Costco to Coverstitch Machine

How many t-shirts do you own? How many t-shirts have the exact hem length you think is flattering on your body? Is it worth hemming them?

This last question doesn’t seem to matter when clients come to see me with their arms and bags loaded with knit shirts they have bought in bulk from Costco or Old Navy. Because a t-shirt is on sale and comes in 8 different colors is no reason to buy every color with the thought…Oh well, I can have my seamstress shorten all of them.

Last week a tennis enthusiast dropped off 8 shirts to be hemmed 1 inch shorter…one inch! She said she just could not possible play tennis with her shirts 1 inch too long as it would affect her game…really? She explained it would be a simple job for me and actually she was doing me a favor by bringing over so many shirts all in one color so I didn’t have to “waste” time changing thread colors. What she and most people do not realize is that if the shirt already has a 1 inch coverstitch hem in place it has to be removed before stitching a new one. Some hems are removed easier than others, some are real bears and it takes longer to remove every one of those stitches than it does to run the hem through my Janome CoverPro 1000 machine.

I quoted her a ridiculously low price for the first bunch of all purple ones and then the next batch, even larger, all white, she balked at the same price saying she did not know if it was “worth it”. Well, honey, only you know the price you paid and the sheer joy you will get knowing your tennis teammates will be in awe of your perfect hem as you whack that ball back over the net.

I told her that I could not drop my prices any lower as deconstruction takes longer than construction. She left her stack with me but called a few days later to say she had changed her mind and wanted me to not do one of the white ones. At that point I had completed her garments and they were ready to be picked up. She said all her teammates would want my service for their t-shirts and I explained I was swamped with brides and this was not what I wanted to do. She left looking confused.

A day later another woman came with a bulk buy of t-shirts from Costco. At this point I am sure there is a world-wide conspiracy to manufacture t-shirts exactly one inch too long and sell them cheap. This time each one was a different color. In addition to the shirts there was a stack of pants from Chico’s. This woman explained that since there had been a sale on them, she thought buying so many in the wrong size was a wise purchase, after all, she could pay someone to make them the right size and still come out ahead. Really?

If you think cheap clothes are a bargain then maybe you should click on this link to an article that tells the real story: Cheap clothes

Outlet malls are notorious for selling cheaply and badly made clothes with high end labels. How many times have I measured the legs of Ralph Lauren pants and discovered they were from 2 different sizes at least 2 sizes apart. If one leg is from a size 10 and the other from a size 14, how many compliments do you think you will garner from your friends?

Before I go I will share one last customer request. This time from a woman who found me on the internet and has a wedding to attend in Arizona in September. She has found the “perfect” blue satin dress to wear but it has a few things wrong with it…”it is floor length and I want it above my knees and it is at least 2 sizes too small so maybe you can use the parts cut off the bottom and add them to the top”.  She says she is really loves, loves, loves this dress so she is coming for a free consult.

At this point I told my husband that I should slap on an added fee for these clients...a stupidity fee for not thinking ahead when purchasing the wrong size. In fact they should have a sign in stores near the cash register that states, “If you cannot get the zipper up on your garment, please hang it back up and leave”.

Next time, new photos of finished wedding gowns with jeweled belts, more jackets and tales from the sewing studio will be coming your way.

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8 Responses to Costco to Coverstitch Machine

  1. prttynpnk says:

    There is a special place in heaven for you, ma’am and all the angels come pre-tailored…..

  2. Elle C says:

    I think I would have given the tennis star a seam ripper and would have made her rip the cover stitching out.

    I truly, honestly don’t understand how you let these people live. I would have a helluva lot of bodies buried in the back yard.

    Now there is an idea for a novel, The Seamstress Murders.

  3. mrsmole says:

    Oh Elle, you have given me some great ideas!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  4. Alethia says:

    I get so frustrated with this same scenario…what’s worst is that they come to you already expecting you are going to be cheaper~ this is a major pet peeve of mine. Automatically I don’t want to deal with you because you don’t think I’m worthy enough to be paid the money I’m owed. I want one of their bosses to decide to pay them a portion of their wages assuming they won’t mind taking a cut to help the company save money~ I don’t think so!
    You (scratch that) WE should have a sign up that says~ ” IF YOU CAN’T SEW IT, THEN IT’S NOT CHEAPER.”
    That mentality is truly insulting to me….. enough said. 😉

  5. Lisa says:

    Loved your stories and your wonderful thoughts on all these crazy situations. I can so relate and just smiled knowing I am not alone in my frustration. I have wonderful clients but sometimes their requests are just ridiculous. Thank you for sharing your life and your work…it is a true pleasure to read!

    • mrsmole says:

      You’re not alone my dear…there are hundreds of us out there making dreams (nightmares) come true for young princesses and not so young wanna-be queens. When my clients ask if they can share my name or cards I tell them, it’s your choice…”Share my name, you share me” so if they don’t want to lose time with me they are protective of it.

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