NOTE: you can click on pictures to see larger views. They are coming out a little dark on my screen, yet when enlarged, you can see more clearly.

As my husband and I were out enjoying the weather on the deck last Friday afternoon, soon after he returned home from work, a young gentleman, who had passed by our house stopped in. He was curious if I did sewing work for others, as my sign out front is not that specific. One could assume it is a “hobby” or a business. Yet, with the dynamics of our town ordinance, I am not allowed to have a large sign, my business name, phone number or hours listed. In many ways this works well for me, yet before I digress, I will explain that in another blog post. But for now, I quickly explained to him the city requirements and that I generally do all my work via appointment, communicating via email and phone. 

He shared what he needed (jeans had zipper issues) and asked about how much it would cost. Those who run a business understand that sometimes a quick quote is not always the best way to approach an inquiry without seeing the particular project. So, I explained that I can possibly “fix” them at a reasonable price, yet if teeth were missing, the zipper would have to be replaced, and that in and of itself can be quite pricy. Non-the-less, he asked if it would be okay if he dropped them off for me. I just shared, that if I am not around to answer the door, to leave a note with his name, number, and what needed to be done, while providing him my business card.

The following day, early Saturday morning, upon waking and opening the door to see what type of weather we were about to enjoy, there on our deck railing were the jeans and the slip of paper with his name and number. No commitment from either of us until I had a chance to review them. Since it was a holiday weekend, and I happen to enjoy my time with my husband (and family when they visit), I put them aside to review on Tues.

So, with one pair missing teeth and the other pair where the slider refused to budge like a stubborn toddler, I decided since I handled 3 stubborn toddlers, I could handle this. Seriously, with my husband at work, I really needed to use whatever muscle power I could muster up. I was determined to make this work, as the jeans were in very good shape. The thing I get disheartened about, is when clothing with a LOT of wear’n tear left in them, gets tossed or donated, and in this case, giving someone else your problem. NOTE: I do recycle denim, so please, if you live locally, do not toss your jeans if they are not repairable.

As you can see above. the zipper pull is useless. It is also not only separated on one side, which I could have fixed easily, but what made it impossible to do so, was that it was twisted from all the pulling and force that the owner put into working it to zip up. In doing so, it messed up the zipper, so that it would not zip up flat. Needless to say, I replaced the pull, tossed the old one, and realigned the existing zipper that was in excellent condition, meaning no teeth missing.

Now, with the black pair, and knowing that the owner did not want the expense of a new zipper, I put in a new stopper further up on the zipper, while also sewing the flap down so that with force, he would not accidentally need to return for another repair. Although Michael Kor jeans are quite pricy, when a client is not wanting to spend what it costs to replace it, and when I can, I try to make do with the situation at hand. Fortunately, the missing teeth (4 of them) were at the bottom of the zipper, so it was a doable fix.

When I called my client later in the day, told him what I did and the cost, he was shocked!! He wasn’t sure I could do it for a price that would make it worth him keeping them. And, to be honest, nothing is more rewarding when I can repair/mend at a reasonable price, where it gives them an opportunity to see the quality of my work.

After sharing with him the details of what I did for him, and before he left, he shared “Do you know how much you saved me?? The Levi’s alone are over $50!!” to which I shared: “The Michael Kor’s are far more costly!!”.

Zipper replacements start at $75 in a pair of jeans, where this type of repair can be around $10-$20, per pair, plus parts.

I hope everyone is well, taking stock in what they have in their wardrobe, and finding ways to make their clothing last a little bit longer, vs. filling our landfills. 

Have a delightful day.

~ Putting Thread to Fabric ~  

Laura
Seamstress, Textile Artist, Writer

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