Originally from Ville Platte, Louisiana, Kati Villien has been sewing since she was a young girl. Her mother introduced her to sewing when she was only five years old. She began by making clothes for her Barbie doll using only her mother's discarded scraps of fabric. Today, Kati makes period costumes for Vermilionville employees. As Kati says, "we can't buy our clothes at the mall because we're 150 plus years out of style." With a focus on remaining true to the village's historical periods, Kati constructs garments using time-appropriate materials and patterns. Additionally, she demonstrates use of the foot treadle sewing machine for visitors to Vermilionville.
Kati also demonstrates crewel embroidery and needlework, which she began doing when she was ten years old. Kati enjoys crafts of all kinds and believes in the Cajun way of making do with what you have. She believes that the best gifts are the ones people make themselves. Kati delights in sharing knowledge and currently teaches her granddaughter how to sew.
Kati's employment at Vermilionville has allowed her to reconnect with her roots after living in Virginia for fourteen years, and it has given her a better understanding of her father, who, like many others in the area, had to stop speaking French when he first went to school. Kati enjoys seeing what life would have been like in the past and is excited to be a part of history that can be seen and not just read about. She loves talking with Vermilionville visitors and believes that there is something she can learn from each of them.