June 19, 2014

Conspiracy Theory: Tailors

Hi guys!

FYI: This may or may not be a new series on the blog.

So, if you're Nigerian (maybe I can extend it to African), chances are that throughout your life, you've had at least 2 or 3 outfits custom made or sewn for you. I can speak to Nigeria only, since I am Nigerian, and you only need to visit Bella Naija online and check out their Asoebi Bella features to know what I'm talking about. For almost every event, there is a "uniform" or asoebi that a lot of guests have to buy, in order to fit with the event theme (and I'm not just talking about bridal parties). It can be weddings, funerals, baby dedications, etc. In addition to these events, a lot of people have some outfits sewn or made because they see something they like online, and want a replica using their own fabric. (An example is my "rendition" of a dress America Ferrerra wore)


Now, in order to get your clothes made, you either have to DIY (Do It Yourself) or get a tailor to sew it for you. In Nigeria, you can get a tailor to sew a dress easily, and prices range from N2000 ($12.25) to N100,000 ($612.25). The price obviously depends on the material and "level" of the tailor (or should I say designer) you're using. When you move to a different country, it's harder to find a tailor that understands what you're looking to make, and so they come a bit more expensive than you'd like.

But what I've noticed with every single tailor I've used, in America and in Nigeria, is that YOU work on THEIR time! Notice what I said. They're providing you a service, but largely follow their own timing.

For instance:

EXAMPLE 1: The dress I posted above was made in Atlanta, by a Jamaican lady who is very good at her craft. If only she was as awesome with timing. I gave her the material and photo of the style I wanted with a 3-week window, and she assured me that she could get it done within 2 weeks max. I was going to wear a dress to the wedding, so I figured it was fine. At the 2-week mark, how about I get there and she's sewn just the lining?!?!? She says to come back in 2 days for the dress... then asks me to come in another 2 days... and then to come back the night before I was traveling to the West Coast! I got there at 7pm, and this lady was STILL sewing my dress! I literally sat with her for 2 hours until the store closed! I learned my lesson with her though, and the next time I went to her, I lied about my travel date and had my new dress 2 weeks before I was scheduled to travel :)
I ended up not wearing it in 2011, but for my bride price presentation in 2013
*My aunt didn't fare well with her though. The lady had my aunt's material for 4 months and still made the outfit late*

EXAMPLE 2: My current tailor here in Lagos has basically taken my dress hostage!!!!!! It's been 4 whole weeks, and nothing to show for it. When I called him last week, he said he was out of town and would bring it to my house on Monday.

Today is Thursday...

THEORY: Tailors all over the world have made a pact to frustrate the living daylights out of simple, innocent folk who just want to look exclusively fly.

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42 comments:

  1. true story and when you leave they start calling and tryna check on you. mschewww. After not picking the phone. Found one close to home who is really different. Only disappointed once. N im happy

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    Replies
    1. Lol, you have nice tailors. Nobody has called me to ask where I've disappeared to. I don't sew very often so it's understandable.

      Delete
  2. They are all the same! Mine did that to me as well. I gave her material to sew my matric farewell dress. The matric farewell is like the prom or graduation party for those leaving high school. Gosh, I waited one month. I got the dress on the day of the farewell. AND I watched her sew it right in front of my eyes, 5 hours before the event! You looked sooo beautiful in that first picture, my word that Jamaican seamstress is so talented!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow you too?! Lol it's an African or black people epidemic :p

      Thanks! And yes she is

      Delete
  3. What of the new generation tailors that masquerade as "designers"? *OkBye*

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    Replies
    1. Well I haven't used any personally but I've heard horror stories from friends... as in, contract signing before sewing your dress

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  4. On a semi-related note, can you recommend a good tailor in Lagos. I hate wearing clothes that look 'sewn' if you get my drift. I don't care about deadlines, I just need someone who knows the meaning of a proper finishing.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes I can. Honestly the finishing is so great, it's almost like buying RTW in a foreign store.

      His name is Doesn't Exist and he lives in My Dreams. Gorrit?

      Delete
    2. Are you serious? Do good tailors not exist anymore? Maybe I should use all my fabric to do thanksgiving in church or something.

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    3. I have this lady in Okota. She is really good and even delivers before due date but she's damn expensive. 08033833288

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  5. Jamaican dressmaker have skills, not surprized ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Oh yeah? Nice. I should find one in Lagos... and a jamaican restaurant too

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  6. Waoh!that first picture.is she talented or is your figure just fabulous?

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    Replies
    1. She's talented! And corsets are great too

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  7. arggghhh.. My nightmare. I see a lovely dress on someone, get a referral, ask for the exact style and I get something that doesn't even remotely resemble the one I saw. Almost like they gave it to an apprentice to sew. And it happens every single time.

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    Replies
    1. As in! You now wonder if you were dreaming when you saw the dress on your friend.

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    2. Some tailors are just really unreliable... in fact, many. Thankfully, I'm not really into Aso Ebi, so I don't have to face them most times. Mehn, that green dress of your is fabulousooooo

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  8. Long distance tailoring is even worse. It never ever works out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless you've used them before, I wouldn't recommend this at all

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  9. Sorry guys I wish I could tell the same tale but I have an amazing tailor who is on time and gets the style right. Loove the new blog design

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kindly send details to me at berrydakara@gmail.com immediately. Thank you for your cooperation.

      Delete
  10. LOL... Oh Tailors, tailors, tailors! *huge sigh*

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  11. Oh and yes, the new blog design is so attractive and easily accesible.. Well done dear! xx

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  12. I have a dress with my tailor for my friend's wedding.. Though she was pregnant when she got married, her 2nd child is over 5 now. That's the last time I tried to do Aso Ebi. The lady collected her fees- NGN18,000.00 as I dropped fabric. I don't have my clothes, I don't have my money!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!?!?! It's a lie o. Collect your money and fabric back

      Delete
  13. The thing about Tailors both abroad and at home is you just don't want to offend them or be harsh with them since they have ones cloth.lol I can so relate to this post...one of my family members just had to let the tailor have her cloth since the tailor never picked up phone..lol even worse...tailor never sewed the cloth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knowwwwwwwww. It's like they wield this power over you, even though you're paying them for a service.

      Delete
  14. My love. It seems and I have come to the conclusion that all artisans n trade men and women are taught the introductory course disappointment 101. They re all day same . tailors, plumbers,even mechanics. They are taught to disappoint. I very decided to complete my course in sewing so I can make clothes myself. Love u r blog... always have. Exblogger/silent blog stalker..Jay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My next Conspiracy Theory post is dedicated to mechanics, lol. I wish I had taken sewing a bit more seriously, so that I could at least make basic tops, skirts and dresses for myself.

      Thanks! And why'd you stop blogging?

      Delete
  15. My tailor still has my fabric. 1 year later. I am even afraid to ask as she is a "friend" and keeps complaining. Smh. Dr. N

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 year??????????? Does she still have the fabric? Are you sure she's your friend, lol?

      Delete
  16. Once, my sister's friend walked in on her tailor coming out of the bathroom with her fabric tied across her chest as her towel. LOL.
    I have a tailor that can be categorized as average, but has the poorest character or attitude to clients. Sometime last month, she told me to come for my dress on a Tuesday but I couldn't go, on Thursday I called her to tell her I was on my way to her shop for the dress that I'd love to wear it to work on Friday, she pleaded with me to please wear it to church on Sunday that it will be ready by Saturday. Saturday at 6p.m, Mum Tosin good evening. Ah Eniola what are you here for? I just stood there and shook my head at her. Ah abi, I was the one that told you to come today - rhetorical. I've not made your dress o, let's see what I can do during the week, come on Wednesday you hear? I felt like giving her Madea kind of slaps. No apologies, nothing. A dress I paid for immediately without bargaining for a lower charge.
    Another time, she made something different entirely from the style I chose despite the fact that I sent a picture to her phone.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My fabric as towel?!?!?!? You will pay for that material and keep it! Sorry about your tailor - I can't stand terrible attitudes towards customers.

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  17. Hi Berry,
    I was wondering if you could give me the info for that Jamaican lady if she lives in ATL. thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, her name is Marcia. +1-404-661-8002. She lives in Acworth/Kennesaw.

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  18. Merry Berry!

    This post made me laugh so hard, everyone has an aso-ebi & tailor near-disaster tale.

    Unpredictable tailors motivated me to start DIY sewing, it would be tricky to "conspire" against my own self, abi? lol

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  19. Some of these stories are unbelievable... were they not actual experiences I'd put them down as movie storylines..... imagine my fabric as towel, that will be the day!!! I stay in abuja, and used one in lagos at my friend's recommendation.... she took my order on short notice-6wks to my wedding (oct-nov last yr) for 6 wedding and pre wedding outfits.....I was nervous as hell, but she came through, good service and timing...plus she actually came up with the designs and I got one free as discount/wedding gift. Expect to pay above average sha, and make time for fittings (i had to travel down once in between) but i'd do it again for my sanity.....their number is 08094630371 or if u do instagram search 'Ihekubi' ..... not sure the whole handle name as I'm hardly there...

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  20. Hello, can anyone refer me to a good tailor in Atlanta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, her name is Marcia. +1-404-661-8002. She lives in Acworth/Kennesaw.

      Delete
  21. Call 08085048684 for a talented n reliable tailor/designer in lagos

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)