The 254

Kattya Scott

By Kevin Tankersley

Made by Hand

Kattya Scott wanted to make her own wedding dress. She had the skills, after all, having learned how to sew as a child growing up in Costa Rica. But she didn’t want her wedding dress to look like a typical wedding dress. She wanted to repurpose it after the day of her nuptials — to have a dress suitable for a cocktail party or gallery opening.

“I don’t believe in using one thing only for one day, because I come from a place that we didn’t have anything at all,” she said. “If a plant is getting dry. I try to save it. My garden is made of only plants that I kind of steal from places that I go, or I tried to rescue. And I did that too with my clothes. I try to rescue them and use them as much as I can.”

When they were engaged, Scott’s husband-to-be, Alan, gave her a dress form — a sort of mannequin — that was customized to her measurements, and she used that to design the dress, which was inspired by a Chanel dress from the 1930s. It was her biggest project to date. She was nervous cutting the fabric, sewed the dress by hand, and wore it to her wedding in 2006. Now, it fits her daughter, “and she looks like a goddess in it,” Scott said.

“And so, to me, that’s lovely — to give a second chance to things.”

Owning that form was a game-changer, Scott said.

“It never ended. I started making everything that came in my head once we got married, things for the kids, things for myself,” she said.

Scott even created a line of workout underwear for women, but couldn’t find a manufacturer that met her standards, so she did all the work herself.

“Hours and hours, the same color, the same thing, over and over like a machine,” she said. “After a while, I dropped it and I only do it for my daughter and myself or friends.”

The bulk of what Scott designs now are costumes for ballet studios, a couple of them in California and others in Utah and Oklahoma.

Scott moved from Costa Rica to California when she was in college. She had planned to stay for less than a year to work on her English skills to help her with a college course.

“Then I saw the possibilities of this country,” she said. “And I said, ‘If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere in the world,’ because it’s tough. Being away from your family, your country, your culture and everything else. And still, if you make it, that is that is something, so I decided to give it a try.”

She worked as a nanny for some music industry executives for several years. Wanting to do something more creative, she began a side business where she made pillows and jackets and decorated shoes with crystals.

“That was a fad in the early 2000s,” she said.

She began designing ballet costumes when her children were young dancers themselves nd still creates to this day.

A Story to Tell

The beautiful ballet costumes designed and sewn by Kattya Scott — as well as her wedding dress — can be seen on her Instagram page, KattyaScottCostumes. Scott and her husband Alan moved from California to Robinson a couple of years ago and are about to open Washington Gallery at 715 Washington Avenue, a gallery that has “something for everyone,” its website says, including some clay wall hangings by Kattya as well as a space to display works by young artists.

Kattya and Alan are parents to 16-year-old James and 14-year-old Sophia.