When "belt it" isn't enough...
June 21, 2012 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a not-outrageous tailor for casual women's clothing in Seattle.

I need to get a tailor for reasonable wardrobe of casual women's clothes to be worn 3-4 times a week in Seattle, on a budget but doesn't have to be dirt cheap.

My sudden need for clothes? Brand new disease modifying drug. I've been convalescing for several years and haven't been out of my pajamas much. Just recently I've been up and around enough, consistently, that I've been able to take myself to doctor's appointments and even (gulp) go out to eat for the occasional meal. We bought me a car. I am doing stuff on my own again after five years of being in too much bone crushing pain and exhaustion to do anything but hold down the couch. Yay! But I deconditioned and my body is shaped funny. I've gained a lot of weight while laying prone and it will be awhile before I'm strong enough to even contemplate challenging my body with exercise and weight loss. Thing is, I am now very improbably proportioned. I shopped with a Nordstrom personal shopper who found me a couple (very loose) tops but who told me my shape (molded from years of inactivity and muscle wasting) was not fitting into normal misses clothing sizes--- not even to the point where Nordstrom's free tailoring would do its magic.

I need to find a tailor who can make me clothes to fit my very particular body shape. It seems like all the tailor and bespoke sites I am finding are for wedding dresses or for men. Doesn't somebody make slacks and casual shirts for women in Seattle? Dare I ask for jeans or dresses? I prefer to stay in town and not use Etsy, because I think that meeting in person clarifies the muscle wasting and body shape issues I'm dealing with in a way measurements never could. Prefer to buy classic, timeless pieces that will be with me for awhile. My style, back when I had one, leaned toward vintage. I'd say I'm a bit more conservative and understated now. The personal shopper was right, in advance, though -- normal clothing hangs really funny on me, right now, and it's got a lot of room to hang before it will fill in. It's not like I'm going to grow into it.

Thanks for your Seattle women's tailor suggestions (or alternate suggestions for custom clothes when one's body is oddly shaped?). Seattle personal shopper suggestions also welcomed, if you think they could help.
posted by sweltering to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I prefer to stay in town and not use Etsy…

why don't you do a search for local etsy tailors/seamstresses? this has worked for me.
posted by violetk at 8:58 AM on June 21, 2012

I have had success contacting local theatre companies or theatre departments and asking their seamstresses/costume shop folks. Some of them are very good with clothing construction and more than willing/able to take on a tailoring job or client. Of course, some of them have only the most basic construction skills and would not be able to help you, but it's not a bad place to start. They also have connections with local art and design schools and might know someone who is working to start a fashion career who supplements their income with tailoring.

I also hired a wedding dress seamstress once to make a dress from a Clare McCardell reproduction pattern for me that was beyond my own skills. Have you talked to any of them? If they are not able/willing to work with a nonwedding dress client, they might have a referral.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:11 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Friends of mine have had a good experience with A Perfect Fit in Ballard (15th NW near 85th). They're not open on weekends and the lady has a strong personality, but if you can live with that, they're very good.
posted by matildaben at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2012

I can't recommend anyone specific but I do know that there are plenty of seamstresses who really enjoy doing the kind of work you want, but who do the bridal work and prom dresses because it pays the bills. Seconding crush-onastick's recommendation to call wedding seamstresses for referrals. If they can't do it themselves there's a pretty good chance they will have reciprocal referring arrangements with seamstresses who'd prefer to send the wedding work to them so they can focus on the fun jobs like making custom clothes that you will love.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2012

There is no such thing as a "correct body shape" . (Go to the bath house, or nudist beach -- and you'll see how human older then 18 looks like : every kind of body shape that you'd never imagine ). Mass producers would love it, if there would be such a specie as Standard Unisex Body, so "one size would really fit all"...

Good taylor will make anyone look and feel great! He/she will work with you , with your real body.
Have you ever seen so-so looking executive ? Politician ? That's how person of any shape and age looks like in clothes custom made by the master.

"Very loose tops " most likely would look like potato sac on very many people.
Instead , good cloth should be somewhat-- or a lot -- structured , just like men's suits are made .

I think taylors for men's clothing, and theater costumes places constantly do that kind of work and they are often very good . Also, they know lots of others in their profession, and can recommend someone.
Good place to look might be Threads magazine http://forums.threadsmagazine.com/ , that's the magazine for people who do custom and couture sewing. Some are real masters, some are hobbyists, and everything in between, all of them do custom sewing. Maybe you can ask on their forum ?
...Also, you'll be able to use nice fabrics! High quality natural fibers are nice to touch, better for your health, last much longer !
posted by Oli D. at 11:28 AM on June 21, 2012

Thanks for the answers, everyone! There are lots of etsy sellers whose aesthetics I like based in Seattle. I'm going to send them convos tonight!
posted by sweltering at 9:01 PM on June 21, 2012

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