With a seamstress for a grandmother and parents who loved to dress up, it’s no surprise that Patti Ann became a tailor.
In fact, she’d been on that path since she started sewing at age 7 and constructed her first garment at age 9.
“My mother kept me busy. She knew I had a natural inclination to create,” she said. “She kept buying fabric and giving it to me.”
Patti Ann, who goes by her trade name, opened Red Carpet Tailoring in downtown Gig Harbor on March 11, and business is already brisk, with referrals coming from local clothing shops and previous customers.
One satisfied customer is Heather Ciochon, who had her wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses altered by Patti Ann for her wedding last October.
“I needed someone who was kind of a perfectionist,” she said. “It was a flawless experience. You can tell she is totally devoted to perfecting the garmet.”
She really went the extra mile and it absolutely could not have been better. (Patti Ann’s) got quite a gift. There aren’t too many people who can sew anymore, so to find someone who truly has the art of tailoring down is incredible.
Heather Ciochon, customer
Ciochon said that Patti Ann spent 45 minutes outlining her plan to shorten and alter the gown to fit her properly, an intensive project as the gown had a delicate lace overlay that had to be removed first.
“She really went the extra mile and it absolutely could not have been better,” Ciochon said. “(Patti Ann’s) got quite a gift. There aren’t too many people who can sew anymore, so to find someone who truly has the art of tailoring down is incredible.”
With 35 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, Patti Ann is experienced and trained to alter or construct custom clothing for men and women. This training is the difference between a tailor and a seamstress or someone who offers alterations, who typically does not have any formal training.
“A tailor looks at the whole garment and how it fits the frame,” Patti Ann said. “I’ve been trained to design just about anything.”
From men’s suits to swimsuits, vintage to off-the-rack clothing, Patti Ann is capable of correcting and altering clothing to fit the wearer.
It’s very rare that anyone can walk into a store and find something that fits properly ... our bodies are as unique as our fingerprints.
Patti Ann, tailor and owner of Red Carpet Tailoring
“As a tailor I’m always trying to preserve the designer’s intent,” she said. “It’s very rare that anyone can walk into a store and find something that fits properly... our bodies are as unique as our fingerprints.”
Along with everyday clothing, Patti Ann also works with formal wear, including wedding gowns and prom dresses — the big upcoming event for local high school students. A big addition to her business just before prom season is suit and tuxedo rentals from Jim’s Formal Wear.
“They are the oldest and largest tuxedo retailer in the U.S.,” she said.
Jim’s offers a wide range of suit and tuxedo rental options and all the necessary accessories from socks to ties, all in a variety of school colors.
With a distributor in California, Patti Ann is able to receive rentals within a couple of days, but encourages those looking for a tux to schedule a fitting several weeks in advance.
“You just don’t want to cut it too close,” she said.
Red Carpet Tailoring
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday by appointment
7801 Pioneer Way, Gig Harbor