Formal Consultation of Garment with Written Report and Estimate of Repair
If you want a formal consultation regarding a garment you may ship it to me (with pre-paid return shipping and insurance) for a hands-on inspection. I will examine the garment under regular, fluorescent and blacklight, looking for stains, fades and weakness issues. I will then examine seams, hems and stress components to determine if the garment is safe for wear after repair, or should be retired for display purposes only. I will work up a ball-park estimate of what I think the repair or adjustments will cost, and e-mail you the report. Depending on your instructions I will work on the garment or return it within the time frame specified. Please email for additional information.
I can't guarantee I can rescue your beloved garment (or that really amazing deal from the thrift store!) but I have had some success with kinds of stain removal and over-dyeing of faded areas that regular dry cleaners are not willing to spend time on - it may be worth a look. If your garment simply needs altering, you will be better off using a local tailor or dressmaker who will be able to fit you in person.
Here is an example of a black vintage ball gown a client brought me. She is a professional singer and was staging a nightclub act featuring Cole Porter songs. This was a lovely taffeta gown with a few areas of damage, but of a type easy to stabalize and repair. The front hem had a few rips in it and the fabric was found to be very weak throughout the lower 4 to 5 inches of the entire front. Both straps were ripped and although the zipper was in good shape the gown was never intended for the kind of bust my client sports. The straps were easily dealt with of course. I trimmed out a shallow arc across the whole front of the gown which took care of the damage and also allowed her easy movement across the stage. As the back of the dress maintained its original length, the effect was to form its own little train. She was dead set on wearing this gown so after a consultation I removed the zipper entirely and replaced it with a line of grommets that allows her to lace the gown with more or less back cleavage as her weight changes. It doesn't look like much just laying there, but this dress is utterly charming on her - I hope to have a picture of her in it soon! The consultation was $25 and the work was billed at an additional $95.