116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Loiza Edgington on weekdays works her way through dozens of bridal and prom gowns, business suits and vintage-shop fashions to ensure they’ll fit their new owners or continue to fit their current ones.
The location in a mostly vacant office park just off Interstate 380 doesn’t seem to hinder business in the online age.
“They just Google, or on Facebook somebody asks, ‘Where can I take this dress? I need some alterations,’” Edgington said.
Edgington said word of mouth, digital or otherwise, has been a major force in keeping her busy since buying Seams Easy from its previous owner in August 2011. Before that Edgington worked for another tailor and did alterations for a Cedar Rapids department store.
“In the Philippines I went to school” for tailoring, said Edgington, who moved to Cedar Rapids with her husband, Darin Edgington, in 2001. “I’ve been doing alterations for all these years.”
She’ll tackle any garment that will fit on her sewing machine, but Edgington developed a specialty over all these years, too.
“Working with sequins and beads,” she said. “Some people will say, ‘We called somebody else, and they won’t do that. Could you do it?’ I’d say, ‘Sure.’ I love doing wedding dresses. I just had one, it was her mom’s wedding dress and I changed it to fit her.”
Becoming a business owner was a similar enjoyable challenge for Edgington.
“The (business) skills you just learn as you experience it, and you figure out how to do things next time,” she said. “It’s just the time involved.”
She quickly picked up on the business’ seasonal swings.
“Especially the prom and wedding season is big,” Edgington said. “Then it slows down a little bit, and then comes back up a little bit during the fall.”
Vintage and thrift-store shoppers looking to tailor their finds to fit are a steady source of work. Edgington said she enjoys referrals from Czech Village vintage-clothing shop Found+Formed. No job’s too small.
“Socks,” she said. “Most everything I can put in my machine, I can take it.”
Her least favorite?
“Certain materials are not my favorite,” Edgington admitted. “Silk is so slippery, but most of it’s doable.”
She especially welcomes those heirloom wedding gowns.
“Wedding dresses with beads and the details and you need to change it and make it smaller,” Edgington said. “That’s a little bit challenging, how you would put it back the way it was originally.”
Owner: Loiza Edgington
Address: 3349 Southgate Ct. SW, Suite 110, Cedar Rapids
Phone: (319) 362-9339
Seams Easy seems to have weathered the pandemic and post-19-COVID disruptions.
“It wasn’t great,” Edgington said of 2020. “But once it got opened back, last year was better, and this year was a lot better.”
Still, some supply-chain issues linger.
“I had a hard time finding hangers,” Edgington said by way of example.
“Metal strap hangers, it took more than a year to get. I’m finally getting them. Some snaps they didn’t have.”
The lack of pedestrian and drive-by traffic hasn’t hampered business. Seams Easy’s location just off I-380 makes it an easy stop for customers from Center Point to Iowa City.
“Once in a while, for some older people that don’t have cars, I’ll volunteer to deliver,” Edgington said.
Her plans for the future?
“I just hope to continue, and I’m still here,” she said. “When they’re happy, I’m happy.”
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