How many times have we heard this from bridesmaids worried that they could not get their generous hips into a little frou-frou dress to make their best friend’s wedding a success? OK, I can understand that, dresses bought on line rarely fit but that is no excuse for a grown woman in her 80’s who walks into a Talbot’s and buys the wrong size on purpose.
Enter the wool stretch flannel pants that need everything altered. Let’s start with the waistband and of course it has a facing and the pants are lined.
The waistband is 2 inches too big, the center back seam is 2 inches too big, the side seams are 2 inches too big and the legs are 1.5 inches too long and the belt will be 2 inches too long once the alterations are done on the body.
Center back seams are pressed flat.
I added this shot of the lining which is also taken in the same amount as it is a rare sight to see previously altered pants with altered linings…it seems they are forgotten or left to just bunch up inside…just bad sewing really.
Of course the belt will be 2 inches too big so that has to be changed as well.
It is a case of the client once again dumping her problem, “I wear a size 2 but I bought a size 4“, and expecting me to make everything right. I start pinning and pinning out all the excess fabric and tell her that I normally serge off the excess and press the seams flat to reduce bulk…she says, “NO”, I might need it later”. Leaving 2 inches of wool in seams just seems dumb to me but hey it’s her choice.
Next she brings out a wool blend jacket from the 50’s from a designer who used to produce clothes in Los Angeles but has since passed. She tells me that she loves the jacket and cannot tell me how many years she has been wearing it…I can…2012 minus 1950 equals 62 years. Now she wants me to narrow the shoulders and reduce the shoulder pads. It can be done and I notice like lots of us, one shoulder is about 1/2 lower than the other and I can fix this with one shoulder pad being 1/4 thicker and then they will look even and balanced in the mirror and to her friends. She says, “NO”. The jacket itself has not seen a dry cleaner in a very long time and is covered with hair and lint and lunch scraps so I remark “I can tell it has been loved” which is my code word for “ready to be donated to a charity”.
Amazingly she next produces a pair of loosely woven linen pants bought at the same time which are all raggedy and shredding and shedding and lined but barely hanging in there. She tells me that my job is to make them comfortable. The side zipper will not allow me to close it all the way and there is a 1 inch gap so I tell her that I will open a seam to give her one inch as there are huge seam allowances. I have never seen such trashed linen pants in my life and I am thinking that they should have been turned into paint rags long ago.
Just before she leaves and I tell her the cost to make all these treasures perfect she tells me that she is traveling down to Los Angeles in 10 days and wants to take some of these with her. Normally I ask clients to work with me if my back is up against the wall and they select the most important garments for the trip and I work hard to make sure they are done and ready for pick up or stay up during the night and finish the last item for pick up the day of the trip. Most of my regular clients appreciate truthfulness and don’t mind dropping by to pick up the remaining piece. I mention this to the woman and she looks me straight in the eye/
gets up on her high horse and says, “I don’t think you understand, you WILL have all three garments ready for me at once, I DON’T MAKE SECOND TRIPS”.
On her way out she comments on the two gorgeous bridal gowns I have hanging up waiting to be steamed and she says, “I don’t approve of those gowns” and I say, “Well someone sure did as they cost around $4000 and the girls look fabulous in them”.
Needless to say when this babe comes to get her clothes, they will be done on time, on budget and she will be told that I am not taking new clients and to go elsewhere in the future. I have warned all my sewing sisters about her so they know that “trouble” will be looking for them.
Maybe I need a new sign at the front door to accompany the “Please remove your shoes” one already there that says “And leave your crappy attitude outside too”.
Again, these uppity pretentious people just make me glad I have such nice regular clients that I can hug and share a laugh!!!