“Sewing is a super power,” says Nicole Vasbinder, proprietor of Stitchcraft, which has just moved to 170 Kentucky Street (formerly Give Your Dog A Bone). “If you can sew, you can make anything.”
Petaluma Ca$h Mob, a Facebook group dedicated to shopping locally, has identified September as crafts and pie month, and will mob Stitchcraft Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8. Vasbinder is giving anyone who mentions Cash Mob a 10 percent discount off of any item OR class signup.
I first discovered Stitchcraft on the Ca$h Mob page, looking for a needle for an inherited treadle Singer sewing machine, and was happy to nix a trip to Michael’s. Vasbinder had needles, but what shocked me were the fabrics.
“This is a very exciting time for textiles,” said Vasbinder, who has had an entire career spent in touch with textiles, beginning with schooling at Otis Parsons and the Academy of Art, a decade in the garment industry as a designer, and another decade teaching sewing classes.
“This is nothing like what you saw in fashion 10 years ago,” she said.
Wares marketed to the trade as “quilting cotton” carry bright, dynamic patterns that appeal to the new generation of sewers. This generation has grown up with a combination of Project Runway, dissatisfaction with the consumption culture, slim wallets, and a desire to replace a huge wardrobe of disposable one-size-fits-all homogeneity with tailored clothing and accessories made by hand.
“Who doesn’t have a closet full of nothing to wear?” asks Vasbinder. “Most people spend their working day in jobs that involve sitting in front of a computer. When you make something with your hands, you have something to show for your time. It’s soulful, satisfying.”
When Vasbinder, who had been teaching sewing in the city and Berkeley, moved to Petaluma, she hoped to find other sewing classes where she could freelance to relieve her commuter stress, but realized there wasn’t a single school catering to the new generation in Marin, Napa or Sonoma counties.
Stitchcraft opened in January 2008 and has been holding classes for sewing, quilting, screen printing, food crafts, you name it. There’s even a cocktail class on Saturday, September 15. I’m in!