Chic in 30 minutes-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
SOCIALITE fashionista and interior designer Rosebud Sala was talking about Cordova chic—or was it Cordova cheap? Whichever, it works, both ways, to be “chic on the cheap.”
There is this place in Cordova, which sells clothing material that the place will sew for its customers for free, and a nice, fuss-free blouse can be had for P200 in about 30 minutes. Ditto for pants for about P150. Complicated designs will take longer.
The place is in Barangay Day-as, and if you don’t know the way, the people you ask there will tell you it’s where there are a lot of parked cars. And true enough, the parked cars are in front of a little shop called R and R Dress Shop. But that’s not where one is supposed to go but to the bodega-like type of shed next to it, it’s frontage wide open for customers to come in and make their choice of material from the bolts of cloth at one side of the room, or their choice of the ready-made blouses and dresses hanging at the other side of the room. Beyond this area is the cutting room.
The proprietor of the place is Remedios Jumao-as who said she has no formal schooling in dressmaking, but that her mother, Adelaida Yburan, was a mananahi and she inherited that calling, starting out by making simple pillow cases. Then she went into making shorts-and-blouses sets for pangbalay wear for women. Five years ago, her cloth supplier asked her to get textiles other than the cotton blends for the shorts-and-blouse sets, textiles good for business or party wear. But it was a slow start to where she is now: six cutters (seven to include her, on busy days) and 12 sewers; from one room expanded into two, into three; and finally with a second floor for the sewing area. She said her business truly boomed within the past year, when Cebu’s SUV-riding matrons discovered the shop.
One of the cutters, Susan Jumao-as, a midwife who worked for Gina Atienza in Indonesia but who stopped when she got married, recounts that she has no formal training in sewing or cutting, either. She was with Remedios during the pillow-making and blouse-and-shorts set phase of the venture. Now she cuts like a pro, and occasionally uses a standard pattern for bodice and full-body styles that she adjusts according to her clients’ measurements. A client can also bring her favorite blouse or skirt or pants to be copied.
Incidentally, the cuts should be zipper-free and button-free.
The dress shop has so many satisfied customers that some go there to have several items made like a doctor client who went there to have her son’s costume made, but who also ordered half a dozen blouse and skirt outfits for herself. It’s really that kind of a place. It will make you go overboard with your orders, especially when the place has a fresh shipment of textiles, which is every two months. The sukis of the place can even order by phone for a dress, a caftan or a blouse like one who, when she learned the new shipment was of solid colors, ordered maxi dresses in all the colors available!
Remedios “Baby” Jumao-as’ business has truly bloomed and prospered, in ways she did not expect, all because she thought that no one buys cloth without having it made into something, so she decided to throw in the sewing for free! The shop is open from 8 a.m. to 8
p.m. every day except Sunday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 18, 2013.