The antidote to a throw-away world: a fine seamstress
FALLS VILLAGE â€” In the age of disposable cheap clothing, purchased at big box stores, there are a few holdouts who appreciate those items of lasting value that can be repaired, altered and otherwise have their lives extended.
The trick, of course, is to know a good alterations person. They are rare. Gabriele Spaziani of Falls Village is one.
Spaziani, who lives and sews on Sand Road, said she began taking in work three years ago. â€œI started off slow, just to bring in a little extra income.â€
Her home has a modest sign out front, advertising sewing and repair. And she had cards made up, which she distributed at laundromats and at Noble Horizons and Geer Village.
Spaziani learned the basics of sewing from her mother, and began using those skills when her own kids were young â€” she made stuffed animals for them.
She experimented with making clothes for the children, â€œbut I found that making clothes was more expensive than buying them.â€
The thriftiness, and the business opportunity, is what inspired her to do repair work.
During a recent visit to her shop by this reporter, she had two play dresses for young girls ready to go. She had fixed them up with clever button-and-snap arrangements to shorten the dressesâ€™ length. This will allow them to be used when the children get taller, without requiring another trip to the sewing machine.
Business picks up at her shop before Christmas and New Yearâ€™s, she said, and prom time is always busy.
Spaziani charges $10-12 for basic hemming services, and $25 for zippers. The cost of other jobs varies; she will give a client a price at the consultation.
Regular customers take advantage of her drop-off and pick-up arrangement. â€œIf you have something easy, pin it upâ€ and leave it in her enclosed front porch. Or a client can leave written instructions.
There is a payment and receipt box on the porch as well.
Spazianiâ€™s day job is at Stadium Systems in North Canaan, where she repairs and refurbishes athletic equipment. She gets to use old Singer sewing machines there â€” â€œTheyâ€™ve even got an old pedal machine.â€
Spazianiâ€™s home is at 84 Sand Road in Falls Village, and her telephone numbers are 860-824-5409 and 860-459-5782. New customers should call for an appointment, preferably on the weekend.