In September 2011, Kim Taylor Kruse ’97 opened Sew Make Do, a modern sewing and craft studio in Gainesville, FL. Classes such as “Get Started with Sewing” and “Learn to Work with Patterns” are designed to get people together to learn, share ideas, explore their creativity—and, best of all, actually make something. The space also offers open studio time.
“It’s interesting to look at the ebb and flow of sewing over the past century,” says Kruse. Once an expected skill for women, interest in sewing waned in the 1970s and 1980s, she says. Now she believes more people have returned to the craft and realize that sewing can be a fun and empowering hobby.
Here Kruse shares a few more ideas about her studio and the rewards of sewing.
What inspired you to open the studio?
I was fortunate to have my grandma teach me how to sew when I was in middle school. My friends and other people I’d meet kept telling me how cool it was that I knew how to sew and that they wished they could learn how. I decided to take the sewing skills that I have and start sharing them with others. I started teaching freelance sewing classes in my local community almost three years ago. Last October, I offered my first classes at Sew Make Do.
Why should we learn to sew?
Aside from being able to customize your clothes and make them fit perfectly, I think sewing is incredibly rewarding because it’s so tangible. Most of us spend so much time pecking away our days in front of a keyboard, but what do we have to show for it at the end of the day? We spend so little time truly working with our hands. With sewing, you can spend the same eight hours and end up with a finished garment that’s uniquely you. And when people compliment you on your new frock, you can say with a confident smile, “Thanks, I made it.”
Jane Falla is an assistant editor in College Relations.