Review: Fabric-Flair Alterations

Posted in the West Chester Forum

Marianne

New Castle, DE

#1 Jun 9, 2008
Jean Swisher is an excellent, very experienced seamstress who works on designs like an engineer or architect. She worked on my complex wedding dress alterations, carefully deconstructing it bit-by-bit and putting it back together in painful detail. She is an artist and just a great lady! You won't be disappointed in her work, she did a great job at a reasonable price. Note: She moved to Miner Street, call for directions.
Horrible experience

West Chester, PA

#2 Jul 30, 2009
n Feb. my fiancé dropped 2 dresses, a slip, fabric and lace off to Jean. Our wedding is in Sept. Twice Jean called my fiancé and told her that the dresses (one for the wedding and one for the rehearsal) were completed. Both times they were not, this was because Jean got us confused with someone else...! Last weekend Jean called my fiancé and asked if she could come in, Jean explained to her that she had forgotten what she wanted done with the dress and needed to know. My fiancé was a little worried with this but still everything went well enough. However, today (7/29/09) she called my fiancé and told her she must come pick up the dress immediately and hung up on my fiancé. I called back and told her my name and asked what was wrong and she told me she couldn’t talk because she was busy working on dresses and hung up. I left work in King of Prussia, PA and drove all the way to West Chester, PA to pick up the dress. When I walked in she had a giant smile on her face, until I told her I was there to pick up the dress. She said it’s outside the door. I asked if she could give an explanation as to why she had not done anything with the dress during the 6 months it was in her possession and she immediately started to scream "GET OUT!" I was amazed at how crazy she sounded as she screamed at me. I have never been treated this way before in any store or business (then again, her store is an old cluttered apartment). I calmly asked if everything was in the bag and she started to push me towards the door. I asked her if she could refrain from pushing me and then she jabbed me in the ribs with her elbow. Although I could easily overpower her if I wanted to (because she is a little old lady) I walked towards the front door. At the front door I placed my foot in between the door as she tried to shut it. I asked again calmly if the slip, 2 dresses, material and lace were in the bag. She did not answer but started to scream "Help, John...John...Get out! Get out!" A boy came to the door but did not do anything (probably because he could see that I had done nothing wrong). I will be pursuing every possible avenue that I can to try to get her shut down. No one else ever needs to go through this type of treatment. You may assume that I have left pieces of this story out, but I assure you that I have not. Do not take the chance, I wish we had seen some of these reviews before we trusted this wicked old woman with what will surely still (regardless of this situation) be the best day of our lives.
Lack of customer service

King Of Prussia, PA

#3 Oct 1, 2011
Jean Swisher, Fabric Flair Alterations, came recommended to me by a wedding dress store on the Main Line. My first two fittings went fine, although, she is very opinionated and made it clear that she does not want brides bringing other people to the fittings. She prefers to work one-one-one and finds other people distracting. For the 3rd fitting (one month before my wedding), I was getting the bustle done and wanted to bring someone with me so they understood how to do the bustle on the wedding day. Jean was very unhappy about this when I confirmed the appointment, but agreed to let me bring someone. When we arrived for the appointment the following day, Jean was already in an argumentative mood and said, "I've changed my mind, your bustle is extremely complicated and will take about 10-15 hours to complete and I'm going to have to charge you $160 more." I was shocked because she's had the dress for 4 months, met with me twice, looked at the bustle in my presence, and has not indicated that level of work required. In fact she had quoted me a final price at the previous appointment, which I had in writing. Finally, we asked her if she even wanted to do the work and she said no. So she packed up my dress and sent us away. With less than a month to go before my wedding I have an incomplete dress. I quickly scrambled and find a wonderful tailor in Wayne who was able to see me that day and after 5 minutes with the bustle said it would be 1 hour of work for a price of $45. Additionally, that tailor found an error in the bodice altered by Jean Swisher and agreed to re-do it.

If you're looking for good customer service and hassle-free alterations, Jean Swisher is not the way to go.
From the owner -

West Chester, PA

#4 Mar 9, 2012
TV shows like "Yes, to the Dress," "Bridezilla," and "David Tuttera Weddings" feature some of the worst conditions in the wedding industry. I am an “independent” seamstress and I have been working with bridal parties and prom goers for 30 years. 2-3% of the time something goes wrong in the process. 97% of my customers are very happy. But, the unhappy customers are the ones that make the most noise on the Internet..... Always look for the store owner's side of the story. Read all of the reviews and call me for a consultation before you make a decision about my expertise. I can give you hundreds of references from satisfied customers. And, I can give you information on the customers that have had a problem with my business. If you search the Internet you will find a few bridezillas that have written negative paragraghs about me. Probably, like you, I have an off day now and then.

I will share a story about a recent tragedy with an unhappy bride. The “SIZE 2" bride from Russia bought a wedding gown in a “SIZE 12" at a consignment shop in Ardmore. The gown weighed 20# and had an “extra” long train pulling the gown down. The bride was stick-thin with very small breasts so there was nothing to hold the heavy strapless gown up. As I tightened the seams, she became more uncomfortable. But, I got all of the blame for the mishap. The bride should never have bought the "SIZE 12" gown. Also, the consignment shop should not have sold her a gown that large. The sales staff should have steered the bride to an appropriate size. Cutting a gown down 5 sizes is next to impossible for a reasonable price. I had quoted $350 and the alteration cost should have been $500. Buying a gown a size or two larger is reasonable unless your bust, waist, or hip measurement is extremely large. Gowns can usually be sized down but it is really tricky to expand them up. At times material from the train can be used to expand a gown if all else fails.

The clothing industry is not an exact science. Look at a dozen of your friends and there will be a dozen different body types. One of my customers weighs 220# but only wears a "B" cup bra. Now you figure that one out about how clothing is ever going to fit her properly. The sales people that are selling wedding and formal gowns should be better educated about what alterations can be done. There are some body types that only an expert like me has the skill to make the proper alterations. I tell my customers:“Buy cheap shoes, do your own hair, but “don’t go CHEAP on the alterations.” And, stay away from the dry cleaners for gown alterations.‘A DRY CLEANER DOES NOT HAVE THE SKILL LEVEL TO ALTER WEDDING AND PROM GOWNS.”

The highest quality that I find in the people that I have do work for me is that they are WILLING TO WORK WITH ME to get things to my liking. My plumber, handyman, and the woman that cuts my hair all bend over backwards to see that I am happy. I aim to do that with my customers. I have delivered gowns in emergencies, worked late into the night to finish an alteration, and I have spent extra hours, without pay, to make a customer happy. But, no matter how good I am with my people skills and sewing expertise, 2-3% of the time someone is unhappy with me. I am here to please the masses not the asses. I would say 97% positive to 3% negative odds are as close as I can get to a perfect score.
From the owner -

West Chester, PA

#5 Mar 9, 2012
Yes, this customer and I did not get along. There is no point in re-hashing what happened. The bride and I see what happened quite differently. Please read "all" of the reviews on my business before you make a decision. I strive to never speak of anyone unkindly..........
Lack of customer service wrote:
Jean Swisher, Fabric Flair Alterations, came recommended to me by a wedding dress store on the Main Line. My first two fittings went fine, although, she is very opinionated and made it clear that she does not want brides bringing other people to the fittings. She prefers to work one-one-one and finds other people distracting. For the 3rd fitting (one month before my wedding), I was getting the bustle done and wanted to bring someone with me so they understood how to do the bustle on the wedding day. Jean was very unhappy about this when I confirmed the appointment, but agreed to let me bring someone. When we arrived for the appointment the following day, Jean was already in an argumentative mood and said, "I've changed my mind, your bustle is extremely complicated and will take about 10-15 hours to complete and I'm going to have to charge you $160 more." I was shocked because she's had the dress for 4 months, met with me twice, looked at the bustle in my presence, and has not indicated that level of work required. In fact she had quoted me a final price at the previous appointment, which I had in writing. Finally, we asked her if she even wanted to do the work and she said no. So she packed up my dress and sent us away. With less than a month to go before my wedding I have an incomplete dress. I quickly scrambled and find a wonderful tailor in Wayne who was able to see me that day and after 5 minutes with the bustle said it would be 1 hour of work for a price of $45. Additionally, that tailor found an error in the bodice altered by Jean Swisher and agreed to re-do it.
If you're looking for good customer service and hassle-free alterations, Jean Swisher is not the way to go.
From the owner -

West Chester, PA

#6 Mar 9, 2012
Yes, this customer and I did not get along. There is no point in re-hashing what happened. The bride and I see what happened quite differently. Please read "all" of the reviews on my business before you make a decision. I strive to never speak of anyone unkindly..........
Lack of customer service wrote:
Jean Swisher, Fabric Flair Alterations, came recommended to me by a wedding dress store on the Main Line. My first two fittings went fine, although, she is very opinionated and made it clear that she does not want brides bringing other people to the fittings. She prefers to work one-one-one and finds other people distracting. For the 3rd fitting (one month before my wedding), I was getting the bustle done and wanted to bring someone with me so they understood how to do the bustle on the wedding day. Jean was very unhappy about this when I confirmed the appointment, but agreed to let me bring someone. When we arrived for the appointment the following day, Jean was already in an argumentative mood and said, "I've changed my mind, your bustle is extremely complicated and will take about 10-15 hours to complete and I'm going to have to charge you $160 more." I was shocked because she's had the dress for 4 months, met with me twice, looked at the bustle in my presence, and has not indicated that level of work required. In fact she had quoted me a final price at the previous appointment, which I had in writing. Finally, we asked her if she even wanted to do the work and she said no. So she packed up my dress and sent us away. With less than a month to go before my wedding I have an incomplete dress. I quickly scrambled and find a wonderful tailor in Wayne who was able to see me that day and after 5 minutes with the bustle said it would be 1 hour of work for a price of $45. Additionally, that tailor found an error in the bodice altered by Jean Swisher and agreed to re-do it.
If you're looking for good customer service and hassle-free alterations, Jean Swisher is not the way to go.

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