We’re spoilt for choice, with the sheer number of tailors available across Beijing. I’ve had dresses made, my very tall husband has the majority of his work shirts and trousers tailor made, and I’m slowly working through my wardrobe, having items adjusted, tweaked, and hemmed. In the UK, the cost of having a tailor bring that old jacket bang up-to- date is too high to justify the spend. Instead we tend to take them to a charity shop, or throw them away, and buy something new. Of course it’s not just clothing that a tailor can produce.
We moved house at the start of the summer and one of the things I love about our new home is how light it is. With big windows in most of the rooms, it has a wonderful airy feel to it. There are some rooms however, where a little bit more privacy would be nice. The dilemma is how best to achieve this, without losing sunlight and those beautiful blue sky views, when we have them of course.
We were in need of some sheer curtains. I didn’t want to spend too much, nothing fancy, so I measured up and tried the usual haunts of Ikea, Zara Home, and B&Q. It quickly became clear that our windows were not a standard size of any description. A lack on my part of talent, patience, and most importantly a sewing machine, would mean my only option was finding someone else to do it for me. I needed a tailor.
John the Tailor has a shop behind DDs Supermarket, at Cathay View Plaza. John has made many, many items of clothing for us over the past few years. Whilst he doesn’t make curtains himself, he knows a man who does, and he made an appointment for me there and then. The next day the curtain tailor turned up, measured up, and we browsed through a range of fabric samples. Now this was my downfall, as he happened to also have fabric samples for non-sheer curtains. One sample which jumped right out at me was a bubble gum shade of pink, in a fabric that was as soft as a peach. My daughter’s room would look fabulous with curtains made of this. So, I added them to my order and within five working days, a few guys turned up to put up some poles, and hang all of the curtains for us.
I love how quickly things can be made and delivered in China. For RMB 1,500 for a whole lot of curtains, I love the price of things here too. Next on my list, is to ask John whether he knows a man who can make bedding and duvet covers. I’m betting he does.
Beijing Fabric and Tailor shop
Daily 9.30am-7.30pm. Cathay View Plaza, 6 Xiangjiang Lu, Chaoyang District (137 1807 4866) 朝阳区香江路6号观唐广场
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: liz west (flickr), courtesy of Dana Cosio-Mercado