To serve as an educational hub for community members of all ages to learn fiber crafts, donate and repurpose gently used materials, and empower people through skillbuilding.
The Sew-op is open to fiber crafters of any sort and supports any skill level. We are a community of sewists, quilters, knitters, crocheters, rug makers, reusers, experimenters, teachers and students. We have classes and workshops for kids and adults. Class and Open Hours information can be found within the Upper Valley Food Co-op’s full calendar on our website and on the bulletin board in the Co-op dining area as well as throughout the store.
Take a virtual tour at the bottom of which you will find directions to our facility.
Learn more about the Sew-op History!
Scroll toward the bottom of this page for a peek at our Sew-op staff and volunteers.
Drop into the sew-op workroom and see what’s going on. People can bring their sewing projects and work on them using the machines and supplies available. Experienced sewists are on hand for help and advice. Occasionally we’ll have themes but all projects are welcome. Donations are gratefully accepted. No registration required.
- Open Hours are available for anyone who has taken a Basic Sewing class or has similar experience. If you are looking for light assistance or simply a place to work then Open Hours are for you.
If you cannot attend a class but would like hands-on assistance with a project, please ask about setting up a private class.
All classes are led by experienced instructors.
Cost: $20 fee for members, $25 non-members, $30 parent/child or sibling team, unless otherwise indicated. Registration required.
Our most popular class! This two-hour introductory class will teach the basics of sewing machines and how to operate them; the basics of fabric; and how to pin and sew seams. You will make a simple project that you can take home. The sewing machines and all supplies are provided. Completion of this class is advised for those who want to attend Open Studio Hours but have no prior knowledge of sewing machines. No materials required. handout provided. Teacher: various.
Learn the basics of altering your clothes to fit you.
Come learn some basic embroidery stitches and ideas for their use, and take home an instructional handout. We will start with the basics: fabric and thread, embroidery hoops and stitching evenly. We’ll practice on some of the Sew-Op’s fabric stash. Finally we’ll look at examples of accents, art pieces, and functional stitching made decorative via embroidery. Bring something you would like to embroider and we’ll brainstorm the possibilities. Taught by Rebecca.
The Sew-Op is an exciting place for kids to explore the fun of learning a new craft. In the children’s classes kids learn some basic functions of the sewing machine, are provided practice sessions to learn to run the sewing machine and then make something on the machine to take home. The Sew-Op provides the sewing machines and materials for classes. Some of the items the kids make are bags, 18-inch doll clothes and holiday ornaments. Classes are scheduled during school vacations and on Saturdays. Come explore the excitement of a new adventure in sewing. Watch for the class displays on the sign up board.
In this two-part class, learn the fundamentals of crochet: how to manage the yarn and hook, make key stitches, change yarn, and finish off your work. You’ll learn about yarn tension, gauge, and pattern reading, how to count stitches and identify their parts, and how to increase and decrease the number of stitches in a row. Small projects along the way will solidify each skill before the next is added, and you’ll take home additional patterns to practice between and after the classes.
No background needed; Crochet 1 is required for participation in Crochet 2. Supplies: Please bring crochet hooks, a J or K is ideal for the first class (6 or 6.5 mm), and an F or G for the second (3.75 or 4.25 mm). Otherwise all materials and supplies will be provided.
A sewing class geared especially for children! Students will make a sundress for an 18 inch or American Girl doll. The skills to learn will be side seams, sew a cashing on a hem and string ribbon as well as sew on a lace hem. All materal will be provided in this 2 hour class. Dolls are welcome to attend. Class size is limited to 4 students per session, ages 8 to 10.
Draft Your Own Skirt
Come and sew a custom-fit skirt just in time for warm weather! Learn to draft your own pattern from a few measurements to sew a simple a-line or draw-string skirt. Pattern materials provided. Bring your own fabric or use some of ours.
Quick Quilts for Beginners
Always wanted to make a quilt, but didn’t know where to start? Started a quilt, but ended up with just an expensive pile of fabric in a bag somewhere? Well here’s a different kind of class that will change all of that. You don’t even need to have any sewing experience. Get individualized attention as you select your fabric, rotary cut it into strips, and build the blocks using the fast and easy technique of strip-piecing. You’ll be guided through putting on the borders, creating the quilt “sandwich” of top, batting, and backing, tying it all together, and finishing it off with a bias binding. Four meeting times will be arranged according to individual schedules. Teacher: Marga Huntington. Prerequisites: none. Ages: Adults.
Meet during “Quilting Hours” to work on your quilts with an experienced instructor. These hours are scheduled with the instructor, Marga Huntington. She will assist you in the next steps of your quilting project. Permission of instructor required. Suggested donation: $5.00 to help to sustain Sew-op programs.
Altering Clothes for Growing Kids
In this two-hour workshop we will talk about creative ways to lengthen clothes to accommodate growth and hopefully stretch an article of clothing through the season. We will also cover tip to best select clothing that will grow with your kids. This is not a hands-on class but feel free to bring items that need to grow and we’ll discuss ideas as a class. No materials required. Handout provided. Teacher: Jennifer.
Rebecca Weber started learning to sew and embroider in grade school, costume in high school, alter clothing in college, and crochet more recently. She enjoys experimenting with and teaching familiar crafts and trying new ones. Her favorite crafting question is “How can we make this work?”
Sally is a retired Registered Nurse with a major of Home Economics in High School where she developed her skills in Sewing. For the past 20 years she has taught children and adults how to sew.
Sally has taken several quilting classes and made many quilts. Currently she sells handmade craft items and clothing in a local craft shop. Op.
Sally became a member of the Sew-Op Teacher’s group three years ago and teaches children’s classes, private classes and adult classes in sewing at the Sew-Op. Sally has been a resident of White River Junction for 42 years.
Martha counts herself lucky that her mother taught her to sew as she was growing up. Today, she loves to conserve materials, sew and knit useful items, and braid rugs out of previously used or discarded wool.
Apart from the Sew-Op, she’s a retired surgeon (unrelated kind of sewing) and medical school professor, and enthusiastic gardener who prefers to be outside whenever possible.
Kim fell in love with sewing the day her sister made her a pale-blue, checkered, bib-dress. Since then she has spread the contagion to friends and family by creating hundreds of articles of clothing and works of art from whatever she can get her hands on; including silks from around the world and one bag full of old socks.
Kim enjoys sewing for her two young children and making unconventional quilts with her mother. She dreams of one day being a featured designer at The Revolution in WRJ.
At an early age Marga learned to sew doll clothes from scraps left from outfits her mother made for her and her 3 sisters. During high school and college, Marga worked in a large fabric store in central Massachusetts and sewed clothing for herself, family, and friends.
A move to Maine in 1986 introduced her to quilting which gave her a new outlet for her love of color and textiles. A retired social worker, Marga also owned a quilt shop in Portland, ME. where she first began teaching quilting to non-sewers. Over the years she has taught children and adults at recreation centers, fabric stores, and privately. Before she even moved to Quechee, Vermont a year ago, Marga knew she wanted to be part of the Sew-Op.
Marga has a son and a daughter as well as a 3-year-old granddaughter Madelyn, who is just embarking on her sewing journey gluing Nana’s fabric scraps onto paper to make “quilts”.
Maura learned to sew in junior high school Home Ec classes but honed her skill by sewing her gown for the Junior Prom…then her wedding gown and countless pillows, curtains and other home fashions. Upon moving to the Upper Valley in 2009 she decided to try a new profession and took classes in early childhood education at the Community College of Vermont, earning a Childcare Certificate in 2012. She has helped children complete craft projects for years as a parent and as a volunteer in her own son’s schools and recently as an intern with a preschool class at the Green Mountain Children’s Center in WRJ and as an assistant teacher at various preschools in the area.
Kye doesn’t remember when she learned how to sew, but it was probably in Home Ec class in junior high school (as it was called way back then). She does remember the thrill of figuring out how to make a stuffed horse by drawing onto cloth, cutting it out, hand-sewing it, turning it inside out and stuffing it with something or other. It was a life-changing discovery. The horse looked hilarious, and actually lasted a long time.
Much more recently, when Kye was managing the co-op, she was again thrilled with something to do with sewing: several people, including her sister and her cousin, worked together with other dedicated and talented people to create, using only their energy and enthusiasm and various donated and re-used materials, the wonderful Sew-op we have now.
Kye also learned very basic rug-braiding from a friend in the good old days, and enjoys teaching others this flexible and relatively simple craft.
Local Links to Area Crafters and Resources:
Upper Valley Fiber Crafts is a blog created and contributed to by Sew-op instructors, Jennifer Lynn and Rebecca Weber.
White River Yarns is a wonderful shop in Downtown White River which carries an abundance of yarn, an array of classes and products for the fiber lover.