own.

Any other suggestions? Try to get references or recommendations for a tailor or seamstress. If that doesn’t work try to see how long they have been doing it. Sometimes simple work can be done by the alterations person at your local dry cleaners. Anything that is very involved should be done by a reputable tailor.

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