class projects

Student innovators are my inspiration! 4

img_5263As a freshman design student, my Textiles professor started our first day of class by bleakly stating that none of us would develop anything new… It’s all been done before, she boldly stated. She believed there had been nothing new in fashion since the Dior silhouette. It wasn’t until I transferred to my alma mater that I realized the possibilities – the open doors. Having access to textile printing machines, 3D printers, pattern design software, and embroidery machines was all new to me. And all of it was new technology!

Every week I am lucky enough to work with sewers of different skill levels and ages. I’m consistently reminded that innovation still exists. I regularly work with a young girl who is particularly inspired by Manga and comics. She is currently bringing to life a design that began on her computer screen. Another student I work with, a high schooler, will be holding his second fashion show at school this year. He has designed, sewn, and created 100% of the garments all on his own. He even learned how to mix music for the runway and pooled his friends to be models for his show. Yet another, much younger sewer, comes to my studio with an idea every time I see her. Together, we bring it to life! I’ll tell you much more about these students in future blog posts!

Often while we work I’ll ask them what they are doing after high school or college. Many of them know right away what their plans are, while some are more hesitant and unsure of what the future will hold. Some of them are unquestionably leaning towards careers in fashion, while others are hoping to sew and create as a hobby while working in other industries. I always encourage them to experiment with things while they are at this level of learning. It’s a great time to try new things without the pressure of having to make money or having an employer demanding that you produce or design specific pieces.

For the students that are considering fashion design or a job in the fashion industry, it’s hard to realize the possibilities – especially with all of the new developments in technology and textiles. When we think ‘fashion design careers,’ we think of designers sketching away on croquis and flats in a busy workroom or office, a room full of sewers on huge commercial machines, or a huge warehouse stocked with bolts and bolts of fabric. But what if fashion were more personal? More accessible? Downloadable?!

In this TED Talk you can learn about how Danit Peleg made her senior collection with the use of a 3D printer in her own living room. I especially enjoyed hearing her talk about her process. As with sewing and physical design, there was much trial and error as she sourced her materials and learned about new ones.

I don’t think that in the early 2000’s any of us saw the possibilities that technology brought to fashion. I wonder what that Textile professor would say now?



What I’m wearing.

IMG_0988If you’ve stopped into the shop lately you’ll see I’m sporting a new accessory! Camille is quite comfortable riding along all day in her sling or carrier while I sew and teach. It really frees up my hands so that I can still get some work done while she sleeps and enjoys some snuggles! There are lots of different ways to “wear” a baby – yes, baby wearing is a thing. I’ve been using my Moby Wrap, which I totally love. However, it does tend to get pretty hot with that huge piece of thick fabric wrapped around your body several times!

Many of my friends swear by the good ‘ole ring sling so I decided to give it a try. First step… Make one! Don’t you find that you hate to buy anything that you can make? And why not make it when you have such fun fabrics right at your fingertips! Seriously, the hardest part about making this sling was choosing the fabric and rings. So I made my first one and I love it! After teaching a small group how to make the ring sling, I discovered some ways that I would change the process and add some pockets or make the sling reversible.

I’ve added this class to the calendar for October 29th from 1-3pm. The class is $55 and includes your supplies (2 1/2 yards of your favorite fabric and coordinating aluminum rings). In one afternoon you can complete a great gift or valuable tool to keep for yourself and your little one! Once you make one you won’t be able to stop!


Applique Workshop

Have you noticed how a simple applique can add so much to a plain old tee ?  Or, how personal you can makes gifts such as onesies, napkin sets or a pillowcase with a simple initial or name applique?

Browsing Pinterest gave me so many ideas for our upcoming workshop!  How about wall art?  Applique your original artwork to an artist canvas and see how it lights up a child’s room!    Oh, yes, and with our newly arrived chevrons they are soooo trendy!  Learn lots of helpful tips on how to adjust your machine, what stitches work best, and get tons of ideas for yourself and holiday gifting!  Applique Basics, Thursday, Nov 8, 6-9pm  $50.  Bring a couple garments or items to work with, applique supplies included.  Please call ahead to register, 216-220-4808.




One a day

There are a few ‘good’ habits I am trying to adopt this year.

I won’t tell you all of them because I don’t want you to point and laugh when I (undoubtedly) am unable to commit to them for good.

One thing that I have been having fun with is my sketchbook. It has been really fun and inspiring to take a few minutes everyday to sketch something new. Sometimes I only have time for a quickie, but many times I’m able to sit down for longer. This happens mostly when I am lucky enough to work with one of my talented students on their croquis book or presentations. Here are some samples from my book. I hope you enjoy them and find some time today to doodle, too!


Sewing for your kiddies class! 3

For a long time now I’ve been promising a good number of you that I’d be doing some sewing for toddlers classes and kids clothes classes. We really love sewing for the little buggers. It is so simple and really uses very little fabric. You can really do a lot of repurposing when sewing for smaller kids, too.

So are you ready? In April we’ll be having two great classes. I’ve been in touch with a fantastic designer that I absolutely love! Figgy’s Patterns are great! It is so hard to find patterns for boys that are modern and fun without being over detailed and difficult to sew. Shelly really made it easy to sew cool, fun, and easy clothes for your little guys. The patterns we’ll be working from this month are certainly unisex and suitable for beginner sewers!

I’ve been going crazy for the Dapper’s. Elastic waistband pants are great for kids but I hate that they always end up looking too homemade. These pants are great – flat front, pockets, elastic in the back! Rex loves wearing his – your kids will too!

The other class we’ve got coming up is the Tee for Two. This is a raglan tee shirt for boys and girls. The girls’ design has a little gathering under the neckband – adorable! Of course, I left the frills off of Rex’s and instead opted for a repurposed look for him. We’ve always found it challenging to find nice knit fabrics (don’t worry – we’re working on that) so I used two tees that were too small for my older kids to make one for Rex! I love the results! Check him out in this action shot – by the way, the hat is also made by mommy – it’s from One Yard Wonders!

Tee for Two April 9th, 11am – 2pm, $35 (supply list for class)

Dapper Dillingers April 13th, 6 – 9pm, $35 (supply list for class)


Megan is a sewing machine…

…For real, this girl is on fire! Megan, 12, started sewing at Stitch Cleveland over the summer. Religiously, twice a week, Megan came in to work on her latest creation. She started off the summer as a very beginner sewer. She ended the summer as a seasoned professional, thinking about starting her own business!

Megan started off making pillows and moved on to purses and bags. Her most recent project is the Amy Butler raincoat. Among her list of completed projects you’ll find the Sophia Carry-All, the Field Tote, the Gumdrop Pillow, the Nappy Bag, and several Midwest Mod Pillows! Currently she is working on a halloween costume for her younger brother… talented and generous!

Girls’ Night Out

You know you need one! For the last two month’s we’ve been having PJ Parties at Stitch. These usually include sewing pajama pants, pizza, dancing, lots of sugar consumption, and more sewing. It is a blast to get together with other sewers in the area and make new friends!

This month we are hosting a Girls’ Night Out… September 17 from 6 – 9pm. We’ll be making pajama pants and perhaps enjoying a few beverages of the adult variety… so this time it’s grown-ups only. Class is $45 and you’ll need to register ahead of time to reserve a space. This class is open to beginners and advanced students… It’s a great opportunity to meet some other like-minded individuals and enjoy some relaxing and fun sewing time!

You’ll leave the party with a completed pair of PJ pants that you can wear around your friends and make them jeal.

As with any of our classes, if you do not have a machine you can lease one from our collection to work on during class!

Private Sewing Parties 1

Do your friends sew, too? Wouldn’t you love to spend an afternoon together with lots of space to cut and sew…and have the guidance of an experienced seamster to help you along, too?

Maybe you’ve always wanted to make an Amy Butler bag, but were unsure of reading the directions?

How much fabric to get?

How to cut out the pieces?

Well, that’s exactly what a group of 12 friends did at Stitch last weekend.  They brought their machines, fabrics, patterns and supplies and had a great afternoon laughing, sewing and actually learning, too!   A Private Sewing Party just for your friends-what a great idea!!  We have the space, you have the friends, perfect!

SEWING + FRIENDS = FUN at Stitch Cleveland

Our Tuesday After School seamsters just completed their first project.  Here they are showing off their creations.


They are so much fun and amazing with their enthusiasm.   On their first project, they have learned how to channel quilt, insert a zipper and use the Fasturn tool for making the zipper pull.  As well as straight stitching practice and using the zigzag stitch on their machines.

They  have a very long a list of projects they want to make, including bean bag chairs, clothing, American Girl Doll clothes, pillows, fleece mittens  & hats,  and even a quilt.  Yay for sewing!

Call Stitch to set up a Sewing Club with your friends!

Handmade for the boys

DSCN1028Every year I like to make something for each member of my family. It’s easy to make something for the ladies… purses, eyemasks, bracelets, and other pretty stuff. But when it comes to the men I struggle to find ideas. I over the years I’ve relied on the steady backup… pajama pants. Everyone loves them. Everyone wears them. This year I’ve come up with some other ideas for you:

DSCN1032Pillows are a great item for guys. Make them out of old tee shirts commemorating their favorite concert, a vacation spot, or just that ugly tee that you’ve trying to get him to stop wearing. You can blend it into your decor by pairing it with some fun fabric, piping, or trim!

Scarves are always a plus in our house. Knit, sewn, or made of old sweaters or tee shirts and backed with flannel or fleece. A big favorite in our house is the Bull S*** Scarf handmade by Grandma Honey. Look closely – this scarf has the words Bull S*** knit into the motif. Everyone in our family has one and it is a great conversation piece. Find these at Stitch this month for $25.


DSCN1034Another great gift idea for the guy who has everything… a cool handmade stocking stuffed with essentials! He’ll appreciate a sock full of candy, toiletries, or gift cards!

Some other gift ideas we’ve been working up for the little elves on our lists:

* sock monkeys made from socks from his favorite team colors

* reusable bags made from cool fabrics

* zippered toiletry bag for traveling

* duct tape wallet or billfold made from tee shirt or cool fabric

* ties

* Superman cape and breifs (sweet!)

* plushies made to look like him, you, the family….

* pillowcases

* throw quilts (like our Easy Peasy) made from tee shirts and cool fabric

Party Time!

3867523390_b9eeec7014Hi all! We know it’s been a long time since our last post and we’ve been trying so hard to keep you all updated. We’ve been staying busy planning our holiday class schedule, ordering some new products, and organizing parties!

What better way to celebrate with friends then to invite them all to join you in learning something new? One of our star pupils, E, is planning a stupendous birthday gathering for herself and four friends. They’ll be making tote bags to carry at school. You don’t have to be a student already to plan an event or party. We’re happy to help you find something that all of your friends will be excited to create! Coin purses (seen here) are a great group sewing project.

Draping is so fun!

Today at Stitch Cleveland, the afternoon was spent draping a fabulous design by a young designer we are sure you will see a lot of in the future!

L has completed a croquis book this summer for ‘homework’ and has chosen five outfits to present in a portfolio! From the five, L and Megan have decided to make a few of their favorites. Well, L will do most of the work…


The first steps came today. Muslin was draped and pinned to shape the fitted top that will have boning, lining, and an inner support structure. L has thought out every detail with Megan’s help… thread color and topstitching, zipper application, and hand sewn details. We can’t wait to see the final products. Wait until you see the skirt that goes with this top!

This photo shows her work in progress. If you’re thinking…

“gee wiz… that looks great, I could never do that!”

… you are so wrong! L is 13 and came to Stitch Cleveland as a beginner sewer. She has been practicing and working hard on her own as well as with us in the shop.

Ready to start something fun like this? Stop in!

Soft Basket workshop

Another great project using channel quilting.  Great for organizing your projects or the kids toys, and they make great gift baskets, too!  Join us for this fun class where you’ll learn how to insert a round bottom and how to make different size baskets, too. Saturday morning, August 15th, 9am-noon.

I made this one for a baby shower, and stuffed it with disposable diapers.  Wouldn’t this also make a great gift for a new knitter, add some yarn and a pattern-she’ll love it!


Stop next door at Blackbird Baking Company for a scone and coffee on your way in, mmmm!

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