Stitch City Sew-Op offers machines, classes

One really is the loneliest number, especially when you’re sewing, according to the founders of a new Clintonville co-op.

Not long after Katie Heck started following several sewing blogs, she got the urge to practice all the interesting techniques she was reading about online. So she set to work, but it wasn’t long before she decided that sewing can be a lonely pursuit.

“I could knit out in a coffee shop, on a friend’s couch, or in front of the tv, but as I took up sewing I found myself alone at home wishing there was enough room to do this with friends,” says Heck.

After all, sewing machines require electrical outlets, take up a fair amount of space, and aren’t exactly easy to transport. That’s where Stitch City Sew-Op comes in.

Located at 211 E. Arcadia Ave. next to The Salt Mines, Stitch City will provide access to sewing machines and serve as a meeting place for those looking to hone their crafting skills.

“I think a lot of people have experienced frustration trying to learn new skills, especially knitting and sewing, when you run into a problem and try looking for answers online, but get frustrated and give up,” says January Soell, who co-owns Stitch City with Heck.

“We want to encourage people to come in, so we can all learn from each other and work through it together,” she adds.

The co-op’s lounge area has five machines: a Janome 8077, a Janome Magnolia 7330, and two Necchi EX30s, which all have 30 different stitches and computerized functions that make sewing really fun, Heck says, as well as a Janome 8002D serger.

Two other machines −a Necchi EC100 embroidery machine and a Janome 7700 wide bed machine− can be reserved.

The Janome 7700 has 250 stitches and an 11-inch bed, which is great for free motion quilting, she says.

A 3×7-foot table is available for those who bring their own machine.

The lounge also has scissors, cutting tables, irons, and ironing boards.

Stitch City charges $7 per hour for use of the lounge. However, buying time in bulk results in a discount: 5 percent off five hours, 10 percent off 10 hours, or 20 percent off 20 hours.

The embroidery machine and the wide bed machine are $25 for the first hour and $10 per hour after.

Though all sewists are welcome, Heck says she’d especially like to see those with a machine stored in their closet, or those who have been too intimidated to take a class, to stop in and see how easy sewing is.

“Knitters, crocheters, and hand quilters can hang out on the couch by the fire,” she says. “There’s a delicious selection of cookies available, and complimentary tea and coffee.”

A schedule of classes is in the works.

For now, Missy Mindek will teach a class about how to make a paper fan dress on Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as a class about how to make baby booties on Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lauren Slevin will teach a class about how to make Christmas stockings on Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Holiday gifts classes (details to be announced) are scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A knitting class for beginners are held on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and sewing classes for beginners are available by appointment.

Class rates will generally range from $35 to $45 each.

Stitch City is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. It will also be open some evenings for classes.

To learn more about Stitch City Sew-Op, visit