Tailoring and Alterations

We have one recommended provider for this service: Lillian at  ‘Lillian’s Bridal Salon’ at 250 West Broadway (just East of Cambie Station). Although it is a ‘bridal salon’ she does everything. Also good to know – she only takes cash, but you can pay when she pins you, or when you pick up.

The person who recommended this business has had an ongoing conversation with her – here are some snippets from the reports:

“I had more convos with Lillian. We talked about fat, we talked about wheelchairs and being sensitive when touching people. She always leaves additional room for weight gain. Her main door is much wider than your average door – 41 inches comfortably. She says if you have wheels (chair, scooter, baby carriage) to call her ahead of time and she has a piece of plywood to smooth out the small step up into her place (she has other clients with these needs). She has served people of very large sizes for many years, and she scoffed at me for even asking if she might treat fat folk differently.”

The person making this recommendation had earlier reported this:

“Do you hate finding clothes that fit for your body? I have had a lot of conversations around tailoring and gender friendly tailors lately – I know a lovely lady who helps make my $3 thrifted men’s shirts fit me and feel great. I wanted to know if I could send my genderqueer and trans* friends to her, given I know most of my friends have such a hard time finding clothes.

Today I asked her about it and her response was so lovely I wanted to share her info with you in case you need her services. I asked about her thoughts on tailoring for people who don’t conform to trad gender norms (this is not how I said it, of course). To start – I have been seeing her for a number of years – she does a great job, she is reasonably priced, she is sweet and she really knows her stuff. She tailors a lot of mens clothes to fit me, but not in a ‘girly’ way – she knows how I like things, she always listens to what I want, and she also really helps me experiment with things that help me feel good with my body shape. I know that I am small, but I have a sizeable chest which complicates wearing a lot of contemporary clothing.

Today I asked what she thinks about tailoring for ‘more masculine women’ (though I know I’m speaking about folks who do and do not ID as women) – and told her that often tailors don’t listen to what people ask for, and tailor them in a feminine way anyway. She was shocked and wondered why that would happen – she said she always respects what people ask for, that they’re their clothes and they have to feel good in them. She said she often tailors clothes for men in a traditionally more ‘feminine’ way (super tight) and that she would be happy to tailor my friends to feel good in their clothes. She said she always listens and mentioned ‘respect for others’ many many times. I have been into her shop with butch identified friends before and she didn’t bat an eyelash and was as sweet and friendly as always.

Her shop is a bridal shop (i know – it’s not a fancy shop, it’s a little hole in the wall) – I started seeing her to make delicate alterations on bras and bathing suits, but she does EVERYTHING – reinforces the crotch in my favourite jeans, takes in the shoulders and sleeves in my men’s shirts, alters my bathing suits, fixes tears. If you have an item that you wish you had ten of, she can make you a copy. She is compassionate and gentle and sweet and personable. There is a changing room with a door, where you put on your duds, and then she pins you until you both agree on how you want the garment to look. Now that it’s winter (summer is her busy time), there are not often other people in the store, so you usually have private one on one time with her.”

One Response to “Tailoring and Alterations”

  1. Samantha Scott February 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Thanks for this. Not fat, not trans, but much respect for both. I need a place to have bras altered (breastfeeding = ridiculous cup size growth), and I am thrilled to give my hard-earned cash to a lady like this.

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