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Thread: Costume Nightmare!




  1. #1
    I could get used to this! Siobhanafin's Avatar
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    Costume Nightmare!

    So a little before Christmas I purchased one of Raya's costume creations off another bellydancer who bought it and never wore it.
    I LOVE it, but immediately after purchasing it I had to get it taken in, So I went to a seamstress that I know is great and I've been to a few times before. This was just before Christmas, and she told me she'd see me after Christmas.
    Usually she is a very fast worker. However, last weekend I texted her and asked about the situation with my costume. She informed me she needed to buy a few things and that it would be ready early this week.

    Well, today is now Friday, and she has had the outfit three weeks, so I casually texted her to ask how it was all going.

    Well, I just about died when I got her reply!

    She texted back saying, "Should be finished in a few days, but my daughter wants to know if she can wear it to a dress-up party tomorrow."
    SHE WHAT!
    I just about had a heart attack, and promptly rang her to let her know that this outfit is very precious to me, but offered to lend her daughter something else.

    Now I'm picking up the costume tomorrow morning.

    I just don't know what to think! If I hadn't text her, would she have let her daughter wear it anyway? She is a friend of a family friend, but I'm still a client! And why did she say it would be finished in a few days, but suddenly I can pick it up tomorrow?

    She is honestly the best sewer I know, and she gives me a good deal each time, but this has shaken me up about whether or not I should go back to her!


  2. #2
    Master BHUZzer Qamar60's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    OMG! Don't know what to say (I'm in shock here )

    The nerves of some people!
    Last edited by Qamar60; 01-13-2012 at 08:59 AM.


  3. #3
    Official BHUZzer SpicyThai's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    It sounds to me like she was intentionally hanging on to the outfit, hoping to get use of it for her daughter. Which seems pretty shady.

    If I were you, I would talk to her--AFTER you have checked out the costume and have it in-hand. Express that you are concerned about her idea that your items are something that can be borrowed. That your costumes are very dear to you as well as expensive (you might want to let her know how expensive) and you would never loan them to anyone. Then just go silent and see what she says. If her response satisfies you, then fine. And if not, you will have to reconsider handing over your darlings to her again.


  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer Qamar60's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    OK now I had my coffee.

    I myself offer similar sewing-alterations-fitting, etc. services to my belly sisters, an idea like this one would never cross my mind.

    If she is a professionnal seamstress she should know better. Geeeez, when someone entrust with personal belongings you have the responsability take care and treat the stuff with respect.

    I can't imagine someone going to her with a ballroom gown or a wedding dress... "Oh! Would you mind if I lend it to my cousin for her prom this weekend?"


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Siobhanafin View Post
    She texted back saying, "Should be finished in a few days, but my daughter wants to know if she can wear it to a dress-up party tomorrow."
    [...]
    I just don't know what to think! If I hadn't text her, would she have let her daughter wear it anyway? She is a friend of a family friend, but I'm still a client! And why did she say it would be finished in a few days, but suddenly I can pick it up tomorrow?
    Unless her daughter was planning to wear it to this party with the zipper pinned in place and the skirt half hemmed, I think you have your answer. She was apparently stalling on purpose.

    You can only decouple ethics from skill by so much. I don't want a doctor who is Diogenes' proverbial honest man, but who barely passed his classes in medical school. I also don't want the doctor who was the medical school valedictorian, but is a liar and a thief. If there is another alterations person in town of comparable skill but better ethics, I would consider taking my business there. If the only other seamstress/tailor you could contract for future jobs is a walking disaster who ruins every garment s/he lays hands on, you might have to stick with the one you're using now. It is possible she is aware she crossed a line that threatened her relationship with a customer and she won't make that mistake again, but I wouldn't arrange to have any costumes in her shop around Mardi Gras or Halloween, just to be safe.

    Maybe investigate sewing lessons so you can do more repair work yourself?
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  6. #6
    Established BHUZzer OMullaney's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    IMO Because she is a friend of friend and she gives you a good deal on your alterations, she thinks you are more than a client. She thinks that she favors you with her low prices and wanted a favor in return. She is also blind to value of the costume to you. I agree with your offer of another dress to show your appreciation and I'd leave it at that.
    Last edited by OMullaney; 01-13-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer showtime's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    I would simply find another seamstress or learn to do the work myself. Speaking with her could and probably would cause friction so the relationship would be changed once the conversation began. Here's another thought - I wonder how many other costumes have been worn by her daughter? Not just yours but also other clients. For me once trust is gone the betrayal runs deep, rather than becoming even more frustrated I would research alternate sources for alterations. Plus, once she knows how much you are willing to pay for a costume I imagine her fees would drastically increase. Add that to her being defensive re her daughter wearing your costume (or anyone else's, for that matter), the relationship would probably be vastly different.

    I would consider it a lesson learned and go forward with sewing lessons or locating an alternate source for alterations. New year - new direction. Ever onward.


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer Sahira_Tu_Farach's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    If she is a professionnal seamstress she should know better. Geeeez, when someone entrust with personal belongings you have the responsability take care and treat the stuff with respect.

    I can't imagine someone going to her with a ballroom gown or a wedding dress... "Oh! Would you mind if I lend it to my cousin for her prom this weekend?"
    What she says.
    Such a behavior is unbelievable and absolutely unprofessional. I would have freaked out and never ever bring something to her, again.

    Love, Sahira.
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  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    If you do decide to use her services in the future, you could have a conversation with her before you drop off your costume, about you being very uncomfortable with the idea of anyone borrowing or trying on your costume while it is with her. Ask for reassurance that it won't happen, before you give her the work, and diplomatically let it be known that would be a deal-breaker.

    If she is really the best around, and a friend of a friend, I would be inclined to give her a second chance, with a warning (worded as diplomatically as possible).
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  10. #10
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by SpicyThai View Post
    ...
    If I were you, I would talk to her--AFTER you have checked out the costume and have it in-hand. Express that you are concerned about her idea that your items are something that can be borrowed...
    I agree with this. I think some people can be pretty naive about boundaries. We all need to be open about communicating what our boundaries are and what we expect from others when we are conducting business with them. But it is always more safe when you have your item in hand.


  11. #11
    Just Starting! Milaandra's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Or it might have been that after two weeks of constant nagging from her daughter, your text caught her at a vulnerable moment and she caved enough to ask you. Then when her worst fears were realized and you were upset, she felt horrible and finished it off for you right away.

    You could give her a call to repeat your generous offer of another outfit, and while explaining why you couldn't lend her that one, explain the value of your outfits (monetary and emotional).

    I once had someone ask me to make her a 16th century gown in exchange for a backrub...she just really didn't understand the amount of blood, sweat and tears (and manhours) that went into them.

    A good seamstress is like a good mechanic...hard to find, hard to trust and even harder to find one that offers a good deal.

    I'd give her the benefit of the doubt...she certainly knows how you feel about it now!


  12. #12
    I could get used to this! Zabelly's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Milaandra View Post
    Or it might have been that after two weeks of constant nagging from her daughter, your text caught her at a vulnerable moment and she caved enough to ask you. Then when her worst fears were realized and you were upset, she felt horrible and finished it off for you right away.

    You could give her a call to repeat your generous offer of another outfit, and while explaining why you couldn't lend her that one, explain the value of your outfits (monetary and emotional).

    I once had someone ask me to make her a 16th century gown in exchange for a backrub...she just really didn't understand the amount of blood, sweat and tears (and manhours) that went into them.

    A good seamstress is like a good mechanic...hard to find, hard to trust and even harder to find one that offers a good deal.

    I'd give her the benefit of the doubt...she certainly knows how you feel about it now!
    I agree, if you have a good relationship with her, then maybe this was some kind of insecure moment for her based on pushing form her daughter. And the holidays can get crazy for people, so maybe she truly did not have time to get to it.

    Now, if she asks again to borrow an outfit... I would look for a different seamstress. There are some boundaries that should be left, and lending out an expensive costume is just not something that should be done. It would be like lending out a doctors coat or a fireman's jacket. Just not appropriate.
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  13. #13
    I could get used to this! Siobhanafin's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Qamar60 View Post
    OMG! Don't know what to say (I'm in shock here )

    The nerves of some people!
    I was in shock too! And then I went into panic!


  14. #14
    I could get used to this! Siobhanafin's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    Unless her daughter was planning to wear it to this party with the zipper pinned in place and the skirt half hemmed, I think you have your answer. She was apparently stalling on purpose.

    You can only decouple ethics from skill by so much. I don't want a doctor who is Diogenes' proverbial honest man, but who barely passed his classes in medical school. I also don't want the doctor who was the medical school valedictorian, but is a liar and a thief. If there is another alterations person in town of comparable skill but better ethics, I would consider taking my business there. If the only other seamstress/tailor you could contract for future jobs is a walking disaster who ruins every garment s/he lays hands on, you might have to stick with the one you're using now. It is possible she is aware she crossed a line that threatened her relationship with a customer and she won't make that mistake again, but I wouldn't arrange to have any costumes in her shop around Mardi Gras or Halloween, just to be safe.

    Maybe investigate sewing lessons so you can do more repair work yourself?
    I really do need to sew more. I do sew, but when it's something like an intricately beaded belt that needs to be taken in, I don't feel too confident!


  15. #15
    I could get used to this! Siobhanafin's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Milaandra View Post
    Or it might have been that after two weeks of constant nagging from her daughter, your text caught her at a vulnerable moment and she caved enough to ask you. Then when her worst fears were realized and you were upset, she felt horrible and finished it off for you right away.

    You could give her a call to repeat your generous offer of another outfit, and while explaining why you couldn't lend her that one, explain the value of your outfits (monetary and emotional).

    ......

    I'd give her the benefit of the doubt...she certainly knows how you feel about it now!
    When I got home from work last night (about 10pm), she said she was finishing it right then, so I'm feeling like this is more likely to be the case. I went in to pick it up this morning, and the bra just needs a little tweaking, but she told me to take everything else seeing as it is finished, so I have confidence her daughter won't be wearing it!


  16. #16
    Master BHUZzer tigerb's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Okay, I'm going to be a really mean person now.

    If she sews professionally and she had been working on your pro dance costume, she would would be able to see all the work that went into it, particularly on embellishments. She would know this wasn't something bought off a rack and probably cost hundreds of dollars. I'm no pro, but I've looked at gowns in thrift shops, and from the finishing of things on the inside can tell the poly prom dress from the silk wedding gown made with care.

    Now. Based on what one would think she could already tell about this item of clothing... why would she think you would loan an X hundred dollar outfit to anybody at all?

    Whether she's a friend or no, this is a clueless thing to ask. It's one thing to have somebody who really doesn't get clothing construction ask you something like this. It's much worse when somebody who OUGHT to know better ask it.
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  17. #17
    Advanced BHUZzer mehndidancer's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Siobhanafin View Post
    So a little before Christmas I purchased one of Raya's costume creations off another bellydancer who bought it and never wore it.
    I LOVE it, but immediately after purchasing it I had to get it taken in, So I went to a seamstress that I know is great and I've been to a few times before. This was just before Christmas, and she told me she'd see me after Christmas.
    Usually she is a very fast worker. However, last weekend I texted her and asked about the situation with my costume. She informed me she needed to buy a few things and that it would be ready early this week.

    Well, today is now Friday, and she has had the outfit three weeks, so I casually texted her to ask how it was all going.

    Well, I just about died when I got her reply!

    She texted back saying, "Should be finished in a few days, but my daughter wants to know if she can wear it to a dress-up party tomorrow."
    SHE WHAT!
    I just about had a heart attack, and promptly rang her to let her know that this outfit is very precious to me, but offered to lend her daughter something else.

    Now I'm picking up the costume tomorrow morning.

    I just don't know what to think! If I hadn't text her, would she have let her daughter wear it anyway? She is a friend of a family friend, but I'm still a client! And why did she say it would be finished in a few days, but suddenly I can pick it up tomorrow?

    She is honestly the best sewer I know, and she gives me a good deal each time, but this has shaken me up about whether or not I should go back to her!


    Omg I'd flip a gasket. I think I did reading this.
    First of all your alarm should have went off when shes always a fast worker, then again I understand how busy Christmas holiday can get. My second alarm what the hell does she need to buy for the costume?
    Having anyone "borrow" costume to play dress up for any occasion is a HELL NO. And I would never let anyone borrow my costumes in that situation, and lucky I can alter my own stuff and don't need a seamstress.

    I'd take my business elsewhere, the trust factor is gone, how do you know she hasn't let her daughter borrow the costumes previously. Also there are probably bhuzzers here that can recommend someone in your area other than her.
    Or try taking a basic sewing class at your local Joann's, hobby lobby, michaels or continuing education classes thats another option.

    By the time this is posted. I wish you luck and hope the situation worked out okay
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  18. #18
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: Costume Nightmare!

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry catches the dry cleaner wearing his jacket. Totally unprofessional.
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