Some days I just get frustrated/
totally pissed off with my clients who think they will save money by going to their local dry cleaner to hem pants.
OK, maybe, and that is a huge maybe, they will save $1.50 per pair but when they buy a $300 pair of silk chiffon lined evening pants there have to be warning bells going off in their head. If not they need to read this post.
My client bought some gorgeous drapey silk pants in June and took them to a “lovely girl” at the dry cleaners. The girl did a real butchering job on these pants by assuming that the 2 layers of chiffon were equal in length just because they were sewn together in the seams.
Something happened when she hemmed them the first time using white rayon hem tape which showed through to the right side like a sore thumb. The other issue was there was a “bubble” in the hem itself….the client insisted that the hem be taken out and re-done 2 more times. Now I don’t know how many silk chiffon hems you have worked on but they can be tough but the client told me that the “lovely girl” did not want to use pins so she just use some sort of clip and clipped in 4 places and assured her that things would be OK….each of the 3 times. Now let’s imagine what this would have cost…no let’s not. Let’s imagine that the girl uses those thick yellow headed plastic pins that would have left huge holes in the silk. Let’s say she does not pay $8-10 a pop for a small box of .5 mm red glass head extra fine pins like real seamstresses do.
Enter the pants…Exhibit A:
First things first, I opened and dropped and dry pressed the double layer of chiffon along with the China silk lining just to see where we were at. It’s not looking too pretty! I sent the client away and told her that I would “prepare” her pants to be pinned up a day or so later.
My client returned today and tried on her pants while I pinned up the China silk hems first for a good level and then pinned what was left of the double layer of silk chiffon. I pinned horizontally and vertically and explained that chiffon has to be “tamed” to get a nice crisp edge and later hand basted which I am sure did not happen in the back room of the dry cleaners.
Next after the client left, I basted the 2 layers together and removed the pins and this is what I found:
Left leg front and back:
Next we have the right leg front and back:
Below is the side views of the hems and you can see how horrible it all turned out after I basted the actual new hem turning lines.
The black dotted line shows the edge of the top layer of silk compared to the second layer.
Right side not as much difference.
And what was the original hem like?
Of course I saved the rayon hem tape as it told another story:
For some reason the hem tape looks like it has been “permed”. In the photo I have a fresh length of new tape and this is what it should have looked like even after being stitched UNLESS it was given a load of steam in order to flatten out those “bubbles”. Can you be a detective along with me and imagine the “lovely girl” steaming the life/
sh*t out of the hem and hem tape in order to make it right on the third try??? Oh yes….and it still didn’t work did it?
The challenge now is to use the remaining chiffon that had not been hacked off to make a small turned hem. There is just enough to get 1/4 inch hem and the client knows this ahead of time. It is such a shame that she bought these pants to wear this summer to formal events and all she got was 3 or more trips to her local dry cleaners. Now she will get my bill but at least the job will be done right and the pants will hang straight and the lining will be parallel with the floor.
I suggested to my client that these pants are so lovely and hide so many little figure flaws that she should buy more in different colors as they would work all year and even for desert vacations BUT…the big BUT….bring them to me first…NOT LAST!