Photo by Frank Schweikhardt

Margaret Fette, owner of The Tailored Fit, with a Bernina sewing machine. Photo by Frank Schweikhardt


Margaret Fette, owner of The Tailored Fit, a custom-made clothing and alteration shop, says she doesn’t want any frustrated seamstresses in Bloomington, let alone anyone walking around in ill-fitting clothes. Now, with a new, larger store; a new sewing machine product line; and a wider array of sewing classes, Fette is offering customers more ways to improve and expand their wardrobes.

In December, The Tailored Fit moved into 4,000 square feet of the former Bender Lumber building at 611 W. 11th St., which is four times larger than her former shop on West 4th Street. The shop offers more work and classroom space, plus four dressing rooms for customers. Outside, there is plenty of free parking.

“We’ve seen an uptick in our business since we moved,” says Fette, who has increased her staff from five to eight. “People can park right at our door and bring in their clothing and sewing machines for lessons.”

Along with the move, Fette recently became a licensed dealer for Bernina sewing machines, Swiss-made models used for quilting, embroidery, and sewing. She says Bernina machines are top-of-the-line, carry 10- to 20-year warranties, and are made with all-metal parts, so they last longer than other sewing machines. The Tailored Fit carries seven Bernina models, from a $200 entry-level machine to those costing $1,000 and more.

Fette says she’s long had a vision of developing a stronger educational component for her business. She purchased the “University of Sewing” online domain and plans to hire instructors to help her teach a greater variety of classes, everything from entry-level sewing through tailoring, pattern-making, quilting, and more.

“I want to contribute to the workforce and to help educate people who want to sew,” Fette says. “I want to have a nurturing environment here. I want people to be able to make their own patterns and be able to design their own clothes.”

While she’s increasing the educational side of her business, Fette stresses that she offers custom-made suits and shirts for men through her partnership with New York City–based Alabaster & Chess, and makes women’s suits, blouses, and formalwear in-house, catering particularly to hard-to-fit customers.

Photo by Frank Schweikhardt

Interior of The Tailored Fit at its new location, 611 W. 11th St. Photo by Frank Schweikhardt

For more information about The Tailored Fit, visit