Sew to Speak Shop Visit

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I had a fantastic trip down to Ohio last week to visit Sew to Speak, which is an absolutely adorable fabric store in Columbus, about three hours south of Ann Arbor. I’ve been wanting to make the trip ever since my friend April (of Staple Dress fame) invited me last spring. April works at the shop, which her mom, Anita, owns (Anita, pictured in the first photo, is fantastic, too!). April had downplayed the shop a bit and had told me it was pretty small — which is totally April; she is so humble and sweet —  so I was completely unprepared for how much amazingness was contained in this one place!

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While the shop is certainly not HUGE, it’s not tiny either; in fact, I think it’s fair to say that it’s the perfect size. It features a nice little space for classes in the back and enough fabric, patterns, trims, tools, and notions to satisfy both quilters and garment sewists.

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I gave a presentation on Wednesday evening on garment sewing as part of an open house and trunk show, and I took all of my Washi Dresses along. People seemed to really enjoy looking through (and hearing about) all of the variations of the pattern that I brought along. I also brought my Ruby Dress and my Ruby Top and a couple other new designs.

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On Thursday morning I taught a Washi Techniques Workshop, and that was really fun (I’m also offering this class again in Ann Arbor in about a month if you’re interested)! The ladies who signed up were all fantastic, and they all made a ton of progress on their dresses.

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I want to mention something from my talk on Wednesday night that I think is really important. Although I have built a business primarily online, I think it is so important to introduce shops like Sew to Speak to readers so that you can support them, too. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the online sewing community: the people, the patterns, the blogs, the resources, and all of the lovely online shops. I have many great friendships online despite never meeting in real life. But there is simply no replacement for getting together face-to-face, meeting people who love to sew, and making friends who share your interests and passions. Furthermore, shops like Sew to Speak offer REAL places to meet REAL people, learn, and take classes — and allow you to look at and touch fabric before you buy it. It is important to support these shops because they are the pillars of our sewing community. It is worth it to pay MSRP for fabric from these shops rather than searching for the lowest price on Etsy. It is worth it to buy sewing books and patterns full price at these shops, rather than scouring Amazon or discount shops for the lowest price. Keeping these shops in business adds value to our communities, both online and locally. *hopping off the ol’ soapbox now*

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If you ever have a chance to visit Columbus, make sure you add Sew to Speak to your list of stops. By the way, Sew to Speak always takes phone orders (click through to the shop for that number). Thanks so much for having me, Anita and April!!! And thanks to everyone who came out to say “hi!” or take my class. It was a great turnout, and I had a fantastic time!

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21 thoughts on “Sew to Speak Shop Visit

  1. I’m so glad you liked the shop! Sew to Speak is easily the best sewing shop in Columbus. I don’t know what I’d do without it! 😀

  2. Yay Sew to Speak! I took my first sewing class there and made my first Amy Butler Barcelona skirt right at that little table. Now if only I could remember how to install an invisible zipper on my own…
    I was bummed to miss your events. Darn those babies and my job.
    Hope you enjoyed the sights and sounds of Columbus. I love this town.

  3. I so enjoyed meeting you in person Rae! I was really impressed with your talk and your rack of washis too. Of course, I expected them to be amazing, but it was like your blog coming to life and it didn’t disappoint. You definitely deserve all the success you’ve had and will have in the future. Also, thank you for your soap box about local shops. You expressed it perfectly. Also, I think I’m getting the black lung.

  4. What a cute shop! I will drive through Columbus on my way to Ann Arbor next month and hope this is a reasonable stop since I want to touch and buy that ikat and striped fabric in the 6th picture!

    I feel a little silly, but I’m very excited about our move to Ann Arbor next summer since it means I can go to Camp Stitchalot!

  5. My favorite shop. I get there as often as possible. Sew to Speak has happily added to my hoard of awesome fabrics. I have the Washi Dress pattern and am anxious to find the time to make it. I also have taken a class at the little table in back – Basic Serging. It was fabulous! I’m glad you made the trek down!

  6. Wait you drove from Ann Arbor to Columbus and it did not involve football? Some people would not know any other reason for traveling between the two cities.

  7. Three cheers for Rae’s Soapbox Rants! I buy pretty much ALL of my fabric at local shops and don’t even tempt myself with price comparisons online. There’s just no substitute for seeing the precise colors of a fabric, touching it, carrying it around and matching it to the perfect coordinating solid, and building those relationships that you get at your LQS. I wish everyone were so lucky as to have a shop like Sew to Speak nearby! It looks like a great one!

  8. Rae – Who knew one could have so much fun with bust darts, apex points and just overall ripping apart and putting back together muslin!! Needless to say my time with you was so enjoyable and I learned more than I could image; thank you for sharing your expertise and just for your joy of teaching and creating. I hope to see you in Ann Arbor someday soon. Continued wishes for success and joy in life.

  9. What a beautiful shop. I completely agree about supporting your local shops as opposed to saving a few $$ by buying online all the time. The experience of handing the fabrics in person and speaking to always-lovely and knowledgeable shop staff really can’t be beaten! I try to treat myself with an in-store purchase at least once a month.

  10. The first time I found a store like this (as opposed to the big box bland fabric store), I was literally speechless and doing a little dance from excitement. I agree about buying things in person! There is such a great online community but an even bigger part of being in a community is meeting face to face, exchanging ideas, seeing things in real time.

  11. I love going to Sew to Speak and visit there nearly every time I go see family in Columbus. It always inspires me and Anita and staff are so helpful. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Columbus. I wish there were a “satellite” shop in Toledo 🙂

  12. LOVE this store! I was actually shopping while you were teaching your workshop Thursday morning! I didn’t want to disturb you during your class! It was funny because I was actually shopping for Geranium dress fabric!! Thanks for highlighting this local shop!

  13. What a pretty shop! Thanks for sharing, and your quilt shop/sewing studio soapbox reminds me of mine about bookstores. As a book buyer, I work against the race of time and eBooks to keep print books in people’s hands and encourage them to buy not just from Amazon, but in their local bookstores as well…this goes for quilting and general craft books too! 🙂

  14. Rae, you make awesomely wonderful patterns, but you are an even more wonderful teacher. I was so excited to attend this class at Sew to Speak. It has been my goal for a while to sew my first clothing item for myself that I would want to wear outside the house 🙂 I have to do a fba and have been so uptight about it and just downright fearful of sewing clothing after my first dress (not one of Rae’s patterns) was a total flop. Rae is so much fun to learn from… sets your mind at ease with her fun way of sewing and confident way of teaching… I finished my dress less than two days after my class (for me this is record time) and have worn my dress a couple of times since (after doing an absolutely excstatic happy dance of celebration!)…I wear it outside the home with confidence! I cannot thank you enough, Rae for coming to our neck of the woods and for taking the time to teach with such an upbeat spirit. I am washing some fabric for my next washi dress already. I also so much appreciate sewtospeak! They are wonderful, wonderful too! Thank you again Rae with huge hugs; and if anyone is close enough to take a class from Rae, DO IT!

    • Aw Rachel!! You totally made my day. Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment!!! It was so great to have you in class, and I’m thrilled that your dress turned out just the way you wanted!!! 🙂

  15. Love love Sew to Speak! We are so lucky to have them as our local shop. Not only is the selection of fabric wonderful, I am always super impressed with the staff, too. Anita is a gem.

  16. Yes! Local shops are so important. It saddens me that the only fabric store in my town is a Jo-Ann. All of the independent fabric shops have closed.

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