Sewing Salon prepares unique outfits


Mackenzie Freund

Kathy Jenkins, owner ofthe Sewing Salon off the square, poses with a mannequin that displays one of the tuxedos she rents.

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Every day brings another chance of a unique project coming through the door of the Sewing Salon right off the Charleston Square.

Some of these unique projects sometimes require uncommon materials for them to be completed.

Kathy Jenkins, the owner of the Sewing Salon at 718 Jackson Ave., said that every day her and her staff’s talents get tested with the different projects that come through the door.

“No two days are alike up here,” Jenkins said. “You never know what a day is going to bring.”

Jenkins said she has had some projects come through her salon recently that most people would not normally see, including a customer recently with his blind Chihuahua and a device intended to help the dog move around. The customer had asked Jenkins to help modify the device for the dog.

The Sewing Salon team recently worked on a princess costume for a woman who had planned a trip to Disney with her family.

“We took weed wacker string and added it to the bottom of the skirt to give it a coiled effect, so the skirt would look like a cloud when you got done with it,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said she chose that string because it was a stiff plastic material that could be used for the look of the dress.

She has worked on different parts of wedding dresses, whether it is the neckline or the dress itself, and she said she tries to focus, not just on the fit of the dress, but making the dresses unique to each individual.

Jenkins said she altered an heirloom dress that was brought to her in the beginning of the summer. The gown came in 10 inches too short and from there she and her staff went and made it for the bride.

“There was a sheer lace panel we used to create a peak-a-boo back,” Jenkins said. “The backing was removed so you could see through the netting, and it added 10 inches to the gown.”

She said if something can be done with a needle and thread, there is a chance that it has been attempted at the salon.

She has even resewn the interior of a convertible to keep the window in place.

“There was a stitching that went around the plastic that had deteriorated in a small corner, so we did it by hand,” Jenkins said.

The Sewing Salon has been in Charleston for around 65 years since the original owners opened the store, Jenkins said.

She took over the store from her mother in the fall of 1990. Jenkins mother had taken the store over in the early 1970s.

Jenkins said she needed a place where she could access services for her daughter, who is developmentally disabled.

Her daughter is able to be at the Sewing Salon every day watching TV or interacting with customers she knows.

“A lot of people have a home-based business,” Jenkins said. “This is a business-based home.”

Jenkins said her business is a place where the women help each other out, especially when it comes to children.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]