Happy ending/beginning for the seamstress

May 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

A couple of months ago, I botched the tailoring of a skirt. The second I realized what I had done, my stomach sunk to my toes and I was so upset I couldn’t even cry. I was ready to throw in the seamstress towel. End it all. It really felt like the end- and I had just begun a year plus ago. I was sad. Depressed, even.

I did get some kind comments from friends who encouraged me by saying that every professional makes mistakes, etc, etc. It was helpful but I still couldn’t shake the fear that I’d ruin someone else’s clothing. I didn’t take any work from anyone.

What I had to do next was a sewing exercise. I had to sew something. Something quick and uncomplicated. I made the kids a tent. It helped me feel like I did know how to sew and that the skirt was a bad mishap but also a big accident.

When I told the owner of the skirt that it was ruined, she was kind enough to say that she wasn’t attached and thanked me for my honesty.

The problem: I had another skirt of hers to tailor.

She even asked that I not charge her more than $25 for the tailoring on the second skirt. I told her I wouldn’t charge her a thing for the second skirt. How could I?

Earlier this week, I finished the second skirt and it came out quite nice. I installed the zipper by hand and did a lot of hand stitching. I was really proud of my work and only needed the owner to try it on to see that it fit. Well, she asked that I send it to work with Josh (she’s one of his co-workers). That didn’t sound good. I did delay quite a bit. I was so nervous I’d ruin her second skirt. But it was finally done. Besides, I’ve got two little kids. They come first. My fears, second. Her skirt, third, or fourth. It was on my mind a lot.

I got an email from her today thanking me for my work. She said she really liked the skirt and that the fit was perfect; that it would soon become a favorite, and wondered if I could hem 3 pairs of pants for her. She did give me a deadline this time. Smart.

Those of you who have given me your clothes to repair or alter, you know I work better with a deadline. Otherwise, it’s low on the list. And the list is long. The socks in the basket upstairs aren’t going to put themselves away.

So, I’m glad to say that there is a happy ending with my seamstress business. I’m always afraid of confrontation and I feel like my honest customer service and hard work (albeit slow) has worked this case from a potential bad-mouthing of my craft to a more positive word of mouth.

This is a small state.

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