I was in search of a reasonably priced local seamstress or tailor in my local lolita community and made a post about it in the group page. What I needed done was very simple. Two dresses needed length adjustments and one dress needed a new zipper and a waist tie and lace sewn on. I immediately got a response from someone tagging another individual in the community. To keep his identity safe, I will call him Tom. This person boasted about how Tom did a fantastic job for his cosplay. Tom came on and Tom's exact words were, "i can hem, stitch, patch, or tailor whatever you need. message me if interested"
I messaged Tom and we arranged a time that I could come and drop off my clothes. Upon arriving at his house, my boyfriend and I immediately noticed that Tom's house was not as nice looking as the surrounding neighborhood or houses. My boyfriend had said, "I kind of don't want you to even knock on the door. We should just drive off now." And suggested that Tom would just keep the dresses and sell them. It's true, there actually was an old mattress in Tom's front yard, but I decided not to judge a book by it's cover and knocked on the door.
Tom and his very wild children greeted me and my boyfriend. I explained to him what I wanted done. I showed him how I wanted the lace put on and he even repeated the words back to me. Then I showed him the dresses I needed shortened and explained that they would be the same length as the dress that needed a zipper. These two dresses had a layer of chiffon on the outside and another layer underneath that was a polyester liner with chiffon attached to end and peeked out beneath the first layer. He asked if I wanted the chiffon just cut off on both layers or if I wanted to keep the same detail it had. I told him to keep the same detail it had, just shorten it.
After I left, I felt nervous about it because he seemed like he didn't fully understand what I was asking and didn't seem like he asked enough questions to relay his understanding. I just hoped that I would still have wearable dress when I got it back. He called me a few days later saying it was all done and I came to pick it up a week and a half later.
I didn't take pictures of what he did with the lace, but remember that he repeated back to me how I wanted it done. I told him I wanted it sewn through the middle, which would need two lines of stitches with the curvy part up, pointy part down. He put it on upside down and all of it was sewn on crookedly onto the edge of the neckline. It was also sewn onto the shirring in the back, which makes no sense. Once I took the lace off, I realized that he didn't bother doing what I said because he would've had to remove a bow to do it correctly and then put the bow back in. To save himself the work, he put all the lace as close to the edge as he could and cut off any bit of lace that interfered with the bow.
Oh, excuse me, I forgot to mention something first, HE DOESN'T HAVE A SEWING MACHINE! He hand stitched everything! I'm sorry, but one should question the sanity of someone taking on a sewing job like this and doesn't even own a sewing machine! Anyway, this is what he did with the zipper, note the use of two different coloured threads.The lining to this dress is also meant to be attached to the zipper. A good seamstress or tailor would've noticed that and sewed it too. The zipper was actually also cut on the wrong end (though it didn't need any cutting at all.) You don't cut a zipper on the side where it ends because the pull tab could come off. Instead, you cut the side where it starts and sew over it to close it off.
This is what he did with the waist tie sash:This is what the tie is supposed to and what the other sash does look like:
The other two dresses are both exactly the same, just that one is red and one is black. I took pictures of only the red just because it's easier to see. Remember that these dresses were to be shortened. I also specifically asked that whoever do this job know how to work with chiffon because it should be hemmed a particular way. This is what I got. The bottom layer completely untouched, therefore not adjusting the length at all. The top layer crookedly cut off revealing the lining underneath.
Not only was it cut off lop sided, it was also cut jaggedly.Furthermore, his house stinks! I mean, freaking reeks! It smells like old, dirty, mildewy carpet and pet urine. That's what my clothes came back smelling like.
Don't get me wrong, Tom is a nice guy. However, he and his friend led me to believe that he knew what he was doing and that he can hem, stitch, patch, or tailor whatever, which he clearly can't. Under normal circumstances, I would've let it go because this is all still fixable, but what if someone else in the community was looking for work done and asked Tom? After all, he was recommended! What if Tom comp
letely ruined someone's garment because of this? And we all know lolita clothes is not cheap or prevelant. I feel it's my responsibility to warn my community members about this, however, because Tom is such a nice person, I couldn't just sit there and make a post about him completely embarrassing him. He may not be able to sew for beans and he may be a bad housekeeper, but i still believe him to be a stand up guy and good human being.
I decided to just make another post asking for a seamstress/tailor and if Tom commented, I would publicly criticize his work, so that people could at least grasp what happened. Tom did reply and I criticized him being as honest, yet respectful as I could thanking him for his time and effort. However, he commented that he didn't think his work was that bad, which not only made me look like I was being a jerk, but it prompted another member to attack me without even full knowledge of the situation, or even personally knowing me or Tom. Now please understand that I have the best intentions for everyone.