Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tailored for the Sailor Ball


months and months of agonizing,

weeks and weeks of stressing,

and many many conversations in which I talked myself out of hundreds of choices,

I finally found a dress for the upcoming Navy Ball.

This time I got smart about it: I ordered it online. I was NOT going through the headache and stress of shopping for one here again. Remember last year's dilemma? Yeah, me and the overpriced Christmas ornament dresses were not going round and round again.

Thank God for I found a really pretty dress and had it shipped here for almost the same amount that I paid for last year's dress.

Sweet. Even sweeter because the quality is waaaay better than last year's dress.

It arrived in six days. A friggin' record for shipping times to Singapore. The only problem? It was just a smidgen on the large marge side. An inch and a half needed to be taken in on it for Victoria to keep her Secret.

What I really needed was my mom. My mom hems all of my clothes that are too big. Even with MS she can still fix the trickiest of seams. She's come to my rescue about a million times.

But Mom's not here. She's in Kansas. So I needed a Singaporean that knew how to sew. And sew pretty dang well, at that.

I enlisted the help of my dear Singaporean friend from work. She'd told me a few times about how cheap it is to have things tailored here and how she has stuff altered all the time. I was a tad skeptical of her claims.

Until I needed a tailor myself. Then I decided to shut up and trust her.

Because she's a very nice person, she agreed to take me herself, to the tailor she's been seeing for years.

Here's where she brought me:

I know what you're thinking. I was thinking the same thing. It's a swimsuit store.

But au contraire, my friend. It's a swimsuit/alteration store. There's a cute little Asian seamstress pluggin' away at a sewing machine in the back. She doesn't speak a lick of English, but she's a cutie. Cuteness always bridges the language gap. It also made me less nervous that she couldn't understand what I was saying as I showed her the tricky seams and problematic beading. She just nodded and kept being cute. No conversation needed. I was sure she'd know what to do. She's cute. Cute people can't mess up things.

At least this is what I told myself through this whole nerve-racking process. "The cute girl can't mess up your dress, she's too cute!"

So anyways, they had me try on the dress to put the pins in at the right spots.

Where do you do that in a swimsuit shop?

Right here is where.
Oh yeah. That little curtain is the fitting room. In the middle of the shop. The curtain swings around and gives you as much space as you'd find in a closed tanning bed. It's a little tight. I make do with what I'm given in Singapore. It's best not to cast your spoiled American thoughts around here. People call you mean names when you do that.

So I went with it.

After I was pinned and content with the new seam positions, I changed and handed over my dress and another button up dress shirt that I'd also been needing to get taken in.

The little old man (who I'm assuming owns the shop) told us it'd be ready anytime the following week. That's pretty impressive considering we were there on a Thursday.

Even so, we went ahead and gave them a full week before we picked anything up. I don't like to rush people that have semi-expensive things of mine.

As soon as we walked in a week later though, it was ready to go. I tried it on and it was perfect. It looked like nothing had been done to it at all, only it was a size smaller.

And then something crazy happened.

They only charged me $18 (US) for the alteration of the dress AND the shirt. Isn't that insane? Less than $20 to alter a gown and a dress shirt!

That's crazy talk. I didn't even have that much altered on my wedding gown and that chick charged us well over a hundred bucks for that alteration. I felt like I was almost stealing.

"Excited" can only begin to describe my mood upon leaving this place. I could've danced out of there.

I'm gonna go play in my closet this weekend and see what else I can "fix" now. It's cheap here!


Anonymous said...

Where is that shop? I could use their service too!

Sandra said...

You funny American girl you.... Ha! Ha! Told you they do good and cheap alteration work here. Will be happy to act as a "guide" for your friends if you still have trouble finding the place. Oh yes, you looked beautiful in your gown. You and Aaron will make quite the couple at the ball.

Brad Farless said...

I'm also interested in knowing where this place is. My wife and I both have some clothes that could use some taking in, and if they do as good a job as you say, then I'd rather go there than try my luck.

TF said...

I actually have no idea how much American tailors go for, but I love cheap tailors in Asia too! Being in Korea, I realized my dress shirts from America were too baggy, so I had them chop material at the sides and arms -- for a measly $4 each shirt.

Brad Farless said...

Ya. Tailoring here is pretty cheap.

Also odd how I've come to think my clothes are too baggy after living here in Asia for a while. Then again, maybe I just lost weight.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
momma said...

Glad you found help. I thought you just got by with your american mom seamstress. Luv you and will help again only in america.

Megan said...

For those of you that'd like to know where this place is, please email me at

I'd be happy to give you the address and any directions to make it easier to find. :)

Cori said...

Great post, Sis. Can't wait to see pics of the dress.
Love you and miss you.