“I took home economics in high school. And I just fell in love with sewing. I went to get a job at a clothing store, Karl Karesh. That’s where I learned the trade. I worked there for 10 years, and then I went into business for myself. That was 24 years ago.

“Alterations mean pretty much everything but putting together the clothing from scratch. I used to do a lot of dressmaking years ago, but with the scissors rubbing and all the cutting, it was too hard on my hands. I can already feel some symptoms of arthritis.

“I use what they call the ol’ 1531 Singer. I have it serviced, but I’ve had this machine 25 years. Most of my work is hemming on pants, but I do everything: men, women, bridesmaids. Shortening the collar, now that’s a complicated — but very unusual — job. I have a contract worker now. She picks some stuff up and helps me out a lot. In the summertime it’s tough because there are so many weddings.

“When I used to make wedding dresses, the most beautiful one I made was a gown for my sister. I basically never sew in my own house; everything is here in the shop. If I have to do something at home, it better be white because that’s the only color thread I have in the machine!

“I like my job because I can set my own hours and work at my own pace. Sewing is comfortable. In fact, it’s peaceful. Clothes made a difference. If they don’t fit, the person isn’t going to look good. Then people just end up looking at the clothes and not the person — at least that’s what I do, but then I am an alterationist.” —as told to Lynsy Smithson Stanley

Stitching In Style is located inside Nula at 320 King St. 722-0329

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.