Photo above: Saniye Oksar, owner of Saniye Oksar’s Tailoring in Fort Collins.
ON THE JOB
There once was a tailor at the corner of Mulberry and College in Fort Collins. For over a decade, Saniye Oksar’s tailoring and alteration business thrived with satisfied repeat customers, happy new customers and frantic brides-to-be looking for the perfect fit for their special day.
After her husband passed away, Oksar moved back to her native Turkey in 2010, taking her craft with her. Last October, she relocated to Fort Collins, and in May she opened Saniye’s Tailoring and Alterations. Originally from Istanbul, Oksar is now an American citizen, living in Fort Collins with her son, who was 11 when his father died. “My son wanted to come back to the States when he got older and now, here we are,” says Oksar.
CLAIM TO FAME
Oksar’s mother taught her the basics on a hand-crank machine. She was allowed to turn the crank while her mother would sew. Those days of observing how her mother would take apart clothing and put it back together was just the beginning of her love of the arts. She is a very skilled oil painter as well.
“I was 10 years old when I started to learn the craft of working with fabric,” says Oksar. “My mom was a seamstress and I come from a whole family of tailors.”
After high school, she went to tailoring school for four years in Turkey. During this time, Oksar spent an entire two years just working on designs and patterns; only in the last two years did she even begin to sew.
Now she has more than 30 years of experience in the art of tailoring and alterations. Oksar has worked with a number of garment companies, including Men’s Wearhouse and Nordstrom.
She says fitting is the first step for any tailoring job.
“If you are a good tailor you can use your eyes and imagine how a garment will drape on someone,” she says. “If you love sewing, tailoring is a wonderfully challenging profession.”
“Tailoring is art form; It’s not just about cutting and sewing. I don’t just shorten hems and sleeves. I create wearable art.”
The art of tailoring is quite different from alterations, which is making adjustments to an already existing outfit.
Sometimes Oksar creates an entirely new design when tailoring for a client, such as the time she created an entirely new back panel for a wedding dress.
“You pay for the quality of the craftsmanship,” says Oksar. “I can do any style. I have a passion for both men’s and women’s clothing,” noting that she also works on kids’ clothing.
“You have to love your work,” she says. “If my customers [are] happy, then I feel happy and I know I did a good job.”
WHERE TO FIND THEM
2427 S. College Ave., Unit B6
Fort Collins, CO 80525