ISO NYC seamstress for simpler project
May 12, 2016 9:33 PM   Subscribe

I picked up some nice Liberty cotton lawn in London over Christmas. Now that summer's coming, I'd like to have it made up. I know that making a length of fabric into a basic rectangular scarf is a relatively simple project, but I knit rather than sew for VERY GOOD REASONS. Where to find someone who will do it for me?

I've searched previous asks, and they have dealt primarily with high-end seamstress work--people who do wedding dresses and complex costumes. I suspect that such people will either (a) not be interested in piddling two-hour projects such as mine or (b) will charge something ridiculous to do it. But it is nice fabric, so I would like it done professionally. Any recommendations?
posted by praemunire to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Etsy, for sure.
posted by arnicae at 9:45 PM on May 12, 2016

Any decent alterations shop should be able to do this for you. It's really just hemming all four sides, so it shouldn't present them with any problems. Ask to see samples of their work and look at the hems. If it looks nice, have them do it.
posted by ananci at 10:39 PM on May 12, 2016

Yes, practically every dry cleaner in Manhattan does alterations, too; I was hoping someone had experience with a specific person or shop, because over the years just getting pants hemmed has had mixed results. I also fear running into a language barrier trying to give instructions for something that falls outside ordinary tailoring. If the project turns out wrong I don't have any more of the fabric...
posted by praemunire at 11:14 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I might be misunderstanding what you have in mind: if it's just a matter of cutting to the right size and hemming, that should take a few minutes, not the two hours you describe. If it really is that simple, though, you could go buy a cheap piece of fabric and have it sewn somewhere as a test run. (And if you have an existing scarf sewn the way you want you can bring it to the sewist and point out anything you particularly care about.) Also if you don't get any recommendations here you could ask at a fabric place like Mood Fabric.
posted by trig at 1:01 AM on May 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

You could search for a similar item on Etsy and commission the seller to make one for you from your fabric.
posted by defreckled at 3:42 AM on May 13, 2016

What kind of hem do you want? A rolled hem has to be hand stitched. A top stitched one can be made with a machine. Heck, if you want a fringed hem, you can do it yourself. Do you have any friends who sew?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:28 AM on May 13, 2016

If I were you, I'd stop by Purl Soho during a quieter time with your fabric and ask if they know any local sewists who are available for commissions. They sell Liberty fabric, so they'll appreciate its worth.
posted by umwhat at 5:05 AM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Unless there's something more complicated that I'm not picking up on, this sounds like basic level sewing skills. Anyone with a sewing machine and an iron can probably do it for you. I can do it for you.
posted by Liesl at 6:17 AM on May 13, 2016

Umwhat's or trig's suggestion is what I would do. go to Mood (which stocks a lot of Liberty) or Purl Soho (which tends to cater to those sort of fiddly skills) and ask if they can recommend someone. Chances are someone on staff has the skills to do it and would happily do it. I charged a friend $25 to cut and machine-hem vintage barkcloth for curtains. For a yard's worth of rolled hem on a delicate fabric I'd charge at least double that--which is probably below Manhattan-sews-for-a-living prices, but I honestly don't know. (actually, I would not take a rolled hem commission, ever, but that's totally irrelevant)

I wouldn't go to a random dry cleaner for a rolled hem on four sides of souvenir Liberty of London fabric, either.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:20 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Eh, I'd totally ask a random dry cleaner for a rolled hem on each side of a piece of Liberty fabric. Worst-case scenario, they fuck it up and you find someone better to cut off the 1/4 inch rolled hem and do it properly.

But honestly, if you can knit, you can do this yourself by hand.
posted by third word on a random page at 7:41 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Try contacting Peter here at his blog Male Pattern Boldness.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:06 AM on May 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't travel across the city for this project - but you're right that all dry cleaners offer some sort of service and it varies, so I'd check yelp and find one in your neighborhood. I've found that yelp hasn't let me down yet for tailors/cobblers/etc.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2016

to clarify: check yelp and find a particularly good one in your neighborhood. If you're particularly worried, choose a person that's known for things like wedding dresses.
posted by R a c h e l at 1:39 PM on May 13, 2016

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