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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ruined Pants

About a year ago, I had a bad alteration experience. Since I live in Tennessee, I no longer have access to the alteration professionals at A Cleaner World. So I asked a lady in my women’s Bible study group – who sewed and quite well as I’d seen a number of things she’d made – if she did alterations. I explained that I had several pairs of khaki pants that were too big in the waist. She said that was no problem; she did those types of things all the time.

So we scheduled a time. I took them to her house. I tried each pair on. She pinned them. I left. Two weeks later I picked them up. When I got home I was just shocked at how poorly they were done. The stitching was sloppy. She’d removed the middle belt loops and didn’t put them back. And she’d even poked a hole near the seam in one pair. I shared what happened with my mom. She made a statement that stuck with me – “Not everyone that knows how to sew can also do alterations. It takes a special person to be able to do alterations properly.”

I called Melody Yates, our alterations specialist at the A Cleaner World in Boone, to learn what to look for so this wouldn’t happen to me again. Melody absolutely agreed with my mom. She said that when you sew something from scratch, you have to do certain things in a particular order. But when you are altering an already completed garment, you need to study it and then figure out what to do and in what order. I had no idea. I just assumed if you could sew, you could do alterations. Melody was so helpful and shared lots of great information during our conversation. But if I had to give you a takeaway for the next time it would be this:

• Ask to see samples of their alterations
• Get references and call them
• And never assume anything

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