On one hand, the need for a tailor might seem reduced in an era of clothes that are thrown away when no longer needed.
On the other hand, the need for a tailor becomes obvious when the person who purchased the clothing is larger or smaller than the person now wearing it, even if that’s the same person.
The needs of those whose clothing no longer fits, or needs repair, is served by Deb Eastlick, whose business, Deb’s Fashions to Fit, 65 N. Fourth St., is celebrating its 15th anniversary in September.
“If you buy something better-quality and you want it to fit a long time, you bring it to me,” said Eastlick. “I have customers that bring buttons for me to sew on.”
Eastlick worked at Bridal Boutique 10 years before opening her own shop.
“In the last four years things have changed,” she said. “I didn’t do wedding gowns at first, but in the last few years the bridal shops can’t find seamstresses, so they’re shutting down their sewing departments.”
Eastlick does a significant amount of express service. One afternoon, someone who works in security brought in two work shirts with “Security” patches on them that needed to be attached to the shirts in three hours.
“I’ve had lawyers and such wait in the bathroom while I’ve fixed pants they’ve had on,” she said. “I take safety pins to every wedding I go to.”
One area of business growth is in expanding mothers’ or grandmothers’ wedding gowns for their daughters or granddaughters. The challenge is that people are larger today than 25 or 50 years ago.
Whether a clothing item can grow “depends [on] if there’s enough fabric to do it with,” said Eastlick. “I don’t like doing a $19 hem on a $6 T-shirt, but I’ll do it.”
A quarter-century of work on wedding and prom dresses includes a bird’s-eye view of changes in dress fashions.
“When I moved here four years ago it was strictly all strapless wedding gowns,” said Eastlick. “They’re tending to go back to having stuff on their shoulders, especially when Princess Kate got married.”
Eastlick also does chair recovering.
Eastlick also holds sewing classes weeknights from 6 to 8 p.m. between October and February. When someone requests that Eastlick holds a class, she agrees to conduct the class if the potential student can find other people to attend.
“The most requested one is from 30-year-olds who want to be able to sew buttons and Boy Scout badges,” she said.
Eastlick is planning specials for customers in September.