Having some pants that are too long? In the need to have your dress tailored so it would fit you better for your upcoming events? Or if you don’t have any ideas how to sew on a button? You should definitely think about making a trip to your local tailor shop soon! Unsure or having no idea? I’ve got you covered on what to do…

  1. Buy things that fit! Honestly, don’t grab things on the sale rack that are too large or too small hoping you will grow skinnier or taller one day. If it’s too cheap to pass on, then please be prepared to pay extra at the tailors.
  2. Research: Google or simply Yelp it! Download the app, it’s great for looking up information and reviews about local businesses, especially when you’re new to the area.
  3. Plan ahead: Please be aware that some tailoring shops are busy, don’t wait a week before your event! But if it’s an emergency, make sure you tell your seamstress. Bring shoes with you to the fitting day at the tailor, especially dress shoes vs. tennis shoes, high heels that you’re planning to wear them with your clothing items
  4. Price does go with quality. Don’t be cheap because cheap alteration services will end up with poorly stitches and butchered hemlines that you might not be aware of. Your forever21 dress or a pair of denim jeans from JC Penny are ok for you to seek for cheaper price alternatives, but with your $200 jeans or nicer designer clothes, please please take care of them. Basic price points for preference:
  • Pants’ hem: Regular hem $9, with cuffs or lining $12, Original hem $16, dress pants having waist taken-in or -out: $18 jeans $22, legs tapered $18. It will cost you more if it involves a couple sizes up or down.
  • Suit jackets/sport coats: shorten sleeves $25 (When you buy suit jacket, make sure there are fake button holes because if there are real ones, sleeves have to be shortened from the shoulders which are harder to do and expensive), sides taken-in 1 vent in the back $35, 2 vents $55
  • Dresses: depends on style and fabric, sundress hem $18, bridesmaid dress hem per layer (usually 2 layers and up) $35 and up, sides taken-in $25 and up


Forget about those spontaneous DIY sewing project:

I’ve seen a handful of people getting so inspired by those DIY Pinterest project and made a trip to fabric store stacking up with crafty stuff and a crazy amount of fabrics. They end up giving them away or leave them untouched simply because they don’ have the tools and right machine to work with. If you don’t own a sewing machine at home, then don’t think your tailor can “help a friend out” without charging you with the price-up-there. Labor fee is not cheap. If you do own a sewing machine, make sure you buy fabrics that are easy to work with like cotton.

Note that home-style sewing machine is totally different from an industrial sewing machine. For example, some home-styled sewing machines aren’t designed to work with stretchy and trickier fabric like jersey or lace. I’d recommend you to opt for fabric tapes

Check out:

My family shops if you’re in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) area:

  1. Tom’s Tailors on Grand Ave, St. Paul
  2. Tom’s Tailors in WoodburyScreen Shot 2016-03-17 at 2.17.06 AM
  3. Contact me. Ask me anything from your clothing fit dilemmas to alteration questions or concerns, shoot me an email here on the blog or private message me on my facebook page! I do alteration services as well.

Thanks for reading!

An Trieu