Here’s something that all my seamstress friends ask: Why do clients leave such dirty clothes to be altered???
Some folks say, “I’m going to the dry cleaners when you are finished with these” or “I didn’t know they were so dirty”. Right so you either knew and didn’t care or didn’t know and had a plan for later. In the meantime a seamstress gets to run greasy oily jeans over her sewing machine and ironing board and then switch to her next client’s clothes and maybe work on a bridal gown.
How about food stains and chunks? It is not delightful to have to sew through food and then think I should press my stitching as usual but you hesitate to press food stains in case they become permanent either on the fabric or on your iron.
Then there is the little matter of pet hair. Do you know that when clients ask you to raise or lower a hem of their pants or skirt that is actually an archive of lint and pet hair? Yes indeed, some hems harbor so much hair and fluff that you could actually identify the breed and color of the pet they own. One day I looked inside the long plastic garment bag from a bride and found a nest of hair at the bottom. Guess the house cat had made a little bed in there and they never bothered to check where “Fluffy” had been snoozing.
Two ways to deal with this issue is to grin and bear it or actually wash the offending garment and return it to them altered and pressed. They will hardly notice.
The other is to put up a sign as another seamstress friend of mine did that says all garments must be clean when dropped off…what a concept!!!
One more thing that bugs me is when women bring in clothes or fabric that has been washed in some detergent or softener that smells like bubblegum or Kool-aid and lasts a week or more. Like I would like to have that fragrance stink hanging around in my sewing room. Isn’t that one of the selling points now that your clothes when washed in this concoction of chemicals and artificial odors it lasts for a week or more in your closet or drawer?
Honestly it makes you wonder what their friends think when they arrive at work and the smell of their clothes detergent arrives 15 seconds before they do.