By Sheena Barnett
AMORY – The rumble of a sewing machine has been a constant in Jenny Tacker’s life.
Tacker owns A Stitch in Time in downtown Amory, where she handles alterations of all kinds. Whether by hand or by machine, Tacker has always sewn.
“I’ve made everything from panties to wedding gowns,” she said, laughing. “I’ve been sewing most of my life.”
Her mother made her clothes for her when Tacker was a young girl. After her parents divorced when she was 11, she began making her own dresses and outfits.
“I thought you were supposed to make your own clothes. By the 10th grade, I made everything I wore,” she said, thanks to helpful hints from women in her family.
She made clothes for her children and for herself for years.
“Then it got to where you could pick up something cheaper than you could the fabric and pattern,” she said.
Tacker, 59, worked for Howard’s Department Store in Okolona and Reed’s in Tupelo before opening A Stitch in Time seven years ago.
Tacker’s daughter, Carrie Moffett, works in A Stitch in Time with her. Alterations can be anything from a simple jean hem to changing a dress size, which can mean tearing the dress down and re-sewing it to create the new measurements.
“If they see something in a size 12 but they’re a 4, they expect Ms. Jenny to fix it,” Tacker said.
The pair worked together with Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick on her outfits and dresses for both the state and Miss America pageants.
“Chelsea wouldn’t let anybody else do anything to her gowns. I altered her entire wardrobe,” Tacker said. “I’m honored to be a part of Chelsea’s road to Miss Mississippi. She’s a precious girl.”
With proms, pageants, homecomings, weddings and other special events, A Stitch in Time stays busy year-round, Tacker said.
“We try to make our customers as comfortable as we can, as special as we can, no matter if they’re a size 0 or 30. When we shop online or at market, we look for the prettiest things we can find. That’s what I’ve built my business on, is treating people right,” she said.
Tacker leaves most of the dress-making to the designers these days and focuses on alterations, but she’s still sewing, her first love.
“We’ve built a wonderful business here,” she said. “It’s strictly because the Lord is taking care of me. It’s like playing piano – you have to use the talent God gave you.”