we routinely drive by a cute, little, quaintly painted house with "tailor" and "35 years of experience" on the window, so i decided to give it a try. i wanted the dress two inches shorter. the charge came to $30, and it would be ready in a week. somewhat skeptically, i gulped…and paid. since i am inexperienced with these things, i really didn't know what to expect. i was happy that to be supporting local small business. i hoped for the best.
a week went by, and i walked in to pick up my dress. i didn't inspect it until i was outside. my stomach dropped.
it is not a total fail. my dress is two inches shorter.
so…what did i learn? i'm still not totally sure what lesson to take from this experience. i feel awful saying this, but maybe not all small business owners should be supported…or maybe some small business owners are better at certain things and don't have enough business to say with integrity, "i'm sorry, but that is not my area of expertise. it might be better for you to take that somewhere else." even if it is a lowly t-shirt dress.
honestly, i have been trying to take care of and lengthen the life of my clothing. i tried to have a small hole in a cashmere sweater mended with the "green" dry cleaner. it came back with a repair that involved taking 4-5 stitches around the hole (with thread), pulling that tight and tying a knot. it looks like a drawstring bag top puckering oddly at my shoulder. not what i expected. we took jo's thrifted, tooled leather purse to get a new strap (after the old one broke) at the cobbler (the first one we tried) with glowing yelp recommendations. the smoky smell that filled the shop clung to our clothing all the way home. the strap that was measured and noted before we left was replaced with a shorter strap that makes the bag incapable of being worn cross body, as intended. after having already returned twice to pick the bag up and being looked at like a weirdo for believing his time estimates, i paid and left disappointed. also included in that transaction was a pair of leather slippers with grippy soles that have been glued repeatedly without success. this cobbler told me he would stitch them to the slipper and i was thrilled that it could be done. they were returned to me glued and were flapping down the hall again within days.
i like this to be a positive place, but i do think it's important for us to discuss reality as well. the quality of most clothing and other products is disgusting right now. i don't want to fill the landfill and refill my closet and home in a monthly or yearly never-ending cycle. quality repairs are hard to find. the craftspeople who do them are probably sorely out of practice.
all i can really say is…this needs to change.
i am wearing my dress. jo is carrying her purse. and my husband is flapping down the hall in his slippers. the landfill will have to wait.