An important part of getting great alterations is to arrive at your fitting session prepared, because no matter how skilled your seamstress may be, those skills won’t be enough if certain issues are neglected. Following are a few suggestions that will guarantee you getting the best possible start with your alteration project.

    For length adjustments, and this goes for women and men, bring the shoes that you’re most likely to wear with the garment. This is most important for any type of jeans or slacks, but it will also give you a better perspective on the length of a skirt or dress.

    Fitting formal wear will get you better results if you show up in or bring the same undergarments that you’ll be wearing at the actual event. This is important any time, but is absolutely essential for any kind of strapless garment because a different style of bra can make your dress or top fit quite differently.

    Here’s one especially for the guys: if you need to have jacket sleeves altered, do wear or bring a dress shirt. It’s the only way to ensure that your sleeves will be the perfect length, i.e. with just the right amount of shirtsleeve showing.

    And finally, another vital bit of information: many fabrics shrink during their first washing and/or drying cycle. Therefore I strongly recommend that the garment is preshrunk in some way prior to alteration. Just do what you will be doing to it once it has been worn. If you are planning to wash it and dry it in the dryer, do so. If you are just washing and line drying, I suggest doing that. Even dry cleaning may result in some shrinkage due to chemical moisture and steam pressing, which suggests having the garment go through that process once to make sure it won’t shrink later.

    Not all fabrics shrink. A quick look at your garment content label will tell you whether you should take these extra precautions. The fabrics with the most shrinkage overall are rayon, linen, cotton and wool or a combination thereof. If your fabric has 60% or more polyester mixed in, it will tend to be a lot more stable.

    I hope that this information will be useful to anyone interested in getting quality alterations. If you have any questions, just go to the contact page and send an email. I’ll be happy to help!


The last few months have brought me more clients than ever before looking to repair their clothing or other items -no doubt a symptom of the financially stressed times many of us are going through right now.

    I try to give my customers sensible advice on this subject because I do not want them to spend good money on something that’s best thrown out. Therefore I tell them this: if it’s a treasured piece of clothing that was very expensive initially, or if it’s that great item that goes with everything and is his or her favorite, or if it’s a priceless family heirloom, by all means let’s repair it, regardless of the cost. But if it’s your kid’s play jeans, the favorite T-shirt from a 1972 concert with twenty-two holes in it, or the husband’s slacks that you can read a newspaper through because they’re that worn, forget it! You can replace all of these items (well, maybe not the favorite T-shirt), for very little money at your local thrift shop, or for just a bit more during a blow-out sale at a department store.

    One item that’s fairly easy to repair and that I’ve been seeing a lot of, is the broken or malfunctioning zipper slider. Don’t automatically assume your zipper is broken and needs replacing if it doesn’t zip up properly. Most of the time it’s just the slider which can be fixed or replaced relatively inexpensively, making this repair a good investment.

    But when I get one of those hopeless cases, my client and I take it out to the parking lot where we set the cherished item on fire…… Just kidding. But you get the idea.

    And, as always, I’m here to answer any questions you might have about this. Just go to the contact page and send me an email! I’ll be happy to help.