Not many men come to my sewing room but when they do they are usually in trouble or have gained weight or both. My new client needed his suit jacket let out 2 inches along with his suit pants about the same amount. Ten pounds in ten years make such a difference in nice suits. And this nice suit had not been worn for those 10 years until a family wedding and possibly a future funeral dictated dragging it out from the back of the closet.
No Problem, I said, you can feel that there are some generous seam allowances through the lining and there should be enough to let out and look nice. I quote a price and off he goes happy that his wife will also be happy which is the MOST important factor isn’t it, Ladies?
Now for the treasure hunt…I am letting out the back 2 princess seams…ok I know he is not a princess but that is the exact location of the seams in question. Once I open up the area I notice that the left side and right side seams are not equal nor are the lining seams…what has happened?
One side has been taken in by about one inch more and very irregular, in fact in quite dippity-do waves and the lining was also previously taken in using a very strange technique.
The seam in the wool jacket above shows the pins where the original seam was and the actual stitching line on only one section of the back which left the back of the jacket very uneven and pulling or as we say “torqued”.
This was the right side lining and you can see the previous seamstress/tailor used the “keep taking it in until it fits” method which gives you at least 5 lines of stitching using nice thick cotton thread that you would use on a horse blanket…sweet… so it leave huge holes for the next alteration.
Here we have the real “scoop and recover” method of seaming, taking a big chunk out on the top left and making a wave back to the original seam line. Again you can see the alterations person took way more from one side of the jacket than the other making is uneven on both sides…well at least they were consistent in something. Surprisingly the left side lining was not touched, it was original…maybe it was lunchtime and they forgot?
The seam trails off to the hem area on the right and joins the original seam using the “why not use the hem as a baseline” technique.
Luckily by removing all the crummy seams and going back to the original factory seams I have been able to gain the 2 inches that were needed for this alteration. I will have to ask them if they remember what tailor did this lopsided alteration.
Could it have been one of the shops that charge $5 an hour? Could it be a shop that has many children running around and maybe a teenager actually took your suit and promised it a day later? Could it be that your suit actually took a little trip out of the shop to a jobber who works from home while watching the neighborhood kids for extra money?
I hear from clients that they know a little shop where the rates are cheaper…hey …HAVE AT IT….but know that you are not paying for quality work, you are paying for child labor or unlicensed workers.
So within a week or so the suit will be looking good and I will have to thank the woman in the water aerobics class at the YMCA for referring her friend’s husband to me…that’s what it is all about…clients come from all areas when the ask their friends “Hey do you know a good seamstress?”
It’s not always a safe bet using the one with the biggest colorful ad in the Yellow Pages…word of mouth can be the best reference of all! It’s always your choice!