We can't wait to meet you! Here's a little bit about us!

WE CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU!

HERE'S A LITTLE ABOUT US...

We can teach you how to make awesome stuff (that's how you ended up on our website, right?). But then again, a book can teach you how to sew, knit, crochet, embroider, knot, weave and all other fun textiley and fibery things. A blog can teach you how to do it too. I'm guessing you want more than the words on a page, you want someone who will take you step-by-step, someone who will show you the way to do it and watch over as you learn, be your cheerleader and your creative friend. Whether you choose to learn at the studio, through one of our free video tutorials or an online course--that's us! Hartford Stitch is more than a making studio, it's a  community. You may come with friends, or you may make them along the way, but we're all here to support each other in the process. And of course to make awesome stuff!
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Hi! I'm Laura Kasowitz, owner and lead teacher at Hartford Stitch. I believe that sewing should be an easy and fun expression of creativity, without all the RULES (ok, some rules, just not ALL the rules).

And since we're going to be friends, I figure I'll share a little about me to start off...I was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY and followed my husband to Connecticut (his home state). We landed in West Hartford while he went to law school. We now have 3 amazing little kids who will know West Hartford as their home town! We love living in West Hartford and have a special place in our hearts for Hartford, where we first lived together.

 

I also love all of these things in no particular order: 1950s vintage (the more kitschy the better), cheesecakes, homemade ice cream, vintage cookbooks, vintage aprons, beach vacations, 90s pop music and traveling. And this is my favorite color!

My Sewing Story

I always tell people that I learned to sew from my mom. I remember sprawling out on the floor of her bedroom with a big box of fabric and her old Singer sewing machine and sewing skirts and pillows and Christmas decorations. But then, about a year after I opened Stitch, my mom asked who taught me to sew. So... yeah.

I did take "Family and Consumer Sciences" (AKA Home Ec) in Junior High, which led to a Clothing and Design course in High School. In fact, you're looking at the Saratoga Springs Junior and Senior High School Family and Consumer Sciences Award Recipient 4 years running... (it's the little things in life). I know I learned more about sewing from that class AND my mom still uses the tote I sewed as a toiletry bag. Boom. Sewing success.

I dabbled in sewing from there on out, being the only college student I knew that lugged my machine back and forth to school every year. Most seniors in college spend their time in between finals sewing a pinecone quilt, don't they?

Fast forward to 5 years out of college, I had burned out with my job as a corporate event planner and decided, quite grandly, that I was going to screen print and sew kitchen textiles (aprons, potholders and dishtowels) as a full-time career. The market wasn't so hot on that one and it didn't last too long, but it did help me start to put a polish on my sewing skills.

About another 5 years later and I was a stay-at-home mom to my two sweet kids. It's a job I never thought I'd have, and one that I adore, but I was eager to do something in addition. I had so many friends that would look at something I sewed and say "I couldn't do that" or "I failed Home Ec spectacularly" or "I have two left hands". I realized that there may just be a market to share my love of sewing and making things.  A couple of twists and turns later and Hartford Stitch was born! (And a year after that another sweet kid was born!)

I love, love, love this "job". I love teaching people to sew. I love that "hold on-- I made this??" reaction to the first, and second, and third project someone makes. I love watching students come back again and again and see them go from struggling to thread a machine to whipping off a complicated dress for their daughter. I love that my sewing story has become part of so many other people's sewing stories. I love that you all have chosen to join this community!

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CAROLINE HAMMEL

Caroline loves finding new ways to be creative. Starting with singing and stringed instruments as a child, her journey has taken her through several artistic disciplines. 

 

She rediscovered the joy of sewing as an adult which opened up a new creative focus. Caroline has been sewing ever since.

 

Caroline loves to sew anything from quilts and pillows to clothing and bags. When she’s not sewing, she loves doing creative projects with her family, reading, yoga, and gardening. 

I like to call Caroline my "sewing teacher unicorn"! Not only is she an accomplished sewer, she comes up with the best projects AND is a 3rd grade teacher who likes teaching so much she does it for us outside her normal school hours!