About Me

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Melrose, MA, United States
Hi there, and thanks for visiting my Blog! How did I get started? Well, when I was pretty young, my mom taught me all the basics of sewing. It seemed to come natural to me, and by the time I was in middle school, I began to make lots of my own clothes. I did some sewing for people I knew, (including my mom!)and then bought my first sewing machine in 1986 when I decided that I would make my own wedding gown! I live in Melrose, MA with my husband and our 3 boys. When expecting our first, I started to make dolls, just in case I had a girl. I continued making and selling them as they were fun to make and customize for a special girl. I work out of my home and have had the great experience of making gowns, home fashions, dolls and doing many alterations over the years. My work has been largely word of mouth, with very little advertising. I think you will find my work unique and would like to create something special just for you!

Saturday, September 3, 2022


So, are you still sewing?

This is a question I get ALL THE TIME! From family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Family is the kicker!

I really don’t understand why I am not taken seriously. YES. I am still sewing. In fact, in 2019 I moved my sewing area out of my home and began renting space in an arts center in the middle of my town! in 2021, I was busier than ever with brides that postponed from 2020 as well as current year brides and bridal parties! It was my full time job, working more than 40 hours a week between my appointments and getting the work done! 2022 to date, I have already equaled my 2021 revenue and have had more brides to date as compared to 2021, and it's only August! 

I think sewing in and of itself carries a stigma. Honestly, who does that anymore? And if you do, and make money at it, you would be working for someone else, right? Well, I did work for a tailor, once, after my first child was born, over 30 years ago, and my mom offered to babysit for the day so I could get back to work. I worked for him about 6 months, until he wasn’t busy enough for me to work there anymore. I did learn some industry tips from him though and was grateful for the experience of working for this tailor.

From that point on, I had friends, family and neighbors who “knew I could sew”, ask me to do basic alterations, and I did place an ad in the local newspaper to generate some business. I charged next to nothing, mostly because I liked it and wanted to get referred, and was not in tune with what to charge.

In the years following, I had researched what other shops charge, and have adjusted my prices accordingly, to be competitive. It seemed that I was getting a lot of generous “tips”, so I figured maybe my prices were too low.  Conversely, sometimes when you charge too little, I think people assume your work isn’t that good. Now, I feel I have competitive rates, while still staying lower than most of my competitors.


Over 30 years I have been sewing for others – OVER 30 YEARS!

Why do people still ask me if I’m busy?

How busy am I? Well, enter the digital world.


I get recommended online ALL THE TIME. Melrose and surrounding towns have “community pages” on Facebook, where people ask “can anyone recommend a seamstress for bridal alterations” or similar questions. My name gets mentioned all the time, by several people on the same post. I keep my Facebook page up to date by posting photos of all the bridal gowns I work on, as well as some of the other alterations I do that I think may be of interest. And my recommendations on Yelp have steered customers my way as well.


click on the picture!
I was contacted in 2021 by someone who follows my Instagram account, asking me to make a christening gown and accessories, from her wedding gown. She SHIPPED her wedding gown to me from New Jersey and paid me my required deposit without blinking an eye. I stayed in contact with the progress, sending pictures and checking in on baby’s measurements. When it was complete, it was packaged carefully and shipped everything back. Baby’s mom was very pleased with all the pieces of the christening ensemble and sent me a video of her opening the box! I’m so happy I could do this for her special little girl.

Are you busy? (still asked of me ALL the time!)


Answer: Yes! If I wasn’t busy, I never would have had a need to rent space. I now have my own studio space outside of my home in a building that is an arts center in my town – so I’m exposed to creative people every day! I really love what I do, and it makes people happy. What could be better than that!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The light on the horizon

It's been a while...

So, this COVID-19 thing has done a number on us all, as people, parents, healthcare workers, restaurant owners, and small businesses. ALL businesses, even essential ones, as cutbacks in employees and social distancing rules are in place having a limited number of people in the stores to keep people healthy.

On February 21, 2020, I received an email about contributing to a new blog that one of the writers in my building thought would be a nice way to show others what the artists at Follow Your Art Community Studios, do. Brilliant! But I cordially declined, for the moment, being the beginning of prom and wedding season, and knowing that I was going to be getting really busy, with little or no time to write, much less think of what to write!


Stay at home - less than one month later

All at once, I could no longer have appointments and meet with my happy brides and excited prom girls. I was confused as to what to do, how to handle it. I was panic striken at one point, not about my business, but about the health of the country and its people.

Anyhow, I did find some extra time on my hands, enough, to write my blog contribution. So, here it is. There is a light at the end of this extra long tunnel...it's dim now, but it will get brighter the closer we get. 

Stay safe!


Monday, July 22, 2019

Times are changing....

....and like it or not, we all have to change too sometime. It's my time....

What do you think you want to do next? Do you want to increase your business? Make it your full time job? Can you? I could...Will you hire people? Advertise? Move to a larger space outside of your home? All valid questions others have asked me and that I've considered myself over the past 2 years.

Monday March 12, 2018, I found myself at City Hall in Melrose, MA applying for a business certificate. It was time. I've had my home-based business in my town for a very long time (over 20 years!) and my name gets mentioned in several social and online forums as: "Tamara's my go-to", "I highly recommend Tamara", so I wanted to do the right thing by making my business "official".
I went to the bank that same day to open a business bank account. I needed the business certificate for that. You know you're doing well when someone says "you better make an appointment with her before she gets booked up!" and when repeat customers refer their friends, etc...

What do I do? I help people look and feel good in what they are wearing. I specialize in Bridal and formal wear alterations. I am creative. I design and redesign. I am a Seamstress!

When I was going to networking events a few years ago, I'd say "I'm an accountant", but not really embracing that role and not even wanting to delve into what I did at work. I'd often segway into my seamstress title during a conversation. It's my passion. Accounting is what I went to school for, trained many years and put in lots of tax seasons - almost 3 decades! So it has served me well for many years. But as I have grown in life, I realize it's not where my true passion is. Sure, it's where the steady paycheck is, but is that all I want out of life? I like making people feel good in what they're wearing to a special event, or on their wedding day. I like creating a one of a kind christening gown from the mom/grandmother's wedding gown. When a bride gives me a hug and says "it's exactly the way I want it", "it's perfect!", that to me, is pure joy, and I thrive on that! I have had some time to build my sewing "business" from my home and have focused on things I LIKE to do, and am passing up work I would rather not do (like fixing a rip or hemming curtains, replacing a zipper - no more!). I LOVE working on bridal and formal-wear, and absolutely can't get enough of making a christening gown or first communion dress from the mom's wedding gown. That's my passion! I absolutely love the creative process. I noticed in certain work situations, some people hum and tap their pencil when they're focused on their work or reviewing other people's work, and I thought, wow, that person REALLY loves what he/she does. I think staying in the same field I've been in for so long, is not only getting stale to me, but as I am learning, I have to do something in my next job, that I REALLY enjoy. Why be stuck at a job, for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for only a paycheck. Done with that! I was so unhappy at my last job, towards the end of that job I found myself climbing the stairs (51 of them!) in the morning repeating to myself "I hate my job", and knowing that change was evident. Either I would make the change, or I'd be helped along that path. So, my next job search will be a little different from past ones, that's if I actually engage in a search. I want a job where I can be creative, or at least have a lot of moving parts to it.

I have been actively looking for a new "space" for my sewing work for about three years. I started writing this blog more than a year ago. Since then, I now have a local bridal shop referring customers to me, and if you do a Google search for wedding gown alterations in Melrose, I am at the top of the page! So that in itself, has driven the bridal traffic to me. Not only brides, but bridesmaids, Mothers of the Bride and the Groom and Flower girls. Since I now have such a large volume, it makes sense to move it out of the house and lessen the family (and dog) interruptions. It's time. It's MY time!

Update: July 8, 2019 - I have FOUND my space! And it's right down the street! A "studio". It's a good size room on the 3rd floor of a Victorian home, RIGHT DOWNTOWN, and walking distance from my house! They are only leasing to artists, and welcomed me right away! I am so excited to finally have my own space to work in. There are opening and closing hours, so I won't be tempted to stay up until midnight anymore working on a prom dress!!! (thank goodness!) I have no doubt that this move will increase my productivity as well as visibility in my community, and I'm absolutely thrilled about embarking on this new journey in my business expansion!

"Do what you love, and never work a day in your life"....Mark Twain - words to live by