Stitch is everything you love about sewing with nothing that you don't. I'm speaking to you as a wannabe crafter without much patience for figuring stuff out, cutting in a straight line, or follow-through. Be prepared, I'm going to gush about this adorable sewing room gone wild. It's what my husband would call “a hacker space for fabric”.
I went to Stitch with a group of girlfriends, a huge pile of fabric I acquired by cutting the bottoms of my Ikea curtains, and a loose vision for making Jedi robes and/or a Mummy costume.
Founders Sage and Anne created Stitch to be your sewing room away from home like if your favorite auntie was always around to help you when you got stuck! They say, “Our studio is inspired by the comfort of a Southern sun room and is fitted with professional sewing equipment: embroidery machines, sewing machines, sergers, coverstitch machines, a large cutting table, rotary cutters, dressmaker's shears, and irons and boards. We have a library of sewing books and patterns and a large selection of machine embroidery designs to share.”
In addition to ladies night out, Stitch also offers private parties, open sew (currently $10/hour or $40/day), adult workshops, youth classes and camps, after-school programs, and one-on-one lessons. Check the Stitch Sewing Lab website for current hours and rates.
Let me tell you what I loved:
- Sage and Anne looked up Jedi pictures online and found a suitable pattern (!!)
- Anne helped me cut out the pattern. She told me in the best possible way, “I'll cut the first sleeve and you cut the next three” to make sure I was on the right track.
- Sharp rollers and wide open cutting surfaces so you're not slicing your own carpet or floor.
- Rows of high-end machines already threaded.
- Hot iron ready to go for pressing seams, patterns, and fabric.
- Serger — if you've never used one of these machines, it is worth the trip alone to check it out. A serger finishes rough edges or attaches two pieces of fabric while also trimming away the sloppy uneven fabric from my quick-and-dirty pattern cutting. OMG, so fun. And did I mention I didn't have to thread it?!
- Help when I needed it. After assisting me to source a pattern, cut correctly, and serge blissfully, the ladies also guided my hand and corrected my mistakes. In real life at home, I just shout “Help!” out to nobody and ignore my project until my Mother in Law visits.
- Stacks and jars of pretty fabric, buttons, doodads, zippers, and whatnot. I will never abandon a project again because I forgot to buy elastic.
Let me tell you what was missing AKA the reasons I never sew at home despite having a sewing machine and an iron:
- Frustration of not remembering how my machine works
- Confusion about what goes where in lining up seams, working with the pattern, anything at all
- Fear about messing up my project
I would love to return with either of my older sons to make Christmas stockings, cloth napkins, embroider Sawyer's name on a towel (they have a machine for that too!), or join a class.
Stitch Sewing Lab is on Gilman Street in Berkeley just east of the train tracks. There is a parking lot.
704 Gilman St, Berkeley, CA, 94710
Call 459-9647 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What would you sew if you could make anything?
[All photos: Heather Flett]