7 is the lucky number

It’s Thursday afternoon and I get a desperate call from a bride’s mother.

She has just received her order of groomsmen shirts from JC Penney and guess what….you know the drill….they are all too large and the wedding is on Saturday. She is calling from a small farm community way out of town and if they can get someone to drive all these shirts to me can I possibly take all of them in from the cuff to the hem in time and what would it cost.

Sure thing, I agree to see the shirts and an hour later the groom appears and starts trying on the shirts to tell me how much to take in for each of his friends, some of whom are still on a plane flying in. I figure that they can be finished by Friday and then he drops the bomb….well we are going to be in town tonight for a dinner and could we get them after dinner so we don’t have to make a special trip in tomorrow….yes, sure, maybe you would like me to deliver them to the restaurant as well????

It does make you wonder why the shirts were so late in arriving or were they? Poor seamstresses never know the truth, we just plug along and nod and say that everything will be OK and try to make a mental note not to be caught out again.

Here is a photo just for you:

Earlier this week I also got a call from a determined/bossy woman who was saying that she got my name from a few fabric stores with glowing reviews and she had (like many others before her) bought a LOAD of fabric to have a favorite blouse reproduced in many different fabrics.

So I tell her yes indeed that is what I do but I could not get to her until July which is a week away. Then the sad sound at the end of the line “OH!” I asked when did she need or want this blouse and her answer was “RIGHT AWAY”. OK, so I ask what does this “precious” look like. She says, like they all say “OH it’s simple, it will not take you long to make one. OK, I say, does it have bands down the front, a collar, long sleeves, a yoke, etc and she answers….OH YES, it has all those parts AND it has hand-made Chinese ball buttons and frog closures all the way down and a Mandarin collar.

Can you all picture this little honey purchased in the Orient? I tell her my hourly rate and how long it might take to make a paper pattern and also to cut, construct and finish this blouse which make run around $100. Then she goes nuts and shouts back “Well I could almost fly to Singapore and back for the price you are charging…really? That’s when my evil side wants to say “well have at it” but I say well, if you are in Portland or San Francisco you can have a Cambodian family whip up a copy really cheap and that is another option here in the Northwest.

The she says “well my mother used to be an excellent seamstress and I watched her make patterns and saw how time consuming it was and maybe I can just make the pattern myself (like save herself the cost of one hour of labor). (Osmosis must be a wonderful thing) I also say that she may find a commercial pattern that is very close to her simple blouse and can purchase it to save some time.

She realizes I am not going to give in and speed up the process and discount her project so she starts to whine….here it comes: “BUT BUT BUT, EVERYONE says you are so good” and I say that this must be so since I am swamped with bags of fabric and rooms full of wedding gowns and I just work my way through it all so she will have to wait a little while.

She finally relents/huffs and puffs and says she may or may not call me back and I remind her that there are very few seamstresses in our area who will tackle from scratch clothes, never mind in a hurry.

I wish her well(in finding someone else to make those Chinese ball buttons and frogs).

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