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Dear Tailor... Is it worth it to use 'hand-made' alteration service?

tamimasa

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Dear all, and especially the tailor,

Due to the body change, I have a few suits that need an alteration. Most of my suits are hand-made RTW (mostly Attolini) and some are bespoke (Ciardi). As I need to take in a little bit here and there at the waist and maybe the back (both jacket and trousers), I stumbled upon an alteration shop here in Tokyo that does high-end alteration, Sarto.

The thing is, the shop offers a regular alteration and a hand-made alteration service (1.5 - 2 times more expensive). The hand-made one, per the shop's description, is when they use the same sewing method to alter and assemble the garment while the regular one is when they just use the machine.

Is it worth it to have the shop alter using the hand-made service? I figure they would have to cut open the jacket, take in the waist at the side seams and sew them shut. For the trousers, they would cut the back and reduce those inches. Would the hand alteration make any difference for the particular parts I am looking to have altered?

Thanks!
 
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St1X

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I'd keep it hand made if the original jacket was hand made
 

GaiusM

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Sarto will do a good job either way. I agree with @St1X for the bespoke at the very least. If the hand made price is that big of a problem you should go to another alterations shop.
 

tamimasa

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Sarto will do a good job either way. I agree with @St1X for the bespoke at the very least. If the hand made price is that big of a problem you should go to another alterations shop.

Any other alteration tailor recommendation in Tokyo that would do a good job? It is probably around $300 for regular alteration and $600 for hand-made alteration at Sarto. $300 I can stomach... but at $600... well... that's why I am asking if it's worth the extra.
 

breakaway01

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I have a different opinion about this.

If the same person is doing the "regular" alteration as the "hand-made" alteration I would go with regular. Even $300 for this alteration is very expensive—$600 is absurd for taking in a jacket and a pair of trousers.
Two reasons for suggesting the regular: 1) your 'hand-made' suits are likely not all 'hand-sewn'. The long seams (such as the side seams) were very likely sewn with a sewing machine (guided by hands). The lining may have been attached by hand, but you'll have to determine how much that means to you if it is reattached by machine. 2) even if the side seams were hand-sewn (again, which I doubt), is there a meaningful improvement to hand-sewing this seam compared to machine? I don't think so.
 
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tamimasa

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I have a different opinion about this.

If the same person is doing the "regular" alteration as the "hand-made" alteration I would go with regular.
Two reasons: 1) your 'hand-made' suits are likely not all 'hand-sewn'. The long seams (such as the side seams) were very likely sewn with a sewing machine (guided by hands). The lining may have been attached by hand, but you'll have to determine how much that means to you. 2) even if the side seams were hand-sewn (again, which I doubt), is there a meaningful improvement to hand-sewing this seam compared to machine? I don't think so.

That's exactly the thing I was wondering about. I mean, does having a hand sew alteration improve any aspect of garment longevity or wearing comfortability? That is, do the hand-sewn seams on the side and back of the jacket make any difference?
 

breakaway01

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That's exactly the thing I was wondering about. I mean, does having a hand sew alteration improve any aspect of garment longevity or wearing comfortability? That is, do the hand-sewn seams on the side and back of the jacket make any difference?
Again, I doubt the original long seams were hand stitched. Probably the sleeves are hand-attached, but not the side seams. You can take a look on the inside of your suit trouser legs and see for yourself. Some people will claim that hand stitching is somehow more compliant than machine stitching but I don’t think I’ve heard a credible tailor say that. Even if this the case, I doubt it would make any difference along the side seams of the jacket.
 

tamimasa

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Again, I doubt the original long seams were hand stitched. Probably the sleeves are hand-attached, but not the side seams. You can take a look on the inside of your suit trouser legs and see for yourself. Some people will claim that hand stitching is somehow more compliant than machine stitching but I don’t think I’ve heard a credible tailor say that. Even if this the case, I doubt it would make any difference along the side seams of the jacket.

Honestly I can't even tell...

107057.jpg


107059.jpg
 

dukenukem4ever

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Go for the regular route. Most of your suits are RTW right? Yeah, they were made 90% with a pair of hands using a machine. Even bespoke options will use machines, it's just the nature of the tailoring industry. BTW, price of bespoke does not always correlate with full 'hand made' but that's another story for another day.
 

tamimasa

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Go for the regular route. Most of your suits are RTW right? Yeah, they were made 90% with a pair of hands using a machine. Even bespoke options will use machines, it's just the nature of the tailoring industry. BTW, price of bespoke does not always correlate with full 'hand made' but that's another story for another day.

Thank you. I see what you meant, and yes, I understand that the price of bespoke does not always correlate to the degree of hand-made. I've heard that bespoke tailors, especially those bespoke houses from Italy, are not that meticulous.
 

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