Cultivate a wardrobe of clothes worth mending
expert repairs, creative reconstruction,
and identity-affirming tailoring
Do you have your eye on a vintage piece but can't imagine wearing it because it's so scratchy on the inside?Is every pair of jeans too long?Do you order trousers to fit your hips, but they are constantly falling down because your waist is two or three sizes smaller?Are your sleeves drooping into your soup or uncomfortably snug around the biceps?I see you. I can help.
Fitting concerns you might be blaming on your body are not your body's fault. That precious structure of human tissue is just trying to safely carry your soul through this life. That impressive system of molecules we call the body deserves a round of applause, tender loving care, and a comfortable, protective shelter. Everybody deserves clothes that fit well, without judgment.As a professional pattern-maker, tailor, and fit consultant for over a decade and someone who knows first-hand that nothing actually fits anybody, I have seen (and adjusted) it all.I also know from working on catalog photoshoots and teaching garment-sewing classes that it's getting worse the further removed we are from making our own clothes.
I invite you to have a look through your wardrobe and ask yourself, what aren't you wearing and why? Taking in or letting out the waist, adding pockets, or shortening a hem can make all the difference in the world when it comes to feeling comfortable in your clothes again. As you are. Today.
Almost any damage can be repaired. Not every garment can be reconstructed invisibly, but I can tell you when I see it for the first time whether or not it can be invisibly repaired. If the repair required will be visible, we can embrace it as an opportunity for embellishment or reinforcement.Sometimes, a slight alteration can even prevent re-injury to the worn or torn area, sometimes not.We can repair the irreplaceable or reinforce an area that repeatedly wears through, from fragile heirloom camisoles to blown-out thighs on work pants.
Thank you so much for working so fast and delivering my alterations right away. The work is such high quality, and I appreciate how much care you put into the details. Perfection+!!I love how clever your alterations are. They give my garments a second life and are even more comfortable while being adjustable for fluctuating sizes. I already wore the brick skirt - loving it!Thank you so very much.-l., Seattle, WA
Do you have a quilt, a wedding dress, or a scarf (or even some vintage curtains) you wish you could wear?
You don't need to be Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind to make a beautiful garment from drapery.I made a gorgeous wedding dress from a set of vintage lace curtains and an organic cotton sateen sheet a couple of years ago.Look at some photos below, and read what the bride had to say about working with me.
Karen is such a special person, and a talented artisan, and I was honored she chose to work with me on my wedding dress. This was my second wedding, and I was really craving more of a connection to the clothing that I wore. She held me through a very special, and sometimes very vulnerable process.Karen worked with me to source materials - being an avid thrifter and antiquer, I was delighted to find the lace for my dress in some old curtains! - and took my input every step of the way while crafting the dress, from conception to choosing style/length/sleeves/feel, to actually sewing it with exquisite details and a loving hand.I'm very happy with the garment and always love showing it off and telling the story of how it was sourced and how Karen and I co-created it into existence from a dream together. People are truly in awe of this unique garment and its story.I felt beautiful when I wore it. I felt in my body (which can sometimes be a hard way to feel, especially as a woman). The dress was completely comfortable. I'm proud and delighted that I had a completely unique garment to me and my own.I absolutely would recommend Karen for anything under the sun, especially this service, and I look forward to working with her again.-j.e., Everett, WA
Whether you're coming to terms with the inevitable changes of living through years in a human body, you've had surgical changes to your body due to illness, new scars or tattoos you want to hide or celebrate, you went through a personal identity shift after an awakening of some sort, or you've realized that the gender assigned to you at birth is not who you really are; the right clothes that fit your body can really support who you are in the world, today.We all benefit from having a wardrobe that reflects the shape and space we wish to take in the world. I can make modifications you might never have thought possible and give new life to your old favorites.
Some recent examples:
Reduce a darted chest in a blouse or a jacket to fit your new upper body after a full or partial mastectomy, top surgery, or to accommodate binding and still feel well-tailored and confident for work.
Insert elastic or other stretchy panels into an existing waist area to accommodate a shifting waistline while feeling at home in your favorite outfits. Especially helpful for those with auto-immune issues that cause inflammation. Everything you wear can feel like "secret pajamas"
Add a button panel to the back of shirts, or move any closure to the back or front to facilitate ease while maintaining your style. This is especially helpful if you're in a wheelchair or need assistance getting dressed. You're still you, and I want to help you feel that way.
Whatever you need to wear or dream of wearing, we can design creative ways to help you change the shape of your favorite clothes to transition with you.
A Message to Trans Clients
I want to extend a warm welcome to trans people who are interested in becoming clients. Your identity is celebrated here. Whether you're seeking subtle alterations or bold transformations, I'm here to support the transformation of your garments to celebrate who you are. Let's collaborate to create clothing that authentically reflects your unique identity.A Safe Space for Identity Exploration
At Gentle Clothing, I am dedicated to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for all individuals, especially those exploring and expressing their gender identity. I understand that clothing is a powerful form of self-expression, and I'm here to collaborate with you on your journey of identity affirmation.Personalized Alterations for Gender Expression
We all know clothing is a way to outwardly express your inner self. Through personalized alterations, we can adapt your wardrobe to align with your true identity. Whether adjusting the fit, modifying styles or creating entirely new pieces, I'm here to help you embrace what you may have dreamt your whole life of wearing, but never had the chance or encouragement to do so.Creative Garment Reconstructions for Self-Discovery
Sometimes, traditional clothing options might not fully capture your unique essence. Together, we can explore creative garment reconstructions, transforming clothing into wearable art that resonates with your identity. This process is an artistic collaboration, ensuring each piece becomes a powerful representation of your self-expression.Respect for Your Vision
Your vision for your clothing is always my guiding star of every alteration or reconstruction. I listen to your ideas, preferences, and needs, and work my magic to bring your vision to life. Your comfort, confidence, and empowerment are my priorities throughout the process.Embracing Change and Growth
As you navigate your gender journey, your style and preferences may evolve, just like everyone else. I'm here to offer ongoing support and adapt your clothing to reflect your current identity. This journey is about celebrating who you are right now, and embrace who you're becoming.Get in Touch
If you have questions, ideas, or want to start your journey towards gender-affirming clothing, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to support you, uplift your identity, and create a safe space for your self-expression.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I repair my clothes instead of buying new ones?Repairing your clothing can save you money in the long run by extending the life of your favorite pieces. Quality repairs can be more economical than frequently buying new clothing. Additionally, it's a sustainable choice that reduces waste and contributes to a more environmentally friendly approach to fashion.
Will repairing my clothes take a lot of time? I understand the importance of convenience. While some repairs may take time, I strive to provide a 2-3 week turnaround time without compromising quality. You'll be able to enjoy your revitalized garments sooner than you might think, but if you absolutely need your repairs or alterations sooner than two weeks, and my schedule allows for it, we can consider a rush order for a 30% surcharge.
Can repairs make my clothes look outdated? Not at all! Repairing or altering your clothing is an opportunity to refresh your wardrobe with unique, customized pieces that reflect your personal style. I'm here to collaborate with you on alterations that align with your current fashion preferences.
Isn't it easier to buy new clothes instead of getting repairs?While shopping for new clothes can be convenient, repairing your clothing has its own benefits. I aim to make the repair process hassle-free and enjoyable. With my expertise, I'll guide you through the process seamlessly, preserving the pieces you already love.
Can repairs change the sentimental value of my clothes? I understand the emotional attachment you have to your clothing. My goal is to preserve the unique character of your garments while enhancing their fit and functionality. I'll work closely with you to ensure any alterations or repairs maintain the essence of the original piece.
How does repairing my clothes contribute to sustainability? Repairing your clothing is the most sustainable choice to reduce waste and extend the life of existing garments. By choosing repairs, you're contributing positively to environmental preservation and embracing a more conscious approach to fashion.
Will my clothes still fit comfortably after alterations?Absolutely! Your comfort is my priority. As a fit expert and professional patternmaker, I specialize in ensuring that alterations improve the fit and enhance the comfort of your clothing. I'll collaborate with you to ensure the final result aligns with your preferences and maintains the comfort you value.
Return or Refund Policy
My Commitment to Customer Satisfaction
Gentle Clothing is committed to providing high-quality alterations and personalized services that meet the expectations we set together. Your satisfaction is my priority, and I strive to ensure that every alteration reflects my lifelong dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail.Understanding the Alteration Process
Before proceeding with services, I want to ensure that our clients have a clear understanding of the alteration process and potential outcomes. Our consultation will begin with an intake assessment in the form of open communication where we discuss your expectations, preferences, and any potential limitations I anticipate regarding the alteration or reconstruction.Customized Services
Since my services are highly personalized and tailored to each client's specific needs, alterations are non-standardized by nature. This means that each alteration is unique, and outcomes can vary based on the condition of the original garment, fabrication, and specific adjustments required.Return/Refund Policy
While I have never had to process a return or refund, due to the customized nature of these services, I want to address any concerns you may have:1. Satisfaction Guaranteed: If you're not fully satisfied with the alteration, please reach out to me as soon as possible, within 10 days of receiving your garment. I will work closely with you to understand your concerns and explore potential solutions. I want you to be happy.2. Open Communication: If you have any questions or uncertainties about the alteration, please contact me before attempting to request a return or refund. I’m here here to address any queries and ensure a positive experience.
3. Case-by-Case Assessment: Each situation is unique. If a return or refund is requested, I will assess the circumstances individually. In cases where the alteration did not meet the agreed-upon specifications or if there was a mistake on my part, I will work to provide a satisfactory solution.ExclusionsPlease note that certain situations are not covered under our return/refund policy, including but not limited to:- Changes in personal preferences after the alteration has been completed.
- Damage caused by improper care or handling of the altered garment.
- Significant changes to the original garment's condition after the alteration.Contact
If you have any concerns or questions about your altered garment, please don't hesitate to contact me. I value your feedback and are committed to continuous improvement.
Reference Price List
Please note: The prices listed below are basic guidelines to give you an idea of your investment and do not constitute a guaranteed rate. Each project is unique, and costs may vary. You will receive a personalized estimate when you drop off your garments for appraisal.If additional materials or specialty supplies need to be purchased, those will be invoiced at the actual cost.Turn-around time is 2-3 weeks. If you require a quicker turnaround, there will be a 30% rush surcharge (if my schedule allows).Garments must be clean when dropping them off for repair, or I cannot accept your order.
|$5 each||Replace buttons.|
|$15+||Repair or replace zipper. (plus cost of zipper)|
|$25+||Basic skirt or trouser hem (fuller skirts or wide-legged pants may be more).|
|$35+||Blind hem for basic skirt or trousers (fuller skirts or wide-legged pants may be more).|
|$45+||Shorten denim, retaining the original hem.|
|$45+||Take in or let out side seams in unlined garments.|
|$50+||Take in or let out waistbands (denim, trousers, structured skirts), or raise or lower waistbands.|
|$10 each||Repair or replace belt loops (and reinforce underlying garment at attachment point).|
|$25 each||Repair and reinforce pockets.|
|$30+ each||Add pockets to garment (pocket type varies by material and client's preference. The base price is for a side seam pocket.)|
|$50+||Repair and reinforce blown-out rear-end or thighs|
|$30+||Repair or insert gusset for underarm seam repair or fit adjustment|
|$75||Fitting consultation session (45-60 minutes) to determine alterations and adjustments to existing garments. (You can take them to repair yourself or leave them with me afterward.) Bring as much as you would like to fit.|
|$75/hr||Vintage garment repair or fitting. Creative reconstruction services.|
|$60/hr||Mending or darning.|
A 50% deposit will be taken at drop-off. The remaining balance will be collected upon completion.
Full Day Wardrobe Refresh - $600
Bring everything you want to wear but don't. If you know what you want changed, write it down. If you have something that fits perfectly, bring it and I'll use it as a reference. We'll start the day with a fitting session at your home or my studio. We'll prioritize the order of repairs and alterations, and then you can go to an event, for a hike, to work, or go home and have a nap. For the rest of my workday, you will benefit from my hyper-focus: I will repair, alter, mend, darn, or reconstruct as much as possible for my flat day-rate. Includes all materials and supplies.