When family and friends come to visit us in Jakarta, I put together a basic itinerary that gives them a rounded Jakarta experience. Of course this often includes having a few garments or soft furnishings made. Undoubtedly, this is one of the perks of living in Jakarta, as this city is filled with skilled artisans who are able to help you realise your creative dreams. However, to maximise the success and minimise the stress of this process, a bit of planning is required.
To help you with this, here are our “Top 10 Recommendations when using a Dressmaker for your Jakarta Visitor”:
- Before you do anything else, consider how much time your visitor is staying. A short visit (less than 5 days) means that any project needs to be simple in nature. Some suggestions include:
* Simple tops, skirts and dresses
* Cushion covers, doona covers, tablecloths, napkins, table runners and fabric bags (such as drawstring bags or dolly bags)
* Simple alterations
- If your visitor is staying for an extended period, then more complex projects are possible and/or more pieces can be made. For example, more intricate garments such as evening gowns, business suits and shirts or even fancy dress costumes.
BEFORE YOUR VISITOR ARRIVES IN JAKARTA
- Set your visitor some homework: Ask them to collect images of what they would like made, or encourage them to go through their wardrobe identifying items they would like copied (- alternatively tell them to raid the wardrobe of their best-dressed friend!) Encourage your visitor to think about colours, fabric types etc. This will speed up the process when your friend arrives in Jakarta. And don’t forget to pack those garments that could do with some alterations, too!
- Be realistic – the types of fabrics available in Jakarta tend to be lighter in weight so a winter-style jacket won’t be a great choice to have made in JTown, however, silk, linen and lighter fabrics are available in abundance, as are more indigenous-style fabrics such as batik, songket and ikat. If your visitor has fabric at home and wishes to use the more cost-effective skills of a local tailor/dressmaker, then this may also be an option.
Before your visitor arrives, book an appointment with your chosen dressmaker for early in your visitors’ stay. Ideally this should be for either Day 1 or Day 2, allowing plenty of time for fabric selection and time with the dressmaker for measurements as well as sufficient time for fitting/s.
WHEN YOUR VISITOR ARRIVES IN JAKARTA
6. Attend your appointment and run any ideas past your dressmaker, seeking an indication of suitable fabric type as well as how much fabric will be required. Schedule your next appointment.
- Next, head straight to the fabric shops and make your fabric selections. The fabric shops on Jl. Fatmawati (see below for details) tend to have a good variety, as do the larger shops around Pasar Mayestik. Take your pictures as well as the pieces your visitor wishes to have copied. Take guidance from the sales persons here also. Although they may seem a little over-enthusiastic at times, they definitely know their trade.
- When selecting the fabric, try to stay focused. It is very easy to get over-excited in these super-large and colourful fabric shops. The possibilities are endless so keep a sense of restraint. Although your dressmaker will undoubtedly be keen to fulfill all your creative ideas, it is far better that your visitor return home with a few fabulous bespoke items, instead of an abundance of pieces that don’t quite hit the spot.
- Return to your dressmaker ASAP to get the making process started. Also at this second appointment, you will need to discuss and agree to a price for each piece; identify your next appointment for fittings and most importantly, ensure the dressmaker is aware of the deadline.
- Keep in touch with your dressmaker over the next few days, and confirm a day and time to collect your visitor’s items. Ensure the agreed pick up day is at least 24 hours prior to the departure of your guest, allowing time for any last minute alterations.
Pak Hasan & Ibu Nina
Jl. Pelita Abdul Majid No. 5B
(next door to ‘Excellent Car wash’)
Phone: 0812 8394 2478
Ibu Rofi – Dressmaker
Jl. Kemang Selatan 1, No. 6B
Phone: 0813 8253 4497
Best places to buy fabric in Jakarta
Jl. Tebah 3, No. 1Kebayoran Baru,
Alta Moda and Pronto Moda
Jl. RS Fatmawati No.15, Cilandak and Sector 9 Bintaro
Do you live in Jakarta and have you had much experience using the services of a dressmaker/tailor? Why not share your advice with us! Please comment below. We always love hearing from you 🙂
For more reading, here are some related posts:
Pasar Tanah Abang South East Asia’s biggest textile market
ajb’s 5 Easy Steps to Create your own Batik Bed cover
10 Minutes with Pak Nana, local tailor
ajb’s General Guide for Visitors to Jakarta
Tips of Using a Tailor in Jakarta
Words: Jo Stevens Photography: a journey bespoke