All items must be clean before being altered. Items that are dirty, smelling of smoke, exhaust, or other strong scents will be turned away until clean. We do not do leather or heavier fabrics that may damage the sewing machine. We also do not re-cover pillows, cushions, etc. or do embroidery.
Frequently Asked Questions/ Tips:
How much do alterations cost?
- Please visit the Alterations page for a detailed price list. I price by the activity.
How long does it take?
- Everyday clothing takes three business days, formal wear five business days (one week). Same day alterations are not available. Pinning items takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the type of garment.
Why can’t I have items done the same day?
- I work alone; the shop is quite busy and typically has a backlog of items to be completed. Finishing your item in a matter of hours in addition to fitting any customers who come in, answering the phone and the other day to day business of the shop would not allow me enough time to ensure that I’m giving it the attention it deserves.
How does it work?
- When you drop off your item, you can either let me know how it needs to be altered or try it on in the shop and we will pin it in the appropriate locations. (This is preferred.) You will then be given the date on which you can pick up your item. You can pick it up on that day or anytime after it. Items will be held for a maximum of 60 days. You will pay when you pick up your items and make sure everything is just the way you want it! If it’s not, I’m happy to fix it until it’s right
I don’t see what I want done on the website. Does this mean you don’t do it?
- Not always. The website lists the main things I do- and you are always welcome to ask. I do not do embroidery, leather, or heavier/large objects (such as sleeping bags) that either don’t fit into my machine or are too heavy.
Please visit with me about your needs to determine pricing. I also strongly encourage you to wait on any fabric purchase until meeting with me to ensure that we are getting the right kind and amount of fabric. Also please view the Custom Sewing page here.
Please allow 6-8 weeks for custom projects. Rush is not available. Custom dressmaking is considered any time I have to cut from a piece of fabric to create a new item.
Can you hem jeans and leave the original stitching?
- Yes! I default to this, so if you don’t want it, let me know.
I found a dress that I kind of like, but want the hemline drastically changed. Can you do that?
- In most cases, yes. I will work with the design of the gown to ensure that the new hemline looks like it was always supposed to be there.
I’m not sure if something can be altered or how you would do it. Should I bring it in anyway?
- Absolutely! Often I know some tricks to get the item to look the way you want it to, and if the alteration isn’t possible or won’t look good, I will tell you up front. I have some tricks up my sleeve that come from years of experience.
Some alterations are more expensive than the garment. Why is this?
- Unfortunately, the places where many of our garments are made have extremely cheap labor. In order to remain open, I need to charge a reasonable amount to both keep the shop open and support myself. To learn more about what people make in the overseas factories where clothing is made, please visit Fair Trade Winds.
Do you have any discounts?
- Yes- several. If 4 or more members of a bridal party come in for alterations, each member will receive 15% off alterations. Also, if you bring in 4 or more of the same type of alteration (4 jeans hems, 4 pants hems) at the same time, you will receive 10% off the cost of the alterations on those items.
What’s your background?
- I have been sewing since I could operate a needle and thread, went on to study costuming and receive a BA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota and have been sewing ever since. I have a Master’s degree in Education too, since one can never be too educated. 🙂 Skirting the Rules opened with handmade skirts in 2012, and the alterations shop portion opened in 2013, moving to the new location in March of 2015.
TIPS FOR ALTERATIONS
If at all possible, start with a garment that is your size — or very, very close to it. While it is often possible to size a garment up or down, don’t count on being able to take in or let out a dress by more than one or two sizes. Many dresses do not contain enough seam allowance to let out more than 1”, and with fabrics like velvet and satin, the original seam lines will show.
If you have not yet purchased your attire, PLEASE resist the urge to buy something that is on sale but several sizes too big (or small). Garments that are much too large for the intended wearer often need to basically be taken apart and re-cut in order to hang properly on the body. This is such a labor-intensive process it can quickly eat whatever money you saved –- and then some– and it never entirely looks right.
Buy your foundation garments before your first fitting, and bring them to ALL of your fittings. Yes, this is completely and absolutely necessary. Even if they don’t appear to shape your body much or at all, your foundation garments WILL affect the way the dress hangs on your figure, and if you have a petticoat or crinoline, bring that, too.
Ditto for your shoes. If you have not obtained the perfect shoes before your first fitting, mention this to the fitter and then bring a pair of shoes with a heel height in the range of your ideal shoe (heel height can affect your posture), and ask to have the hem marked at a later fitting.