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Terms Used in Clothing Alteration

Clothes, for some reason or another, seldom fit as well as we would like, but it is possible to alter clothing to make it fit better. While some clothing alteration services can be done at home, at times it is best to see a professional, especially with an important garment like a bridal gown. The following are common terms used in the clothing industry.

  • Tailor – A person who alters clothes professionally. Unlike other professions, tailoring is still often taught by apprenticeship. A good tailor is someone with a lot of experience altering clothes.
  • Seam – Where two or more layers of fabric are held together by stitches. Some common seams that are usually altered is the inseam, which measures the inner leg in pants, or princess seams, which help shape a shirt to the curves of a woman's body. Adding new seams is one of the most expensive services a tailor provides.
  • Hem – A hem is a piece of cloth that is sewn to prevent the edge of a fabric from unraveling. This term can also refer to shortening an item, like jeans, that are too long for the wearer. Items can be hemmed for between very inexpensive.
  • Formal wear – Clothes that are worn to formal events such as parties, proms and weddings. For men, this usually requires wearing a suit and tie, for women it means wearing a dress. Depending on how the item is made, for example a pleated dress, it may be more costly getting it altered.
  • Dry clean – A store where professionals clean delicate shirts, suits and dresses as well as items you might not think of, like rugs. Some will offer same day service.
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    Iacde
    Oklahoma City, OK 73118
    If you're looking for the most professional alterations specialists for clothing, find one through our association. We represent the most experienced and preferred executives in the clothing industry.
     
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    Sabatini Of London
    491 Cameron Station Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22304
    Start shopping for custom clothing; men and women. Call today to start working with an Academy Award winning designer (202) 277-8227
    (202) 277-8227
    Abadnegro
    N/A, Dumfries, VA 22026
    Contact us in Dumfries, Virginia, at (877) 412-7478 for Bible verse clothing and Christian apparel inspired only from Christian-based themes.
    (301) 500-4367
    Festival Tailor
    8300 Sudley Rd, Manassas, VA 20109
    From men's suits and ladies' dresses to formal wear and general attire, we have years of experience and friendly service. Our tailors can alter any gown or suit you may have. Experts in sewing.
    (703) 330-5399
    Stitch and Sew
    3434 Leonardtown Rd, Waldorf, MD 20601
    (240) 222-3310
    Allentown Alteration and Embroidery
    6339 Allentown Rd, Temple Hills, MD 20748
    (301) 433-0007
    Amara Fashions
    1132 Prince St, Alexandria, VA 22314
    (703) 684-7755
    Crest Alterations
    7560 Telegraph Rd, Alexandria, VA 22315
    (703) 922-5514
    Sammy Lee Tailor Shop
    615 Pennsylvania Ave Se, Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 543-9292
    Landmark Custom Tailors
    5801 Duke St Ste B240, Alexandria, VA 22304
    (703) 642-5255
    Be Alterations
    1800 I St Nw, Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 457-9838
    7a Sewing & Tailoring
    1274 5th St Ne, Washington, DC 20002
    (202) 543-0739
    Smart Laundry
    925 Brentwood Rd Ne, Washington, DC 20018
    (202) 525-5529
    Oxford Taylors
    1214 31st St Nw, Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 337-6255
    Baytok's Bespoke Tailoring
    1802 Wisconsin Ave Nw, Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 337-4800
    Do's Custom Tailors
    1508 Wisconsin Ave Nw, Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 333-2913


    For most people, simply buying clothing 'off the rack' is enough. However, this does not always work. It is especially true with formal wear and with people who don't fit the standard sizes. There is still some work for the tailor. In the past, most clothing was custom made. Ordinary people would handle their own basic needs and go to a tailor for more complicated and important outfits. A tailor may make custom garments from scratch. More commonly, he or she will alter existing clothing. Most alterations of are suits or dresses. Expensive shirts are also commonly altered. The cost of a full custom suit can be very high. Alterations might consist of raising or lowering a hem or adjusting a waistline. Wedding and prom dresses are commonly altered to a more exact fit. Most garment alteration shops these days are attached to dry cleaners. They also handle repairs, such as replacing the zipper on a pair of jeans. Many offer same day service at a higher cost. These shops tend, however, to handle simpler items such as minor alterations to a shirt or pair of pants. Simple alterations are often cheaper. Of course, some people may attempt to do them themselves. This requires skill in sewing and the ability to take measurements. Community colleges often offer instruction in repairing and altering garments. In most cases, it is far easier to make a garment smaller. It is relatively easy to take in seams, but extending them involves adding extra material. Some garments, too, are not designed with seams in the appropriate place. Things can be particularly difficult for plus size individuals who often struggle to find apparel large enough.
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