Anyone who wears a lot of locally made clothes knows the troubles of finding a good person who can sew their clothes the way he/she likes it. Isn’t it frustrating to spend a lot of money on fabric only to have a tailor ruin it by making a style totally different from what you want?
We have all gone through it and sometimes we just feel like walking to a shop and buying an outfit off the shelf irrespective of how much we like it. The truth is there are actually ways to find a fantastic dressmaker that does a fantastic job! If you have found that person already, good for you. If you haven’t been that lucky yet, below are some valuable tips on how to find this seemingly rare person.
1. Speak to well-dressed people
We all know a lady or two whose clothes are always on point. Word of mouth is the number one way to find exactly what you want. So just ask them who designs their clothes then, contact the tailor/seamstress. I must admit, sometimes it’s not that simple. I know very well some people do not want to give up their secret tailor for various reasons. The best way to overcome this is to flood them with compliments. Everybody loves compliments so shower them over her and watch her reveal her secret tailor to you.
2. Search on social media
A good way to find out if a dressmaker is good is to look at some attires they have designed. Social media is a good way to see people’s work. Not every tailor or seamstress is on social media but the ones that actually are will have a fair deal of images to showcase their work. Stay away from dressmakers who put up other people’s images claiming they can sew the exact thing. Always make sure the images they put up are truly theirs. Authentic pictures are a must when choosing a tailor or seamstress on social media.
3. Sewing background
The best dressmakers either went to good sewing schools or understudied a designer or renowned tailor/ seamstress. There’s no shame in asking a potential dressmaker where they learned to sew. They should not get offended either. In fact, good dressmakers will be glad and are very proud to share information about their background. There are fair deals of self-taught dressmakers who are excellent but they are always the minority. The number of years of experience is also something to check. The green zone is a tailor or seamstress with 3 to 14 years experience. Too little experience may mean they are not good enough and too much experience may be good but also has the demerit of archaic methods and designs.
If you have a big Igbo wedding or any other Nigerian traditional wedding and want to look super sweet don’t send your expensive fabric to a tailor or seamstress you haven’t used before. When you find a new tailor that you are willing to give a shot try him/her out first preferably with an inexpensive fabric. Try and give him/her a style as close to are exactly how you would like your main outfit. If he is done with that one and performs well, you can trust him with the actual ceremonial attires. Look out for straightness of seams, neatness of sewing in general, the fit of the clothing and if he/she actually delivers on time. These main things will let you know whether to trust him with the rest of your fabric.
It’s not easy to get the seamstress or tailor that understands you but when you finally do, keep them. Except you have an obvious alternative, my advice is to keep the tailor you have. Factors like a cheaper sew charge are not good enough a reason to leave your tailor for someone less qualified. In a nutshell, be vigilant in your search for a good dressmaker and when you find one hold them tight.