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FREDERICKTOWN — Clients of WenLi’s Sewing Center at 159 N. Main St. in Fredericktown have offered some glowing feedback to the sewing, alterations and overall seamstress skills that WenLi Phillips has brought to town since her business opened nearly a year ago. That occurred around Christmas time.
“Business is getting better and I am very thankful,” said WenLi, the lone employee at her sewing center.
WenLi, married to Keith Phillips, is from Hong Kong originally, and moved to the United States about four years ago. They reside in Knox County near Fredericktown, where their son, Timmy, 11, attends elementary school. WenLi offered that while wedding dresses and prom dresses — including original designs made with some direction from customers — are two of her preferred specialties, she can do every type of stitching, sewing and alternations to garments and fabrics. And that is the case whether by hand or machine. To emphasize her point, she recently worked on a red-colored robe made of a heavy, shimmering outer fabric and soft inner fabric, the kind an extroverted singer would wear on stage. It has a fur-like frill around the outside and even includes a cape. Most of the clothes she repairs are more commonly styled pants, shirts, dresses and skirts.
“There isn’t one person who has said they’re not happy with the work she has done,” said Bill Van Nostrand, owner of Aunt Ruth’s Attic and WenLi’s shop’s next-door neighbor on North Main Street. “She does an absolutely wonderful job with her sewing and alterations.”
Village resident Sandy Erick also spoke highly of WenLi’s seamstress skills, offering that she is one of the few people in the entire area who does such fine thread work. People from as far away as Sunbury have come for clothing repairs to the sewing studio, and Erick credited WenLi with having real creativity in her “solutions” to clothing challenges. For instance, those ideas can be as simple as sewing a ruffle pattern of fabric to the bottom of a prom dress that’s too short, or putting a sturdy band under a hat so it would fit on her husband Ed’s head a bit more tightly.
“That way it wouldn’t blow away in the wind again,” she laughed.
WenLi offered that while Fredericktown is much different than the incredibly rapid pace of Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle, she has made the adjustment to small-village American life — and “I like it.”
WenLi Sewing Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday by appointment only. To reach WenLi, call (614) 420-4548 or visit: www.wenlisewingstudio.com.