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Who is your best friend?

While some may answer that question with  ”my spouse”, “my mother” or a friend’s name – if you’re a Fashionista you need to be best friends with a tailor or seamstress. If you are fortunate enough to shop in very nice stores they will provide alterations for you (usually included in the price). Those talented with a needle and thread may wish to attempt hemming and small adjustments themselves. The rest of use must choose from malls that have  a shop or two that offer alterations. Those stores may be hit and miss – or may be fine for sewing buttons and replacing a zipper – but you really need a seamstress or tailor when you want your clothes to fit “just so”. Experiment cautiously, one garment at time or ask your friends or a shop owner for recommendations until you find someone who does a great job and you trust.

Red threads by Gutermann

In the olden days people’s clothes were bespoke (my new favourite word) or made to fit them. There weren’t stores with pre-determined sizes that you had to fit into – clothes were custom made to your body. It was only in the last 100 years or so that pre-made clothing was even available. Today, finding a garment that fits you off the rack is practically an accomplishment and something to be celebrated! Most of us need things tweaked to get the perfect fit – a waist nipped in – sleeves shortened – the bust darts let out, etc. Those small fixes are the things that can make a garment go from fitting you okay (good)  - to looking like it was made for you (preferable).

I knew I had found a great seamstress in Ranka Dabic, owner of Fine Threads in Jackson Square 905-667-1113 (near the Sheraton entrance) when she had me try everything on, mark both sides of the garment (we humans are lopsided) and was able to alter both mens and ladies wear expertly. This was confirmed for me when Oprah was in Hamilton for a speaking engagement earlier this year – and her team asked Ranka to alter Oprah’s dress!  Quite an honour and Ranka says they were a very nice group of people to work with!

Shop around until you find someone good and your clothes will never fit you better. A good shoe repair shop is another gem, and perhaps another blog topic!

Article Comments

  1. Rula says:

    That’s a very insightful and true article, Ann. When I had my store alterations were included (costly on my behalf). I don’t think that there are any boutiques that offer alterations gratis anymore. Nevertheless, each garment was tailored to each individual body. For complicated alterations, clients visited my store’s seamstress. Simpler alterations were pinned by me and or seasoned staff. Hemlines were always measured and marked from the floor and all the way around. I use to tell my clients that if was important that garments hung straight on them and crooked on the hanger. Sleeves, shoulders, hips were treated on both sides etc… Etc… Pant leg length was no different. Few know about the importance of this.
    Good for you and clearly your good seamstress.
    Love reading your blog.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks Rula for your comments. Tailoring makes the difference between simply wearing your clothes and looking like your clothes were made to fit you. I appreciate you taking time to read my blogs. Best Wishes! ~Ann

    • Wow so glad I read this. I have had a pair of pants I bought on sale I’d say at least 2 yrs ago that have been hanging in my closet because they need shortening! I usually buy petite as I am only 5’1″. Against my better judgement I bought these knowing I would need to shorten them but I am not so good with a needle.
      I can walk to Jackson Square and take them in to Ranka’s.
      Thanks so much for tip!

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