Working hard to keep an old trade alive in Terre Haute


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Attention to detail; it’s a quality that’s pretty hard to find in today’s hustle and bustle.

But one shop in Terre Haute is a bit of a throwback.

If a stitch in time can save you nine then a seamstress in this day and age may have all the time in world. Needle and thread, beading, measuring… it’s beauty in fabric.

A flare for style that just might be going out of style.

“Young girls just don’t get into this anymore,” explained Linda Strusty, seamstress.

But here at Linda’s shop, the needles are going and the fabric of tradition is strong.

“We’re in a position where we can get so much done because I’ve got it down to a science how to do it.”

Decades of experience right here in Terre Haute. Not many can do what do what she does anymore, and even fewer have a business.

“There’s a big need for it but I don’t know who wants to get in to it,” Linda said.

But, we did find someone else who’s in to it; a seamstress who saw a problem.

“Here nobody sews…” And that is a pretty foreign concept for Kalina Shipman. “Back home in Bulgaria, every woman can put a button on.”

And when we say foreign, we mean it.

“Here we can see a customer with a pair of shorts and a button, which kind of surprised me because it’s just a button.”

She grew up in Bulgaria where she learned the craft very young.

“I remember when I was a little kid, my dad brought me a little sewing machine, that was a plastic, for a little kid, but it worked! So I started making clothes for my dolls and I loved it!”

She got work in a few factories there and that’s when another type of love with an American, brought her to the states.

When she got here, she wanted to fix Terre Haute’s sewing problem. So she opened a shop and found a common thread to help.

Seamstress to seamstress…

“I worked with a lot of girls. At one point I had seven people work for me and I said she’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever seen,” – said.

Together they make a perfect pattern, designed on two continents.

“I am the owner, she is the boss and that’s the truth. I’m not joking!”

They’re keeping a time honored tradition in fashion and they hope they can teach more in the future.

“I would like to grow a little bit more if we find someone to help us…”

K & A Alterations is located at 634 E Davis Dr in Terre Haute and their phone number is (812) 229-7861.

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