Diane Shaughnessey at the counter at Hems Plus in Dracut. Photo by Anthony Mastracci
Diane Shaughnessey at the counter at Hems Plus in Dracut. Photo by Anthony Mastracci

DRACUT -- Sometimes it seems like when you find the most beautiful looking dress or the most comfortable pair of pants, they still need a touch-up to get that ideal fit. Since the 1960s, Hems Plus in Dracut has been tailoring garments to fit exactly the way they should.

Hems Plus, located at 91 Mill St. after its longtime location on Lakeview Avenue, is owned by Diane Shaughnessey. Tailoring with the company for nearly a decade, Shaughnessey purchased Hems Plus in 2010 from its previous owner, Rose Chandonnet, the founder's daughter.

Shaughnessey is no stranger when it comes to working with thread. She developed a passion for the craft as a young girl. "My mother started teaching me when I was 10 years old. I started making doll clothes," Shaughnessey said.

Since then, she hasn't stopped using her great skill. "I was a full time mom for 30 years and have been sewing in my house since 1975," she added.

Though Shaughnessey will take on almost any project, prom dresses and wedding gowns seem to stick out the most because of the detail and intricacies.

"I just did one prom dress and it took me three hours to redo the beading," Shaughnessey said, and it looked just as perfect as it did before.

As Shaughnessey and Hems Plus head into a very busy prom and wedding season, no time would be better to sit down for a "5 Questions" session.

Have you ever worked on a celebrity's garment?

Miss Massachusetts, Brittany Burgess, in 2007.


We did all of the costumes for her pageant, which she ended up winning.

What are your passions other than sewing?

I like to go for walks or ride a bike. I'm also very active at the Grace Bible Church in Dracut with the meal ministry. If someone gets sick or someone has a baby, we set up meals for them so they don't have to worry about what they have to eat.

If you had to pick one person, past or present, to spend a day with, who would it be?

The Lord Jesus Christ, just to get to know him better.

What is the most difficult garment you've ever worked on?

There was a wedding dress with a beaded flower pattern spiraling up the entire bottom of the dress. I had to resew every bead back onto the dress, but I was able to do it and she was very happy with it.

What is the most bizarre request you have ever received?

I was asked to stitch a miniature hot air balloon, about five feet tall. I had to stitch up a part of the balloon because it came unraveled.

For more information about Hems Plus, please visit www.facebook.com/hems.plus.7 or call 978-957-3111.