Kathleen has become a friend and creative guru throughout the past year. With a cozy studio full of color, texture, art, and touches of her beloved family, Amelia & I were able to spend time in her workplace, hearing about her fully passionate life.
I, Katie, was lucky enough to have Kathleen revamp my mother’s wedding dress to wear to my own wedding this past fall. Kathleen brought much more than a skilled hand to this endeavor—she excitedly came up with ideas for this dress, crafting it until it was a perfect representation of what I had in mind.
Kathleen is a true artist, bringing creativity, wonder, fascination, and joy to every client and garment she works with.
For more information and to set up your own appointment with Kathleen, head over to her website or email her at email@example.com
Tell us about yourself…
I am one of the sewing daughters of Vivian Temple; my name is Kathleen. With my sister Ginny I am in my beautiful Shenandoah Valley studio, making dresses and all sorts of wonderful garments for a myriad of fabulous customers both here and abroad.
I not only design and create custom garments, however. I also remodel and repair vintage treasures for my customers. I alter and refine the fit of any new garment as well. One morning I might be turning an heirloom gown into an edgy new wedding dress for a Washington D.C. attorney, then by afternoon, patching another person’s favorite jeans.
One New York City fashionista even collaborates with me to create her sexy evening wear. (I work from her measurements, old faves, and online images.)
I love the variety. I love to make my customers happy. I can work with any budget. My customers come back year after year, showing how much they value what I do. It’s not uncommon for a new customer to be so delighted finally to have a pair of pants fit well that she will recommend me to all her friends, loved ones, and neighbors!
I can tailor a jacket to flatter elegantly an elderly person with a curved back, an evening gown to show off a rock star’s tattoo, or a whole set of hard working trousers for a landscaper. Conservative business attire from the sale rack can evoke high powered elegance with custom fit. And it doesn’t take much to transform a thrift store find into an every day go-to garment, the star of your closet.
But what keeps me inspired is FABRIC. When my hands are on a piece of fabric, whether it be an exotic embroidered silk or that perfect cotton print, visions of drape, new construction techniques, and ideal fit on the body spring to my heart and mind. Always.
I got my start of a dress designer and dressmaker when Ginny and I used to admire our Mom wearing the dresses she had created. In her younger days, Mom could wear her chic dresses with such style! We always felt amazed and impressed by her skill and grace. Mom made me wait until my 9th birthday to begin my own first sewing project, and I haven’t stopped for 50 years.
In high school, I began my first apprenticeship, making flower girl dresses in a local bridal boutique and learning how to perform all sorts of simple and complex alterations on wedding gowns. Later, I apprenticed to other skilled professionals: a lingerie artist, a highly advanced alterations expert, a department store alterationist, an old-world furrier, and an imaginative and exacting tailor.
Through my life, I also studied philosophy and theology, then even spent a decade as a pastor and a philosophy professor. I never got far from my sewing machine, though. Throughout all this time, I have followed our Mom’s style, the visions inspired by the fabrics, and the desires and instructions of my customers to create, alter, and enliven great clothes.
Please come and visit my woodland studio some time. Share with me your ideas for your dream garments and garment improvements. I would love to work with you to make your dreams reality.