Business

Seamstress/tailor Lynn Beheler creates new items, repairs old ones

By Kathy DeLucas
For The Taos News
Posted 12/5/18

Her work has ranged from teepees to custom men's suits and beautiful wedding gowns. She also adjusts the fit of vintage jeans and other sentimental clothing for clientele.

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Business

Seamstress/tailor Lynn Beheler creates new items, repairs old ones

Posted

She arrived in 1990, hired by the Taos Ski Valley to work in their sportswear shop, and planned to stay for one ski season.

Lynn Beheler, owner of A Stitch in Time, still does sewing for the sportswear shop, but the one season soon turned into 28.

Growing up in Wisconsin, she learned to sew because her family often didn't have the means to afford the clothing she wanted to wear. In high school, she made all her friends' prom dresses. In college she sewed costumes for the theater groups.

While studying art restoration and preservation in graduate school, a friend mentioned she would love Taos because she loved to ski and there was lots of art.

Locally, her work has ranged from teepees to custom men's suits and beautiful wedding gowns. She also adjusts the fit of vintage jeans and other sentimental clothing for clientele. What she won't do is upholstery or custom drapery. It requires too much office space. The nearly 600-square-foot room where she sews now is filled with Beheler's passion, repairing and creating client memories.

Some of her work is not glamorous. She rips elastic from a 50-year-old shirt, for a customer who had it in college and is emotionally attached to the item.

"A lot of people bring me things that have a lot of sentimental value, like these were the jeans I wore in college, and everyone has favorites so it all works out," she says. "I am just fascinated with textiles."

She says she feels honored to work on items that people are attached to.

"I feel very honored that customers trust me to fix their grandmother's quilt or their grandmother's coat that they're wearing," she said.

She makes wedding dresses and alters prom dresses all year long.

"The wedding dresses are always fun," she said. For the last two years, she's customized and sewn a wedding gown a month.

"Fitting people is actually a pretty difficult thing to do," she explains. "I think it's one of those lost arts."

Beheler's customers are not only from the Taos area.

"I have customers from Canada, and a person from Oklahoma just sent me some work because they just can't find someone to do it," Beheler says.

Her repair work ranges from sewing on buttons to replacing zippers. Some of her best customers are local Realtors who climb over barbed wire fences, tearing their designer clothes.

Beheler asks the Realtors if they were showing property.

She says they reply with, "Yes, how did you know?"

"It's never boring, it's never the same thing," she says.

One of the best jobs she had was repairing a kite for a professional kite flyer that teaches kiteboarding in the Caribbean. Hearing of the shop through a friend, the man brought the dragon kite in for repairs. Because of the kite's size, she had to spread it on the balcony outside to repair it.

Beheler is uncomfortable with being in the spotlight, but clearly her customers love her, demonstrated by the amount of work in her workspace. Located on the second floor in the John Dunn House shops, in a part of the building that was John Dunn's barn, the store has its quirks and even a ghost or two.

"Everyone knows this door," Beheler says. "In the summer you have to turn the doorknob to the left to get in, in the winter you have to turn it to the right. I just tell everyone it's John Dunn's ghost."

She frequently hears footsteps coming up the wooden staircase that leads to the store, but there's no one there. After 28 years in that space, she's accepted the friendly spirit as one of the occupants of the old building. She hopes to stay in business for 28 more, but says she'll probably need stronger glasses.

A Stitch in Time is located at 120-P Bent Street in the John Dunn House shops.

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