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.
All classes are led by experienced instructors. Let us know you are interested in a particular class and we will put you on the list. When we reach a critical mass of participants we will offer the class. We will then confirm your interest and availability!
Upcoming Changes at the Sew-op:
For those of you who may not know, the Sew-op winds down over the summer months starting in June. Classes will pick up again in late September.
The Co-op has transitioned to online registration and payment for all classes and workshops. An added benefit to signing up online is our ability to streamline the process for enrollment forms. A drop-down form will be available for teens and children signing up for Sew-op classes.
Changes to Registration for kiddos and teens:
- Registration for children and teens is pending completion of enrollment form (form will appear when registering for a class).
- Children age 8-13 must complete our form and be accompanied by an adult.
- The Co-op classroom will be made available for adults with refreshments served. Feel free to reach out the the Sew-op Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a virtual tour at the bottom of which you will find directions to our facility.
Routine Offerings at the Sew-op
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. Participants must have taken Basic Sewing or have some beginner sewing experience. Occasionally we’ll have themes but all projects are welcome. Donations are gratefully accepted. No 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.
This class will cover altering clothes for fit, style, and practicality. Learn general principles and methods as well as limitations to changes that can be made. This class is tailored to the interests of the people present, so bring clothing you’d like to alter and a mental list of skills you’d like to acquire. *Basic sewing skills will be needed to register for this class.
A fun way to shrink your mending pile and grow your wearable wardrobe! In this two-hour workshop, you will create an embroidered needle case while learning hand-sewing stitches and basic mending skills. This is primarily a general skills class but feel free to bring items that you need help mending. Handout and project materials provided.
Choose between three pattern design courses Custom Fitted Skirt, Custom Fitted Bodice, and Bodice Design Modification. Participants will create fitted patterns which can later be altered to fit any number of design choices. With the combination of the Custom Fitted pattern classes, participants will come away with a tailored dress pattern, one that can be a foundation for different design work, and can alter as you grow in your design skills. Any of these classes can be taken in any order as they are offered. The bodice however, will not necessarily fit to your proportions in Bodice Design Modification without having taken the Custom Fitted Bodice class where participants can use a pre-made sloper pattern. After every class there will be a special Open Hour session for those that need extra assistance in completing their pattern. Once you have taken all three of these classes you can comfortably move onto Copy Your Clothes and other design classes involving garment skills.
Copy Your Clothes
Create a pattern from an article of clothing. In this class you will learn methods for creating a pattern from a piece of clothing. Learn how to trace clothing, add seam allowances, and how to add darts. Class time will be spent creating the pattern. Prerequisite: Basic Sewing and some garment sewing experience.
Quilting at the Sew-op
The Sew-op offers a variety of quilt classes, one is an Introductory course in quilting, the others are based on specific quilt styles; like Patchwork, Log Cabin, Star shaped, and even modern designs. In our Intro to Quilting class participants will learn basic quilting techniques in cutting fabric, rotary cutting and safety, chain sewing pieces, assembling front and back, making quilt binding, making a quilt sandwich, pinning, quilting the layers, and sewing on binding. Intro to Quilting requires students take Basic Sewing or have the equivalent skills prior to the class. Get added to our Intro to Quilting or our Quilt Pattern interest sheets to get updates on upcoming quilt classes. Sign up in store at the Co-op or online by emailing email@example.com.
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 offers a variety of crochet classes to meet different skill levels. For new beginners we offer Learning to Crochet with Granny Squares. 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. We also teach a Crochet Revisited class for those who have taken crochet but would like a refresher. Our final class is an Intermediate class learning to Crochet in the Round. This class will cover starting in the round, spirals versus joined rounds, the effect of different quantities and spacing of stitch increases, and smooth edge-finishing techniques. Sign up on our interest sheets for Learning to Crochet with Granny Squares, Crochet Revisited, or Intermediate Crochet: Learning to Crochet in the Round to be contacted about our next crochet class dates.
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 with some options for homeschoolers on weekdays. Come explore the excitement of a new adventure in sewing. Watch for the class displays on the sign up board.
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.
Basic Sewing for Kids
In this class students will learn the parts of the sewing machine and their function. You will learn how to thread the machine and the bobbin, how to change the needles on the machine, and how to control the speed of your sewing. We will focus on how the sewing machine is operated, how to change the stitch length, how to tell the grain of the fabric, and go over a little information on different fabrics. Throughout this class we will also discuss safety and rules for class participants.
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?” Currently, Rebecca teaches Basic Sewing, Crochet, Embroidery, and Learn Your Machine.
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.
Jen is a quilt designer, blogger, and fabric enthusiast! Her work has been featured both on-line and in print in Quilter’s Newsletter, Primitive Quilts and Projects, American Patchwork and Quilting’s calendars, and on the Moda Bake Shop. Jen’s quilting interests are varied, and while most of her work tends toward the traditional, she also loves to make modern quilt projects. Jen employs many techniques in her quilts such as traditional machine piecing, paper piecing, wool appliqué, embroidery, and hand quilting. For more information about Jen’s designs, visit her blog, “Jen Daly Quilts,” at www.jendalyquilts.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Can’t find a class you’re looking for? Check out Scratch located near the green in Lebanon NH!