Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m Karlie Theuerkauf and I recently just started my sewing journey. I would consider myself to be a “confident” beginner as I’m new to the garment-making world but I’m definitely up for a sewing challenge! I recently got married in Alaska! My husband is a fifth generation farmer and as you can imagine, I have a lot of alone time! By night, I work at our local hospital as a registered respiratory therapist. Most of the patients I work with are in the hospital due to diseases like COPD, though there’s many different types of diseases we also care for. There’s many different aspects to my job, which is nice because it’s always interesting and keeps me on my toes. Respiratory therapists deliver nebulizer breathing treatments, work with CPAP machines to help people with sleep apnea, manage life support machines such as ventilators, place people on BIPAP machines to assist in their breathing during a difficult time, run tests that help diagnose COPD and assess patient’s lung function, work with premature babies whose lungs aren’t fully developed..etc. There’s such a variety in my field and I love that. I cover anywhere from the med surg floor to the ICU and ER to OB, in the hospital. There are many fulfilling moments in my job but it definitely can we overwhelming and stressful, so it’s really important to me to do something I love in my spare time to relieve stress and take care of my mental health. Other than sewing, my other favorite hobbies include knitting, calligraphy, and CrossFit. I feel so free when I’m able to create and it genuinely makes me so happy to see the end result of something I was able to create with my hands.
Why do you sew?
Wow, there’s a lot of different reasons I began sewing. One way I became interested in sewing garments was when I watched season 15 of Project Runway. I was so inspired by what (winner) Erin Robertson was creating and I loved her style so much and just the way she styled, embellished, and created clothing. I’ve watched that season so many times now and it never gets old. Another big reason I pursued sewing my own clothing was due to the lack of confidence I found when I wore store bought clothing. Nothing is more frustrating than trying on clothing that doesn’t make you feel confident in your skin. These were just clothes that absolutely were not made for my body style and I really started looking at my body in a negative way. Once I started taking sewing more seriously and made garments, there was such a difference in the way I felt in clothing. There was a freedom to create something unique and creative and something that fit my body and shape. Clothing that was personalized for me. I also started educating myself more on the consequences of fast fashion and how the industry effects workers and their families and the impact it makes on our planet. I definitely became more conscious of buying thrifted, buying sustainable clothing, and making my own clothing.
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
It kind of depends on my mood. Most days I have The Office playing in the background. I’ve seen it multiple times so it’s something I don’t have to pay attention to if I’m trying to concentrate. Other times I’m either listening to music or a podcast. My music choices really vary everyday.. I literally like such a variety of music. I’ve really been loving “Woah, that’s good” podcast by Sadie Robertson otherwise The Office Ladies podcast and The Sleeping at Last podcast are really great!
As a child, what was your first encounter and memory of beauty?
Hm. I guess my first memory of beauty would be just of the world around me. I think what God has created is so magnificent and sometimes I don’t feel even worthy to see such incredible creation! One thing I’m often in awe of is how well I can see the stars in the sky at night at our house. It’s literally one of the most beautiful things and I feel sad for people who can’t see them to the extent that I’m blessed to.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
My husband and I live in the Midwest in the upper half of Michigan. Many people forget that there’s an upper peninsula to Michigan. We’re about an hour north of Green Bay, WI. Our hometown is very… flat. Most days I would say it’s super boring and I often get uninspired but I try to remind myself how beautiful it truly can be. I love that we have all four seasons. We really do have the perfect summers and you cannot beat the fall in Michigan. The leaves are so beautiful. Winters can be totally harsh and I’m trying my hardest to learn to love it as I get older.
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
I’ve been trying to read a lot more on my down time and I recently read the book The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I LOVED this book! It’s about four young siblings who go to see a fortune teller to hear the date of their death. It goes through following each sibling as they now have this information and just shows how they live their lives now knowing when they may or may not die. It sounds so silly but it really made me wonder if I would live differently knowing my date of death.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
I was such a collage making kid. I would sit for hours and flip through magazines, cutting out pictures and words, and gluing them to pages. I don’t know if I really had a rhyme or reason to what I was cutting out but I remember that for a while, I loved to make collages.
Who are your muses and inspiration?
There are so many. I am hugely inspired by the sewing community on instagram. There are so many creative women and men on that social platform and I’m constantly shook at how talented people are! I would say some of my biggest inspirations come from the places I travel. I love to travel and I’m constantly inspired by how people style and dress in different areas of the world or even in our country. I would say that I’m mostly inspired by Amsterdam as it’s one of my favorite places I’ve ever traveled to. I love how minimal and clean looking their fashion is and how much versatility that can bring to a wardrobe. But overall, I’m not quite sure if I have a specific style or “muse”. It changes as I change.
Do you have a community of crafters/ makers around you or do you find you are on your own?
There’s a couple of women I confide in my area that I look to when I’m creating or have questions. It’s nice to have a couple local friends that share the same interests but I do find myself reaching out to social media a lot.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
It’s really important to me to create with my hands. It’s a gift I feel like God has given and trusted me with and I just really love that feeling of finishing a project that you created. It’s something I take a lot of pride in. Not only does it help give me confidence, it also keeps me sane!
What does success mean to you?
This is a tough question! I think I’ve had different definitions of success during different times in my life. But as I’ve grown up, success to me is just being happy and being with family and the people you love.
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I have chosen the Cambria Duster by Friday Pattern Company because it has been on my list for SO long and I thought it would be a great piece to add to my fall wardrobe! It is a great pattern and the instructions are really easy to follow!