Years ago, I was teaching a sewing class to brand-new seamstresses. It was an introductory class, and there were six women there. I gave my usual second-day-of-class pep talk, and then outlined instructions for the next project we would tackle together before sending them off to the cutting tables with their fabric to work independently while I circulated and offered individual help. It was a relaxed evening, and everyone was in good spirits and excited to try something new.
When all the other students got up and left the table, one woman remained. She sat with her hands in her lap, under the table, her head bowed low to look at them. She was very, very still. Now, I’m not terribly gifted at reading other people’s body language, but even I couldn’t miss that this was a woman exhibiting signs of distress.
I sat next to her and in my best cheerful, please-let-this-be-nothing-because-I-lack-skills-here tone, said, “What’s up?”
And she says, her voice extremely quiet and filled with tears, “It’s just that I’ve been trying for three years to have a baby and I can’t get pregnant, and I just can’t have this be one more thing I’m a failure at.”
That is heavy stuff. She was hurting, and her pain was very real and very deep. It wasn’t about sewing, but it was also about sewing. You know?
I love the planning part of sewing. Love, love, love it. Choosing the pattern, seeking out the perfect fabric–or finding a fabric, and tracking down the perfect pattern–is the STUFF. I always have eyes bigger than my stomach, and tend to make piles and PILES of folded, prewashed fabrics stacked with the pattern I’d like to pair them with.
The problem is in the execution. The planning is fun because it doesn’t require any ACTION. But as Henry Ford famously said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are GOING to do.” At some point, all those projects have got to get sewn up.
I am delighted to invite you to a workshop perfect for the crafty folks you’ll be gifting under the tree this year! The adorable Rashida Coleman-Hale of I (heart) Linen, author of I Love Patchwork, is a new resident of Atlanta, and has agreed to come down to the shop and teach a workshop making her very favorite project from her book: the Blossom Pincushion! It’s a sweet, functional project that’s suitable for any skill level. I was the very, very happy recipient of one made by Rashida herself, and I use it every single day:
Workshops meets only once: Sunday, December 12 from 1-3 pm at Whipstitch. Space is limited, and many of our workshops sell out, so sign up early! Register online or at the shop, and we’ll look forward to seeing you there! It’s the absolute perfect way to spend a December afternoon, and to make a lovely gift (even if you keep it for yourself).
P.S. Looking for today’s Advent Calendar Sew-Along post? Use the button in the right sidebar, or click here!
I arrived at the shop on Monday to find a gift bag on the counter. I asked if it was a birthday gift for Diana, our intrepid shop manager, and she informed me it was for me! Yippee!
And then I opened it. An unexpected gift is always lovely, but to find a handmade quilt, stitched with exquisite linen, using fabrics selected to coordinate with the car seat cover I made for our baby, well, that goes way above and beyond.
This tremendously thoughtful gift is from the ladies of the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild, who meet monthly at Whipstitch. It goes everywhere we go now, and I can’t even tell you how many compliments I’ve already received! Thank you SO much, ladies.
I feel so inspired by the work these ladies have done, and so humbled that they’d go to these lengths on my behalf. I’m headed right back to keep hand quilting the project I’ve been working on this week. Feeling inspired yourself? We’re adding Intro to Patchwork and Quilting to our class schedule beginning in August, and an English Paper Piecing Patchwork class in September. If modern quilts have interested you, or you’re wondering when and how to take the plunge, we’d love to see you at the shop! Not in the mood to quilt? We’re offering a Baby Gift Workshop in July, too–make a bib, a burp cloth and a receiving blanket all in one night. You, too, could make someone’s day a whole lot brighter with a handmade gift. Check out all our class listings on the Whipstitch classes page.
I am a little dizzy at how quickly January has gone by–so much is going on here at Whipstitch that I feel as though the days are racing past at an alarming rate…
As always at the end of the month, we begin to look ahead to new sewing classes and new students and new projects! February brings a few changes to our class schedule–ones that I’m super excited about. We’ve got Intro to Sewing, as always, and it’s a huge hit: the February PM class is ALL FULL, and we’ve got just a few spaces left in the February AM class right now. Still time to register, if you’re looking to join us!
We’ve also added a new Intermediate class. For years, I’ve been teaching the Intro series followed by the Patterns series, moving our students from basic skills right into working with a commercial pattern. What I’ve heard in feedback has been either that some of our students have really been intimidated by patterns and want some more experience under their belts prior to working with them, or that they’re happy to take patterns but want to continue to learn all they can through as many classes as they can get! I developed the Intermediate series just for them, and can’t wait to see all the very cool projects they create. Invisible zippers, button closures, pockets, elastic, gathers and pleats–it’s all there.
Both the Intermediate and the Patterns classes still have room in February, but not much! Feel free to sign up online, or give us a call for more details. We can’t wait to see you!
Our newest shop employee--waiting to greet you on your way in to class!
I’m heading out of town on a super fun sewing trip next week, WITHOUT MY CHILDREN. That sentence has to typed in all caps, because I can hardly believe it’s true. On the one hand, I miss them already and can’t believe I’ll be away from them for so long! On the other, as I wrote my friend the other day, I fully plan to go to the bathroom BY MYSELF and eat meals while they’re STILL HOT and watch TV WHENEVER I WANT (and no Sesame Street, either).
I have a list of things to do while I’m out, though, most of them things I’ve put off since the flood–call me naive, but I never really thought it would take this long to get these unruly ducks back in a row. Here we are, though, with the website not updated and the blog neglected and so many new fabrics to post in the shop.
In the coming days, look for:
- The Whipstitch Fabrics site to get a huge update, including all our new classes for December, January and February!
- The Whipstitch Etsy shop to get a PILE of new inventory, including Rouennieres, Happy Campers, and Authentic from Moda, all of which came in these past two weeks and have been itching to be added to the shop!
- New blog posts and updates, including the shamefully late update on our Sew-A-Thon and a much deserved post dedicated to our talented winner
- Some truly gorgeous photos of the Sewing Retreat we took to the North Georgia Mountains (gulp) nearly a month ago
- Details and photos of my trip to Ohio this week, including some tantalizing hints about what exactly I’m doing there!
I’m so excited to have the studio back up and running and have the focus and time to get back to y’all. I will go ahead and warn you now that my perfectionist side isn’t going to allow me to post images of the new space yet–I still have a couple Final Touches to add (including shopping for some new art on Etsy to grace the walls of the studio!).
Thanks for being patient with us, everyone. It’s good to be home.
P.S. We’ve added TWO December Intro to Sewing classes to the schedule, and will get you stitching away in plenty of time for holiday gifts! Check out the AM Intensive and the PM Series, and register online!
We’re OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
I can’t tell you how overwhelmingly excited this makes me. In my wildest dreams–my driving-down-the-interstate-reading-the-lotto-billboard-and-fantasizing-what-I’d-do-with-that-money dreams–I can only have ever hoped that I’d have a little fabric shop all my own. And here it is! Sooner than I’d hoped, and not at all like I’d expected. And isn’t that totally the way all the best stuff comes about??
When I started designing children’s clothing three years ago, I didn’t really know where it would take me. Somewhere deep inside, I sensed that it wasn’t design that my life held for me. When I began teaching sewing classes in Atlanta a year later, it was as though I had a flashlight that gave me an inkling of where I was headed. When the idea for this shop came about right on the heels of opening my Etsy fabric shop, that’s when the light really went on and I felt like I’d found work I can love forever and ever. Like, no more Mondays kinda work. Like, I LIVE my work (a la Martha) and would do this for free.
The space we’ve moved into is in addition to the Etsy shop, and is in a lot of ways an extension of it. It’s an idea that hasn’t really been tried before: since the shop is inside Beehive Co-op, a very cool designers’ co-op in Atlanta, we don’t have a full-time fabric cutter. The fabrics are by the yard, half yard, and fat quarter, and in bundles of the same cuts. Y’know, like an Esty shop but in real life.
Need more than a yard? Call in a special request–pick up in 24 hours at the shop, or have it shipped!
Our sewing classes are going full-force, too, and this amazing light-filled space gives me lots of room to host folks looking for community or advice or just a place to sew.
Thread! Notions! Supplies! And all IN-TOWN! For those of you not in Atlanta, you cannot possibly know how big a deal that is–the box stores, of which there are exactly TWO inside the city, do NOT want you there; and the other box store is 19 miles away, no joke. The whole idea of getting thread this close to the city center, well, let’s just say I feel funny inside when I think about it.
We have a comfy chair surrounded by the most beautiful fabrics, so come sit a spell!
Read a magazine, get inspired!
Find the perfect patterns for the perfect fabric for the perfect project you’ve been putting off.
Take a turn decorating our chalkboard, and be sure to mark your calendars for the Grand Opening on June 6th, catered by Mint Julep (you’ll DIE when you taste the mushroom pinwheels–WOW!).
Can’t wait to see each and every one of you in the shop (directions here). Geography is no excuse!
It’s simple and it’s spare, but we now have our class listings posted online! Since I’ve been in the process of upgrading the Whipstitch site and we’re nearing some level of completion on that, I got an itch to go ahead and post the upcoming class series and workshops. If you get a sec, feel free to come on over and check them out! We’d love to have you drop by.
Whipstitch Sewing Classes: hip sewing in the heart of Atlanta
We still have spaces available in our March sewing classes.
Our Intro class
covers everything from how to plug in your machine to how to install a zipper and make buttonholes, and a whole lot in between: continuous bias tape, piping, curved seams, linings, all kinds of great skills! If your focus is simple crafts and home dec, this class is the ONLY one you’ll ever need.
Our Intermediate class
is geared to help overcome the intimidation often brought about by commercial sewing patterns. We work on pattern selection, the mysteries of choosing the right size pattern for your body, deciphering instructions and pattern symbols, proper cutting and pinning technique, cheats and secrets the instructions don’t tell you to take your garment from homemade to off-the-rack to runway ready. For reals, if you want to sew clothes, this class covers it all and more.
We’ve got workshops running, too, for one- and two-night stints exploring a variety of topics, and we’re ALWAYS adding more–suggestions for workshops you’d like to see are more than welcome in the comments.
Buzz on over to the Beehive website and sign yourself on up
. You won’t regret it–and with spring and summer on the way, don’t you really want to get some sewing in?