Karen Vehlwald

Sewist Spotlight: Meet Karen

How long have you been sewing?


I’ve been sewing my whole life, my mom sewed and she used to sew children’s clothes for Stix and I was little and she had me basting things to keep me busy, mending socks.


How did you learn to sew?


My mother taught me.


What was the first thing you remember sewing?


I was in grade school and I would make things. High school, I made most of my clothes.


What do you like to sew?


Little girls clothes with lots of ruffles, girly girl.


Favorite type of fabric, any you hate?


Cotton. Hates fabric that ravels!


What kind of sewing machine do you have?  Any other machines like serger, etc.


Lots of Baby lock, I do have 2 Bernina’s and I don’t like them. My mom bought me one years ago at Eunice Farmer and it was nothing but trouble. I have 2 serger’s, the Imagine and the Evolve and I do keep one with black thread and one with white. I had bought one for my daughter while we were in business, that’s why we have two and she doesn’t have time to sew anymore so I took it home. My embroidery machine is also a sewing machine. Actually I own another embroidery/sewing machine but it is at my daughter’s house. I also have the Decorator’s Choice and I just got the Soprano. I also have a needle punch machine – you decorate with it. I also have the Babylock 9 that I take to my daughter’s cabin when I go there for a few days.


What do you make that you are most proud of?


Little girls dresses that sold for $250


How long have you been a Guild member?


I’ve been twice, I moved, and it’s been a long time. I was a member for awhile and then there was no place to go and then later on I joined the South County group and at the time, we met at the library


Biggest change in sewing over the years?


Not paying attention to details; exposed zippers, not hemming knit skirts, to me it looks sloppy.


What about the change in fabrics?


I miss some of the old fabrics. I can’t find a decent body weight in fabric, everything is knits. What they call Dotted Swiss nowadays is not real Dotted Swiss. They used to have what they called Kettlecloth that I used to make my girls pants out of this and it was really nice.


Best sewing tip for us?


Pre-wash your fabric. As soon as it comes into the house, I throw it downstairs to wash, then when you are ready to sew, its ready.  I learned the hard way, sometimes it shrinks maybe not much, but enough.


Is there anything about you that you would like us to know?


I like sewing because you can make things different, I don’t like wearing the clothes everybody else wears. I wish had pictures of all the clothes I made, now that I look back

I would make these clothes to put on Ebay that fit my granddaughter, she was our model. We had so much fun thinking of new ideas that were cute and we got paid big bucks for them. It was so much fun! Our clothes were selling for over $200-$300.


What sewing groups do you belong to?


The Sewing Room, Granny Sewing are 2 online groups.

Karen Vehlwald