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View Full Version : I Don't Do Alterations!



Sharyn J
August 3rd, 2018, 03:56 PM
I don't hem or alter garments anymore, not even for family! However, my dear GD asked me to hem a dress for a wedding that she's a part of. Before I agreed, I asked her, "how much does it need to be shortened?" She said, "oh, just about an inch."

So, I agreed and said to drop it off and we will measure for sure. Holy cow, it was 6 inches too long and 3 layers to shorten: Organza on the outer layer, crepe (or something like it) for the dress part and then another layer, which was the lining! Three layers! All of them with narrow hems! And to beat all, a set of criss cross straps on the back that are also too long!

I swear, I'm ready to disown her. (just joking). There's a reason I don't do alterations! Now, just let me remember why. I probably don't remember because I need my head examined. :D

KPH
August 3rd, 2018, 03:59 PM
Oh my goodness I'd be putting it back in the bag and sending her to the dry cleaners to have it altered.

SuzanneOrleansOntario
August 3rd, 2018, 05:07 PM
You are really good. My daughter in law who is almost ready to give birth, asked me to shorten a dress for a wedding. I said sure. Then I saw it, and figured I could work with it. I tried working with similar fabric scraps and it was not working. I didn't want to ruin the dress or do substandard work. This is the first time that I have ever given something back to someone and said I couldn't do it.

It may take awhile, but I don't feel guilty about saying NO, can't/won't do.

Hulamoon
August 3rd, 2018, 05:45 PM
The same thing happened to me with my step dd's brides maids dresses. I said yes before I saw them. I got them home and they were such poor quality and awful fabric (some kind of gauzy stuff). She bought them on a discount in a mall somewhere. I ended up saying I can't do it.

grammaterry
August 3rd, 2018, 06:46 PM
I'm afraid I would have rejected them when I saw them but I know that is really hard. There is a reason they do those things at bridal shops and dry cleaners. We just aren't really equipped to do that in our homes.

MSN
August 3rd, 2018, 07:13 PM
Personally, I'd offer to pay for having the alterations done professionally (if this would not be a financial strain for you). Your GD gets the dress done, and you don't have to wrestle with it. A win-win, and no pirate language required!

MaggieSue
August 3rd, 2018, 08:01 PM
MSN, great idea, thank goodness, my DGD asked me by text to shorten her prom dress. I asked her to send photos first. Gave me a chance to get my heart out of the equation and use my head. I offered to get her the name of someone that could do that. She later said her Mother knew of someone who could do it !!! Whew!!! A very close call. Very hard to say no to Grands!!!

jjkaiser
August 3rd, 2018, 08:03 PM
I feel for you! One of my co workers, who knows that I sew, asked if I could mend her dh jeans. I said sure, thinking it was putting patches on the knees. She brought me a bag with 3 pair of jeans all with broken zippers. I tok one look and gave them all back. People who don't sew have no idea how much work a "simple" (to them) fix can be.

Sharyn J
August 3rd, 2018, 09:03 PM
Well, I'm back and I've spent all day working on this dress. I've done this kind of work before so I wasn't worried about the process but didn't want to spend so much time on it. I would have sent this out to the cleaners if I had more time but she needs it for next week. Of course, kids don't realize that people need time to do things. And Lorie, you're right, they bought their dresses at a discount. Each brides maid could get her own dress in her own style. They just all had to get the same color.

All is done excep;t the straps which I'll do tomorrow. MY GD is on her way back from Seattle and a scenic train ride home. She'll be here Sunday to pick up her dress. Don't think I won't give her a little grief! LOL Really, she's a great kid and I love her to death but Grandma's going to have a serious talk about alterations and waiting til the last minute. I'm sure my words will probably hit deaf ears.

Thanks for enduring my mini rant. Jean, I don't know how you do it everyday with the costumes, but I give you a lot of credit!

Mimi_Howard
August 3rd, 2018, 09:06 PM
And then there is the "link" you get from a family member... hey this looks simple to make, can you make one?

BethB
August 3rd, 2018, 09:45 PM
A year and a half ago when my daughter got married, my granddaughters were in the wedding -- 3 flower girls and one junior bridesmaid. I made all 4 of the dresses. I was freaked out about the hemming. I asked the seamstress that altered my daughter's dress how much it would be to have her do the hems -- $50 to $75 per dress. Way too much for me, but she did show me how to do the hems and they turned out beautifully. I just don't remember anymore how I did it.

Nancy

MSN
August 4th, 2018, 12:17 AM
A year and a half ago when my daughter got married, my granddaughters were in the wedding -- 3 flower girls and one junior bridesmaid. I made all 4 of the dresses. I was freaked out about the hemming. I asked the seamstress that altered my daughter's dress how much it would be to have her do the hems -- $50 to $75 per dress. Way too much for me, but she did show me how to do the hems and they turned out beautifully. I just don't remember anymore how I did it.

Nancy

If you really want to know, I bet there's a You Tube video out there that shows how to do it.

MSN
August 4th, 2018, 12:29 AM
My step son is engaged. Remembering that I sewed my wedding gown, he asked me to sew his future wife's bridal gown. They have no clue how much work that entails. I spent 185 hours on my dress. To further complicate matters, they live nearly 300 miles away. I begged out of it (at least for now) by pleading that my skill set really does not include altering a pattern to fit. I'm happy to help by making her veil or sewing a shawl, but I cannot sew a dress to fit someone who isn't available to try it on.

Sylvia H
August 4th, 2018, 02:24 AM
My mother was an excellent seamstress. She often said that altering a garment was more work than making a new garment.

Iris Girl
August 4th, 2018, 05:35 AM
I would much prefer to start over/ make new then alter something. I have made everything from my wedding gown to a 3 piece suit for hubby to many christening outfits and doll clothes . But alterations are the pitts.

TMP
August 4th, 2018, 01:45 PM
Its not that I mind fixing stuff no that is not true actually I hate it. SL brings me his rips tears ect. He had a pair of slacks that he said were his favorite and the belt loop was still attached but coming apart. He said these were "nice" slacks . The belt loop was folded and GLUED. I guess after several cleanings the glue had separated . I had no idea how to fix it . I just took a couple of small stitches so it would lay down and he could stick his belt through it. He didn't like what I did. Well, that ticked me off!! I bit my tongue. I am not a seamstress. I send my own clothes to the cleaners and will suggest he does the same in the future.
Just because there is a sewing machine in my house doesn't mean I am a skilled seamstress!

Kgrammiecaz
August 4th, 2018, 09:58 PM
I handle requests for fixes easily. I say sure, but you have to be sitting her with me and I will show you how, they quickly change their minds. I have a bag of my daughters items and will not fix them until she sits with me. My answer is always no when asked to make something. I barely have time to sew for my pleasure.

Hulamoon
August 4th, 2018, 10:50 PM
The one that irritated me most was my dd's ( mostly the younger one) would ask me to hem jeans the morning before school. I got so tired of that that I said just staple them. lol

RockinLou
August 5th, 2018, 04:24 PM
I do sew a lot of clothing, but I usually refer alterations requests to a tailor... I just am not a tailor!! my kids and husband know that "fix it" requests can take up to a month to find their way to the front of the line...

LLLinda
August 5th, 2018, 04:41 PM
Sharyn, you did not get full disclosure so that alone is enough reason to decline. I use the "I'll show you how to do it" line and the "I'll give you the name and phone numbers of people that do that". It works and some people do get mad but if you have the nerve to ask you'd better be ready for the answers I may give.