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Hi there,

May I ask input from Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland readers, please? I am in search of a reliable tailor to handle some surgery on several pairs of pants, (crotch that needs taking in, thighs big enough to smuggle goats,) and some jackets, which I hope can be let out a bit on the sides. I have searched the site and found many threads on the subject from roughly 15 years ago, but the very latest information I see is from 2018, which mentions Christopher Kim, in Georgetown. Are there any additional names anyone would offer? I'll say I tried Montgomery Tailor, who hemmed some pants satisfactorily, but nothing by which to judge the skills needed for the alterations I now seek, and I walked out of London Tailors, in Bethesda, where they casually quoted $70 to let out the sleeves of a tweed jacket. What DMV tailors are around these days who can reliably do more complicated procedures without charging a month's rent? (Seriously, $70 to let out the sleeves?)

Thanks very much for your thoughts.
 

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(Seriously, $70 to let out the sleeves?)
Seriously. A sleeve let-down involves more than whatever you think it does. The buttons have to be removed, they're sewn through the fold-under and often through the lining. Then the lining is razored loose and both sleeve and lining are unfurled and pressed. The edge of the sleeve at the vent is often mitered, which must be undone and recreated on the new length. Then the sleeve end is folded back under, the lining decreased and tacked to the inner cloth. Then the buttons reattached in their new position. None of this is machine work, all by hand. It takes me 45 minutes per sleeve, but this is not my life's work, so for an alterations person maybe a half hour. Times two.

In my area, rural Maine, auto repair shops charge $75 an hour for labor, a tailor is less deserving?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I take your point, Peak and Pine, and stand chastened and better informed. My impression from Google was such work ran in the the $30-$45 range, so her quote struck me high. The dry cleaner who wound up doing the coat, (S&K in North Bethesda,) did what I thought was a most satisfactory job and charged half that amount --$35. Maybe I was naïve, though; penny-wise, pound foolish.

In either event, the alterations I now seek seem like they are even more complicated than the procedure Peak describes, and I would be grateful if any of you can recommend fulltime tailors in the DC and suburban MD area.
 

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Seriously. A sleeve let-down involves more than whatever you think it does. The buttons have to be removed, they're sewn through the fold-under and often through the lining. Then the lining is razored loose and both sleeve and lining are unfurled and pressed. The edge of the sleeve at the vent is often mitered, which must be undone and recreated on the new length. Then the sleeve end is folded back under, the lining decreased and tacked to the inner cloth. Then the buttons reattached in their new position. None of this is machine work, all by hand. It takes me 45 minutes per sleeve, but this is not my life's work, so for an alterations person maybe a half hour. Times two.

In my area, rural Maine, auto repair shops charge $75 an hour for labor, a tailor is less deserving?
45 minutes for all these? It took me same amount of time to resewn two buttons:unsure:
 

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I'm envious of the Peakster's sewing skills. I used to be able to sew buttons and make small repairs with needle and thread (skills acquired courtesy of Indian Army instructors during national service in ancient times -- they were of the opinion that a good soldier ought to be able to do these things on the march, so to speak). Not any more. My fingers have become so clumsy in my early seventies I have trouble tying shoelaces. Forget sewing!
 

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