Sweet as can be, Charlotte Sweet, is ready to solve all your alteration problems and frustrations. With a well established understanding of the fashion industry and trends, she will prove to be a dream when working with your clothing. Sewn Right, her new venture, is a London based alterations and repair service, working around your schedule and guaranteeing satisfaction. We paid Charlotte a visit in her Battersea studio space to learn more about her. She also makes a great cup of tea...
Charlotte wears Jenny Sweetnam's Prism Ring and the Moxham Marnie Slim Choker
Interview and photos by Isabel Ulatowski
Hi Charlotte, tell us about Sewn Right!
Charlotte Sweet: We are a high quality fashion sewing, alterations, and repairs company. We started almost a year ago now. Ever since I can remember, I have been sewing and doing alterations. Whether it was making a dress into a skirt, or making something from scratch.
What brought you to this point?
CS: When I left university, after some internships, I went to Selfridges and worked in their alterations department. I learned a lot about the basics of alteration work, and I really enjoyed working with high quality designer pieces. It was a big difference, working with the luxury side of retail, as opposed to working with high street labels. Not that there is anything wrong with high street fashion, but it is a different league. In that time, I also learned about different types of bodies from doing all sorts of fittings. I was then recommended to Net-A-Porter, and was doing mostly repairs, along side Naomi.
We became very close friends and started a tailoring service for Mr. Porter. It was just the two of us, and we were going to clients houses and businesses to do fittings. Eventually, we started doing other alterations for women. It wasn’t like Selfridges because it was an online business, and we focused mainly on repairs. So, I did that for three years when I felt that I had progressed a lot and sort of hit the ceiling, where I couldn’t go further. I decided to work part-time and develop Sewn Right.
How does Sewn Right stand apart from other alterations services, say for example, at the dry cleaners?
CS: We’ve got a wide breadth of knowledge on the fashion industry, like with trends. We also have developed our skills working within fashion. Not to speak against dry cleaners, but there is a difference in the extent of our knowledge.
From personal experience, there is often a misunderstanding…
CS: I have had so many people, most people I speak to in fittings, express that same frustration. Garments come back wrong, and often they are damaged. The major thing we stand behind at Sewn Right, is top quality alterations. Not just a quick job, each piece is dealt with utmost care. I am a perfectionist and that translates into every piece we receive. Also, your fitting revolves around you. We collect and deliver for free. If you’d like a fitting at seven in the evening, then we will do that for you.
Erin O’Connor: Personally, I feel that because you’ve got a fashion background, you can share the same vision with your client. You cater to fashion aware customers, and if I came to you and said ‘I want this, in this style’, I would trust you more because you would probably understand me.
You would get the fashion reference.
EO: Totally. Whereas just walking into a shop, it would take more time to understand what the customer wants.
CS: Thank you. I have one client, Miranda, who said to me from the beginning, “I feel really comfortable with you”. Previously, she was using an older woman who couldn’t understand why she wanted something at a certain length. I will do what the customer wants, and understand what they are referencing. With that knowledge, I will however make sure that you want the hem that short, or your trousers that long. Ultimately, my aim is to make the client as happy as possible with their garment. At Sewn Right, we wanted to break that old-fashioned, traditional tailoring service. Create a middle ground between a cheap job at the dry cleaners, and spending a load of money in a tailoring shop.
Who would be your dream client?
CS: My favorite brands are Acne and Comme des Garçons, and my favorite people are Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Richie, and Natalie Massenet.
EO: Great. All great women.
You also make bespoke pieces for customers…
CS: Yes. We have been doing alterations in a bridal boutique in Wimbledon, which is going very well. Bridal is something that I am getting into with customers, and have had loads of requests for wedding gowns, which is really cool for me.
What has been your favorite project thus far?
CS: I work with Sophia Webster, she is so lovely. I’ve been with her every fashion week. When Ed Meadham designed the looks for her latest show in February, I helped make this show piece wedding gown. It was so amazing. That was probably my favorite project because it was very ambitious for such a short period of time. It was really great to work alongside Ed as well, who is such a talented designer. And Sophia’s shoes are also so amazing! I love working with her.
And now you’ve also taken on teaching?
CS: It was meant to be temporary. I took on a job at my old university for a few months, teaching sewing. I was hesitant, but I gave it a shot, and I absolutely loved it. It was so creative, I got on really well with the students, and every day was different. I’ve also learned a lot from my experience there. You will never know everything with sewing, there is always a different way of doing something or new techniques to learn. The university told me fairly soon after I started that they wanted to keep me, so at that time I left Net-A-Porter, and I’m still teaching.
I see you’ve got some Pärla pieces on! We love seeing bits out in the world.
CS: Haven’t got enough! Every time I walk into Pärla it is warm, friendly, and very tasteful. Erin hasn't picked anything that I wouldn’t wear!