On National Sewing Machine Day, we tip our vintage hats to the army of tailors and seamstresses whose artistry turns the shapeless and dowdy into the fitted and sleek. Having a good tailoring shop on your side allows you to look at thrift shopping in a new light. Go for that sport coat made from luxurious wool with sleeves that unfortunately creep over your knuckles! Don’t pass up that dress that flatters your hips but billows around the bust! Professionals can make them feel like custom couture.
Many dry cleaners offer alterations, but since it’s best to have an item fitted and pinned by the person who actually will be doing the stitching, look for a cleaners whose alterations expert works on the premises.
Or cultivate a relationship with a tailoring shop. We found our go-to place, Orellanas Tailor Shop, at the edge of the Los Angeles Fashion District, by asking friends and reading Yelp reviews. Maria Orellana, a former costume designer from Honduras, has 30 years of alteration experience, and works alongside three other tailors in the busy shop. which is open seven days a week. She has seen it all, and her expert eye knows exactly where to nip and tuck.
So here’s to those skilled with scissors and thread – and the machines where they ply their skill.