Is It Just Me….

…. who feels that buying fabric off a bale and getting it stitched by a tailor is quite charming and romantic?

For me, there is something quaint and old-fashioned and lovely about going to a fabric shop, getting enchanted by the silk and cotton prints and tulle and organza, dreaming up dresses for yourself and your family, having lengths of fabric cut out and paying for them, and then going to the tailor and explaining what you want, brainstorming with him/her, and then watching the fabric becoming a beautiful dress or frock? It is a process not unlike the making of a beautiful statue from a piece of stone. It takes dreaming to see what a piece of uncut stone will look like when made into a statue, and then going on to convert that dream into reality.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s wife (and so do many of my friends) tell me it has been ages since they went to a tailor. Now, all they do is take their pick from the hundreds of ready-made kurtis available in malls or cloth shops, and mix and match with a pair of leggings. That way, they can have different looks for a single kurti, and can avoid the hassle of visiting the tailor umpteen times and running the risk of the final product turning out to be something totally different from what they had envisioned.

When you use a tailor, yes, those hassles are to be anticipated. I agree. I have had my own set of problems with tailors, but still. There’s something to be said about the joy of wearing a dress exclusively tailored for you, something you envisioned and which the tailor makes exactly the way you wanted it to be (that does happen!). There ‘s something about wearing a dress that wasn’t produced, along with thousands of other dresses, in a factory, not keeping you in mind at all.

Back in Ahmedabad, I have had a few favourite tailors and a whole lot of favourite fabric shops that I would frequent. I have always been on the heavier side, and have always found it difficult to find good ready-made dresses that didn’t cost the moon. Tailors helped me mix and match, made garments for me that fit me perfectly, made me look good and kept me comfortable. There were goof-ups, too, but then that does happen when you are working with people, right? I found a serious lack of good running fabric when I shifted to Bangalore, as well as a dearth of good tailors, and my parents continued to get all my dresses stitched in Ahmedabad and couriered to me, til they moved to Bangalore too. After 7 years of staying in Bangalore, I found a tailor who spoke my language, who understands my needs and stitches the kind of clothes I need. Touchwood. My interactions with her make me happy. I finally have somewhere to take all the bits and pieces of fabric I picked up from here and there. I now have an idea of whom to consult for all the little frocks I have dreamed up for Bubboo, but didn’t have anyone to talk to about. Yay!

That said, it might not be long before this small business establishment, the tailor shop, becomes a relic from the past, like telegrams and landline telephones and STD booths. Well, times change, and the things associated with those times have to change too, I guess. This is not a change I am happy about, though.

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17 thoughts on “Is It Just Me….

  1. I hear you TGND! Even I prefer getting my kurtas stitched but since readymade ones are a much easier option (both convenient & pocket-friendly) I get my office ones from shops and online websites most of the times. But for blouses, I get them stitched as per my requirements and my current tailor is a decent one; he somehow delivers me near-about my expectations. And you know what, the same tailor stitches perfect blouses for my sister! 🙂

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  2. I would give an arm and a leg to get my perfectly fit churidar kurta or a blouse. Is that too much to ask? 😭 They seem to hate my body shape! I have such lovely designs in my mind and I always have had a flair for designing.

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    1. @Princessbutter

      Tailors have a way of doing just what they want, all after they have listened to everything you have said to them about the kind of dress you want them to stitch and claimed to understand in full. 🙂 That said, you sometimes find a tailor who understands you perfectly and does what you want. Or does what he/she wants, but you end up liking their taste. 🙂

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  3. Oh gawd.. you just spoke about me.. I do it.. ditto the way you said..
    I have now relocated to a different city and my search is still on for that perfect tailor and fabric shops..
    I love it to the core..You have put it so well..

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  4. I loved wearing clothes stitched by tailors. But it is tough to find a decent tailor who doesn’t charge a bomb for stitching a blouse/kurta. Finding a tailor who can stitch a frock for my daughter is even more tougher.
    In the end, I have a collection of fabric that I intend to use when I find a good tailor. I might even start stitching on my own using my sewing machine when the son grows older.

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    1. @Elizabeth

      I am glad I have found a tailor who understands me. I am yet to find someone who can stitch clothes for the little one, though.

      I am like you too. I get so tired of hearing all about the chemicals in food, of people not doing things the way you want them to be done, that I think I will do them myself. A while ago, I was thinking just like you – I should get a sewing machine and sew our family’s clothes myself. 🙂

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      1. It is not so tough, but it involves quite a bit of practice. My mom still does bits of hand embroidery at 68 years. Now the problem is the little one will not allow. I am waiting for him to grow a bit old.

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      2. I have made few things over the years, a baby quilt for my son, a skirt for my daughter, cloth diaper insert for my son etc. I enjoyed making all of them. A quilt and a tote bag are my next goals.

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