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I am pretty good with my sewing machine from making my own camping gears - tents, sleeping bags, ponchos, mittens, etc. and was complemented for my skill often. But with my suits, I don't think I can do good enough job as a hobbyist. Anything other than simple hemming can ruin the look with only a slight imperfection. Hemming is cheap enough to not waste my own time anyway.

I realize it's more work, and am willing to compensate you fairly in order to get your best professional efforts
I actually said exactly that to my tailor at the first few times when she seemed hesitating. Now she knows that I am a fair customer.

When I decided to look better a couple of months ago, I learned that I will need a great relationship with a good alteration tailor rather than a dry cleaner who also does alteration, especially because I have an odd body shape but can't afford bespoke suits.

I found a highly recommended yet very affordable lady on Yelp with 30+ years of experience starting before she immigrated from Vietnam. I wanted her and not her associate to personally handle my suits with even more care than what her average clients would receive.

From the day one at her house-converted alteration shop, I always paid full price plus tip in cash in advance and never questioned on her price which I already knew to be very reasonable. I tried to patiently communicated my expectations in detail with her limited English, praised on outcome yet kept asking re-work which I insisted on paying again fully or at least partially when I didn't like the outcome I ordered.

A couple of dozen pants (I hemmed all my long pants including sportswear and PJ's) and a few jackets later, I brought her a new suit to shorten sleeves and hem pants. Then she proactively offered waist suppression and carefully pinned both center and side seams. I am excited to see how it would turn out. BTW, her turn out on my orders has been gradually reduced from three weeks to a week.

I plan to gradually increase my budget on suits. I also I plan to loose some weight yet keep some of my current suits. Improving both the relationship with her and my own skill to make better alteration decisions will be very useful.
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