Follow by Email

Monday, December 3, 2018

Glad Legacy

Ever had this convo?

Mother: "Oh look sweetie, your grandmother's wool skirts! They'll fit you perfectly! She'd be sooo happy to know that you'll wear them now. How speeecial! Try them on!"

Daughter: "Oh. (gulp, eye roll) How ... nice."

I have. Sometimes what's precious to one generation, is truthfully only precious to that one generation.

A client recently brought us three wool skirts made from the family tartan design. After a bit of cutting and sewing, these skirts emerged as Christmas stockings. A charming re-purposing of a legacy gift! (For the record, this client's wool intolerance is the real reason behind the re-purposing of the skirts.)

At the studio today, we're thinking about all kinds of re-purposing possibilities.

A childhood blankie into a pillow?

A moth holed linen table cloth into everyday napkins?

Silk handkerchiefs into a sassy halter-top?

An old wool jacket into a stylish baseball cap?

A doily into a sexy bikini?

What can we help you re-imagine?

See our Etsy Shop at Kathleen Temple, Tailor 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Then something happened

one + one = three

Really? Yes, we are professional tailors and we know math. Garment math. Seriously, it's a thing.

The story begins with two identical pairs of men’s dependable, hard-working pocket pants. 

After years of faithful service, a blotchy blue stain appeared. The knees were worn. Repeated hot washing and drying resulted in a bit of shrinkage. The owner cast them into the "give-away" bin.


The pants had been washed and worn into a such a comfortable state of being ...

Then something happened. 

With a bit of addition and subtraction, the two pair of straight legged men's pants became one woman’s casual A-line skirt, with a touch of elastic to snug in the waist, and a front slit with matching topstitching.

"pocket" bags

And two playful shoulder bags for a couple of stylish school girls. 

Thankfully, advanced math wasn't necessary. But this is proof that just about anything can be recycled into a new life.

(No pockets were harmed in the transformation of these pants. In fact, almost everything from the original pants was used in the skirt and shoulder bags, or will be reused in other projects. Reuse, recycle, reduce ...)

What’s in your give-away bin?

Let us help you with some garment math!

See our Etsy Shop at Kathleen Temple, Tailor 

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