I always try to work miracles where alterations work is concerned. And tight deadlines are a challenge. So many times I’ve had dress turn arounds in just a week because people leave it until the last minute to make their dress purchase. And it’s not always just an inch off the hem. Taking in an entire dress three sizes is no mean feat.
Where possible I will do alterations in one fitting. And often it’s fine. But sometimes it’s not. And if you’ve only left a week between picking up your dress and that big ball in London you’ve known about for months, I am invariably the one who gets it in the neck if it isn’t perfect on the night. So I do my best to wave my magic needles.
Many of the pieces I do at the moment are heavily beaded. And there is invariably no appreciation for the amount of time it takes to hand bead a dress that has several seams taken in or let out. Potentially it can add several hours onto the labour time. And it’s why I prefer to charge by the hour rather than give a flat fee. But alterations work requires a guide price and I’ve been pressured into working this way which can mean unpaid hours or frowny faces from customers.
But it’s all a learning curve and working in retail in this way has helped my business practice, gained me experience and made me a tougher business woman. And these are good skills. Although I am still nervous of the ‘difficult’ customer.