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There are those people who are just addicted to tailors. For special occasions it is unheard of for them to walk straight into a high fashion boutique and purchase ready-to-wear designed clothes.
The hilarious stories these people tell about tailors and dressmakers can make material for a sitcom. My sister recently told me a story that is hard to believe about a dressmaker she has been using for years.
Upon receiving a lovely piece of material as a gift purchased for her in Ethiopia last year, she was quite excited to commission the tailor to do fitted trousers for her.
This is one of those beautiful materials that fall under the "can't get" category as obviously only a few people in Mzansi have the luxury of travelling to that part of Africa to get such wares.
She specifically pointed out to the seamstress how rare and precious that material was, emphasising that she should be careful when cutting it to avoid unnecessary waste.
A few weeks later she enquired about the progress of her trousers, but she could tell from the noncommittal answer that something was wrong. So she decided to drive up to the house, which doubles as a studio, to check out the progress herself.
The lady went on to say she could not recall receiving a full four-metre piece of material my sister gave her, but that she actually gave her bits and pieces. She promptly proceeded to show my sister the work of art she produced from those bits of material and it was the most hilarious design I have ever seen.
On the front part the trousers were navy blue, while the back was the colourful print my sister gave her, effectively rendering the trousers two-toned. Although my sister was mad and told her outright that she would not take that ridiculous design home, the tailor insisted she at least try it on first before rejecting it outright.
It was when she was using the mirror in the bedroom to check if she did not look like Ronald the Clown that my sister discovered that the rest of her material was nicely ensconced in the bedroom.
The dodgy dressmaker had gone ahead and made herself a beautiful outfit out of the material and proceeded to produce a dubious number from the remaining material.
To be honest, my sister was heartbroken to catch her in such a big lie, as the lady is good at her job and she has relied on her for so many years. Needless to say that was the end of their business relationship. I told her that on many occasions when I took material to someone to design and sew me something fabulous, I have been disappointed too many times. I do not bother anymore.
Once when I asked for a Victoria Beckham-style shift dress I got the version of the dress that mamas wear when they go to cook big pots at a wedding, something totally nondescript that floats around my body.
Once a tailor also lost my material because a lot of them don't catalogue or store materials properly and I know of many stories of brides who shed tears when their wedding gowns were not interpreted properly.
I'm done with this roll of the dice. I would rather wear my unique material as a doek.
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