DoinDubai’s TOP TIPS to avoid tailoring disasters in Dubai.
Be brave and dip your toes into the world of “Had it Made in Dubai” You live in a place where well established communities (mainly Indian and Pakistani as well as Emiratis) still regularly have clothes stitched and tailored for everyday and occasion wear for themselves and their children. Remember it will cost you a fraction of what you’d pay in any western country and you have access to a range of fabulous fabrics and a plethora of tailors on your doorstep. But do be sensible and Get it Right. Follow DoinDubai’s Top Tips:
- Firstly have something that fits you well copied exactly, don’t leave anything to the imagination of the tailor, he (usually) will NOT be able to interpret what you mean, at least not at first, so play safe and have something copied.
- Choose a fabric that matches the one your original garment is made from as closely as possible. So if you have a jersey dress, do NOT copy it in a silk fabric, it won’t drape and fit in the same way at all.
- Avoid using any stretchy fabrics at all to begin with, there isn’t that much choice and some tailors refuse to work with it, so stick to cottons or any of the silks, crepe, tusser, butter, raw silk, satins etc. Butter silk is very cheap (about Dhs 5 per metre) comes in a range of colours and is often used for lining but great if you want to try something new, then graduate to the expensive crepe silks that can be Dhs 50 to Dhs 60 and upwards a metre. Don’t forget that Indian sarees are a great source of fabric and can be quite reasonable given you get 6 yards of material, you can split one between you and a friend.
- Take your original garment to the tailor first and ask how much fabric you need, try and avoid things that have lining and lots of pleats or “pin tucks” till you’re confident of the skill of your tailor. Often the person you speak to takes your “order” and he may do the cutting, but then the stitching is farmed out to any one of an army of tailors “in the back”. This especially happens in larger establishments that have more than one branch.
- Do get a written receipt with how much your stitching will cost and when it’s due to be ready, then take a mobile number of the tailor and call at least a day before collection to ensure your garment is ready, otherwise you could have a wasted trip.
- Try and avoid adding trimmings to your garment (elaborate buttons, lace, piping edging, sequins etc) till it’s ready and you’re happy with it, it’s easy enough to add these bits later but a waste of money if you aren’t happy with the original. But do buy little bits of trimmings you think are “you” when in Bur Dubai or Satwa and keep handy for when you need them. Again all these trimmings are available by the metre and cost a fraction of what they would at say VV Rouleaux off Marylebone Street in Central London or John Lewis.
- When you’re used to your tailor and he knows your “fit” you may want to ask him to leave a little “margin” room for growth, even for us adults to make your creation last longer. And be imaginative, buy fabric to make cushion covers, table cloths and napkins as well as items of clothing ! I recently had my Dad’s jackets relined as he wouldn’t part with them, a great success and again so well priced at around Dhs 150 including the lining.
If you’d like DoinDubai’s “Little Black Book” (read list) of tailors, trimmings places and fabric sources then make sure you’ve subscribed to DoinDubai and ask for the list in the comments box below.
I will email it back to you. Very useful for anyone who loves crafting projects as well although I haven’t managed to find anyone who sew up my evening “bag frame” from John Lewis yet! Possibly the way I’m explaining it !
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BIG THANK YOU from Monica