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Stiches in time

Tailor weaves his way in Southbridge

Tailor Fotios Karayiannis at work in his Elm Street shop. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
April 05, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — From his unique window on the world, Fotios Karayiannis has watched the town evolve.

For the past 35 years, the Karayiannis, a native of Ioannina, Greece, has owned and operated his small tailor shop on Elm Street, where he has hemmed and done alterations on clothing for area residents in need of small textile fixes.

"The town was booming when I started this business. Now it is dead," Karayiannis said in a thick Hellenic accent as he leaned over a sewing machine to sew a black skirt.

Karayiannis's journey to Southbridge started when he was 28 in 1969 and immigrated to Rochester, N.Y. where he found a job as a tailor in a factory. After visiting relatives in Southbridge, he said, he later opened his shop in 1975. Since then, he has sewn and fixed skirts, suits, military uniforms and other articles of clothing.

The business, however, has not changed since he started out. The basics, such as sewing techniques, are the same, but newer equipment, he said, has made the work easier. Karayiannis diligently worked on the seam of a dress, as shirts and even a U.S. Army uniform were hanging on the walls. Spools of thread sat next to him.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

Stonebridge Press
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