Part of our business is making made-to-measure clothing. We have a library of patterns to which almost two hundred alterations can be done to account for size, posture, preference, etc. The alterations are pretty comprehensive but there are limitations and parameters. The pattern can only be stretched so far before you have to draft something from scratch, not something that is generally done in the industry because of the amount of time involved in getting a draft trued and production-ready. Today we hit some of those limits.
The lady who is in charge of the blue pencil department (the department that applies the alterations to the patterns before the garments are cut) came to see me with a problem. A client had requested some alterations which were well outside the usual limits. By several multiples. Shorten sleeves by six inches, shorten the coat five inches. And so on. I sent her to see my boss, our president. His answer, as expected, was a very firm NO. We would not be able to accommodate these requests.
Some time later he came to see me, his tone softened.
“About that pattern”, he said.
“It seems the customer in question is a thirteen year-old boy. And he has leukemia. Make this boy his suit.”
And with that, I will get to work on a new pattern.