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She just had to say it
  #1  
Old 12-01-2019, 03:22 PM
workerbee222 workerbee222 is offline
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Default She just had to say it

Our business has gained attention as a place to get clothing tailored. We do our own clothing of course, but over the years, more and more people are coming in with their own things purchased elsewhere. As long as it profitable, it's fine.

A couple weeks ago, a woman came in with some specific things she wanted done, a little out there, but not beyond a realistic expectation. The problem began after she got her clothing back, when she called three times wanting to speak to me. I was busy, and she wouldn't leave a message, just kept calling back.

She re-appeared yesterday. She has a coat. It's a huge one, oversized. It's cashmere, and looks like one of those dog breeds with the corded coats (like a Komondor). It's calf length, and she wants it shortened to her hip bone, or maybe her hip. It's double breasted, and she wants it single breasted. She likes the long lapel, but she wants the fasteners moved up higher. Shortening the coat will eliminate the functionality of the pockets, so she wants those moved up. (No, they're not patch pockets, they're cut into the front of the coat.) Although it's oversized, she doesn't like *how* over sized it is, she wants it taken in, but still oversized. I started to calculate how much I'd have to charge to make this profitable for the store, but I realized this would be a project, and I think she kind of *wanted* it to be a project, and I'd be working on this coat, shortening, lengthening, taking in and letting out, until spring. The statement "I just want someone to work with me" was a clue.

Trying to manage expectations, I pointed out that equal amounts should be taken from the back and the front to maintain the balance of the coat, and in doing so those pockets would end up almost at the side seam once we took it in. And that's when she said, "Well, if I was going to do it myself, I'd just take in the back," pulling in the center back and folding it over.

That made it so much easier. Once someone says "If I was doing it myself" the voices in my head shout "then you wouldn't need me." I can't say that out loud. I can say, "This project is way beyond my skill level. You need someone who has experience with garment construction and pattern drafting who can do a credible job on this. Sorry. I think my boss has the name of a dressmaker nearby."

Cue the sad face and negotiating. "Maybe you can just shorten the coat?" Oh, no, I said. No seamstress really wants to finish a project that someone else started. Mostly, our customers are good folks, but there's the occasional one, like this one, who believes that she *could* do it herself. For the record, the part she thought she wouldn't be able to handle? The lining.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2019, 03:49 PM
Minflick Minflick is offline
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One of my daughters works in the alterations department at Nordstrom.... Before that she was at Nieman Marcus. I have heard tales of woe!
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2019, 06:33 PM
Pixelated Pixelated is offline
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So basically she wanted somebody to REMAKE the ENTIRE coat??

Why on earth did she buy it in the first place if it had (in her mind, anyway) that many things that needed "adjusting"?
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2019, 07:56 PM
workerbee222 workerbee222 is offline
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I did try to gently suggest that maybe this wasn't the coat for her (thinking that maybe there was a way to get a refund for it) She insisted she'd been "looking for this coat for years."

Your assessment matches mine. I suspect she fancies herself a better designer than the designer, but often designs go through several iterations to find the right combination of features that work, and the end result doesn't make the fit model say, "Eh, it feels like it's falling off my back"

I'm betting it was expensive. The nearest thing I encountered on the internet was 1420 GBP, marked down from 3550.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:06 PM
Android Kaeli Android Kaeli is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Pixelated View Post
So basically she wanted somebody to REMAKE the ENTIRE coat??

Why on earth did she buy it in the first place if it had (in her mind, anyway) that many things that needed "adjusting"?
I'm the group that's wondering the same thing. There has to be a pre-made coat out there for her that doesn't need so much alterations or someone can make a custom coat to her liking without butchering what seems to be a perfectly good coat. I can see making a few adjustments here and there, I've had things hemmed and taken in certain places, but never anything like this lady does.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:59 PM
Mental_Mouse Mental_Mouse is offline
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I agree, what she wants is a completely different coat.

Quote:
It's calf length, and she wants it shortened to her hip bone, or maybe her hip. It's double breasted, and she wants it single breasted. She likes the long lapel, but she wants the fasteners moved up higher. Shortening the coat will eliminate the functionality of the pockets, so she wants those moved up. (No, they're not patch pockets, they're cut into the front of the coat.) Although it's oversized, she doesn't like *how* over sized it is, she wants it taken in, but still oversized.
And all this in heavy weight of a seriously expensive material. Not to mention, if "corded" means what I think here, you'd need to make the textures line up properly. Had you been fool enough to take this on, what would you be doing with all those scraps of heavy cashmere?
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:22 PM
workerbee222 workerbee222 is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Mental_Mouse View Post
Had you been fool enough to take this on, what would you be doing with all those scraps of heavy cashmere?
Making a muff?
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2019, 03:54 PM
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taxguykarl taxguykarl is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Pixelated View Post
Why on earth did she buy it in the first place if it had (in her mind, anyway) that many things that needed "adjusting"?
No kidding. It sounds to me like the alterations would cost more than the garment. Why do I find it so easy to believe that the SC in the OP would throw a major hissy fit at a price quote for the service of remaking the coat?
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2019, 04:17 PM
workerbee222 workerbee222 is offline
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Quote:
Quoth taxguykarl View Post
No kidding. It sounds to me like the alterations would cost more than the garment. Why do I find it so easy to believe that the SC in the OP would throw a major hissy fit at a price quote for the service of remaking the coat?
That's what I was beginning to think. We're letting someone else take the hit on this one. She did leave three other items, relatively ordinary ones, to be altered. She'll be back in ten days or so for those. I'll be interested to see what her experience was with another craftsperson.

It's entirely possible that I'm over-thinking this, or that someone with a different skill set will whip this right out for her. At my age, I'm smart enough to know what I don't know.
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