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Friday, May 18, 2018

Re-Model and Re-Love

We have a long time client who is super tall. Barefooted I think she’s about 6’3” (and she loves wearing heels, which puts her north of 6'6"). Recently she fell in love with a sundress. It floats, it’s silky, it’s all about casual summer beauty. And it’s about 9” too short for her. So, she bought two of them. Crazy, eh? Not at all.

We've suggested this idea many times over the years.

        We harvested fabric from one dress to add the necessary length to the other dress. The flouncy hem mirrors the neckline flounce. Now she has a remodeled dress that looks like it was designed that way from the beginning!

Another client found the dress of her dreams for her wedding. 

Hallelujah! Conundrum!

Her mother had saved her own wedding dress in the hopes that one day her daughter would wear it. Sweet, sentimental. 

Quick thinking, the bride suggested wearing her mother’s dress to the rehearsal dinner. Whew!

But the dress was a bit dated for her taste. Could we help her out?

Tailors are problem solvers at heart. To update this gown, we replaced the tulle sleeves with spaghetti straps, removed the waist sash, and added a thigh high slit to the skirt.

There may be other wedding catastrophes, but this isn’t one of them.


We'd love to help you remodel your garments. Please get in touch!

See our Etsy Shop at Kathleen Temple, Tailor 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Silk Knit Poncho

Spring weather can be unpredictable. Summer too, depending on where you live.

Our client thought it might be a little on the cool side. To ward off the chill, we crafted this sumptuous silk knit poncho in magenta. Lightweight and drapey. Pair it with a dress, or skirt, or jeans. This poncho has super power!

The style is so loved by this client, that she requested a second poncho in white silk knit. They look wonderful worn individually or worn layered together as they're pictured here.

The estimated cost for a poncho like this is about $80; but a less expensive fabric could reduce the cost significantly.

The photos below illustrate some options with different fabrics.

Can we make a poncho for you?

For poncho like this, click!

See our Etsy Shop at Kathleen Temple, Tailor

A woven fabric has a structured drape:

This open weave sweater knit drapes softly -- while showing off the under layer: 


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Box of Fix Me!

Hello 2018! Out with the old, in with the new!

Whoa. Not so fast.

One of our clients recently brought us a box of clothing she loves. Garments that already go with her shoes, sweaters and everything else in her closet. But garments that need some attention. A box of clothing that screams, "Fix Me! Fix Me!"

Some garments called for repairs, while others called for a remodel.

Make this long skirt knee length.
Take in the waist on these pants.
Replace the zipper on this jacket.
Cut this dress into a skirt.
Remove the sleeves.
Change the neckline.

This client feels that altering and repairing her wardrobe is responsible, smart and sustainable. Bravo.

You too? Well, pack up your Box of Fix Me and get it over to us!

(We can whip a Box of Fix Me into shape for local -- as well as long distance clients. No problem.)

See our Etsy Shop at Kathleen Temple, Tailor

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Quick! Hand Me a Gown!

A couple of years ago a friend shared this story with me: she'd been invited by a business client to be his '+ one' at a gala event. She was honored -- and horrified. Simultaneously! What to wear??

She tried on every gown in town and online. Even the ones she didn't like and the ones that were super expensive. She eventually found one that wasn't terrible and fit mostly. The evening was elegant and she was having a such a good time. Then, something happened. A woman walked past her wearing the very same gown. Ugh. And looking much better in it. Double ugh.

If I'd known her dilemma, I'd have suggested this gown! Simply chic, sophisticated, graceful. One-of-a-kind. Custom and affordable (two words not often said together.)


This one shoulder, belted, flowing gown is almost finished. Remembering my friend's story, I couldn't wait to share the photos!

In black, it's a smart evening gown. In white, a wedding dress. In red, a special holiday occasion dress. In pastel, a spring formal. In a soft gray, an intimate dinner on the beach.

One-of-a-kind. The fabric could be any color. With or without a train. Mini or maxi length. Plus size or petit. Paired with a shawl or bolero in the winter.

Quick! Let us make this gown for you! Follow this link to our Etsy shop.

(Gown shown in black ponte. Estimated fabric and labor costs $100 - $250.)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Marja and I together created the perfect little warm weather dress.

All right, it may no longer be warm here in the Shenandoah Valley today. (brrrr) But the warm weather will return, and sooner than we think.  I can hardly wait to make more of these beautiful cotton dresses!

The blue and purple flowers of Marja's dress are gorgeous and I may be able to obtain more yardage of this very cotton print.  There are a bazillion other gorgeous cotton prints too, of course.  I love this one:

Another one of my loves is plain, solid, luscious BLACK fabric.  A soft and lightweight black fabric in cotton, linen, silk, ramie, or blended fibers would be totally irresistible for a barely-there shift-style dress.

Please check out Marja's version of the dress to find out how to commission the creation of YOUR dream dress.

I guess I can't resist pulling out a perfect black linen from my stash today-- I shall make the dress for myself before the temperature rises again!  Update coming soon.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Winter Wedding Gown

What makes a bride beautiful? Confidence that her hair, make-up, and dress reflect her personal style. In our opinion, the perfectly fitted and unique dress is the holy grail.


This custom gown was designed by Kathleen, in collaboration with the bride. A fitted bodice tops the soft gathers of the flowing skirt. The rayon fabric and lining are completely breathable, completely soft feeling, completely complimentary to the overall gown design. The lace ‘jacket’ is an off-the-rack remodel, opening in the back and secured with long, wrap around ties — it’s the finishing touch to this simply elegant wedding gown.

The bride thanked us when she picked up her finished gown. But then she called us after the wedding to pass on a message from the groom. “Tell Kathleen, thank you! Your dress is so beautiful and I really, really like it!” he said. Blew. Us. Away. 

For more information, would you please visit our Etsy shop, Kathleen Temple, Tailor

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Two-Piece Dress, the design displayed

Two-Piece Stretch Knit Dress:
The Design, Displayed

Hello Arianne-  I want to show you my dark blue prototype for the Two-Piece Dress design.  I will use the design to make your Two-Piece Dresses, one of the snakeskin-looking knit and one of the geometric patterned blue and gold knit.

My video here probably doesn't show the design any better than if I had made some still shots of my dark blue version of the design.  Oh me, oh my, my poor photography....  But I will send you some still shots sometime too.  I am sharing the video with you here on my blog because I couldn't get it to load into either email or Facebook message.  Oh me, oh my, my poor computer skills.  I can work with fabric, however, never worry!

No way could I figure out how to change the (sideways) orientation of the video.  I need a new computer!  So turn your head sideways and as you imagine the design in *your* awesome fabrics, you can see some possible characteristics.  (I hope!)

One thing I don't really like about my dark blue prototype is the waistband of the skirt.  You may not be able to see it in my sketchy video, but like the bodice's waist, it is held in place with long tie ends that wrap all the way around.  For your two dresses, how about if I secure your skirts' waistbands with inconspicuous buttons or hooks, rather than ties?  The bodices will still have ties, but maybe skip them on the skirts?  I have been wearing my dark blue prototype for a few hours already today and I do wish, now that I have been feeling the dress for a while, that there were less tie-end fabric encircling my waist.

I cut out both of your dresses this morning.  I had enough of both fabrics that I was able not only to cut the front panels to allow for more overlap (if you want yours to have more overlap than my prototype, that is) but also to allow for the front panels of both of your skirts to be self-lined.  They will be more opaque that way, and will drape more nicely.

The sleeves on your dresses could be 20" long for the bracelet length look we discussed.  I was able to cut your blue and gold knit sleeves even longer than that, though, just in case you may want the sleeves on the blue and gold dress to extend all the way over your wrist bone.

Let's discuss by email any of these matters and any other ideas and visions we may develop for your two Two-Piece Dresses.  I look forward to hearing from you!

having lots of fun,