One of the owners, Dottie Richey, was interviewed for an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer shortly before Stitchers' Dream was opened. The following is an excerpt from that article:
Let us sew, let us sew, let us sew
Home decor and renovating shows are being credited for revived interest in a very old craft.
By Lynn Rosen
For The Inquirer
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"All right," I said, shoving my shoulders back in mock bravado, "show me how to work one of these things."
And slowly, Richey did. How to choose the right thread. How to wind a bobbin, the spool that holds the thread. How to insert the bobbin into the bobbin case, and the case into the machine. How to thread the machine, adjust the tension, andthread the needle. And then, how to insert the fabric, press the foot pedal, and create a line of perfectly beautiful stitches.
It was fun. But could I really learn to alter my own clothes? And those bare window seats at home, could I make cushions for them?
Richey assured me I could.
"Go home and measure the window seats. Bring me the measurements, and I'll advise you on how much fabric to buy."
So I signed up for a second lesson. I measured, consulted, and was given my yardage assignment. But as the class approached, I panicked: Who was I to think I could sew a window-seat cover?
Instead, I showed up with clothes in need of minor repairs, the sort of thing that got me there in the first place: buttonless shirts (there were two now) and a jacket of mine, also buttonless, unworn for months.
Richey promised she'd help me find my sewing confidence. She relented and suggested we try some hand-sewing. We turned to a shirt with a broken button, not a missing one.
This shirt, as many men's shirts do, had two extra buttons sewn onto the bottom. I needed to remove both the broken button and the extra one that was to take its place. Richey handed me a seam ripper.
Luckily, the old button left an imprint, and I could see right where to place the new one, and where to place my stitches so the holes lined up correctly. Three loops through one pair of holes, three loops through a second set, and all wrapped up with a neat little trick Richey showed me of slipping the needle through a loop of thread underneath to tighten the stitch.
I quickly finished both shirts and moved on to the jacket, which had a self-shank that added a step. But I mastered that, too, with a nifty tool called a button reed that opened a space between button and cloth where we created the shank by wrapping thread around and around.
Back at the sewing machine, we reviewed threading techniques, and Richey showed me how to sew a button with it. If you're making a garment with a row of buttons, the machine is the tool of choice, she said.
My final assignment for the day: sewing a straight line. Using a basic stitch, I was shown how to line up the fabric with the edge of the presser foot. Alone with the machine, the foot pedal mine to control, I depressed it gently, then a bit harder. Soon, I finished sewing a seam down the side of the fabric scrap I'd been given. Richey grabbed a new scrap and a pencil and threw me a curve. I started to sew, gently manipulating the fabric so that the stitches followed the line she drew.
Another curve, and a series of right angles. I pressed the pedal and guided the fabric over her pattern. I even changed the setting on the machine so that it stopped with the needle down, in the fabric, placement useful for the pivoting required on right angles.
I found myself relaxing into the task, my very own moment of sewing Zen.
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