We can't wait to meet you! Here's a little bit 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. YouTube can teach you how to do it too. 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. 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!
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!
Amy is an enthusiastic fiber-nerd who rediscovered the joy of creating after her daughter was born 10 years ago.
Primarily, Amy works in wool through knitting, and she loves the challenge of garment construction. Amy enjoys designing her own knitwear as well as cutting and sewing garments and projects from patterns.
Generally speaking, if it has fiber in it, Amy has tried working with it! She had dabbled in weaving, embroidery, dying, quilting, fulling, and needle-felting. When she isn't playing with textiles of all kinds in her home studio, Amy teaches ancient history and Latin language, which she has done for the past 18 years, to students ranging from middle school to high school. Amy is also a runner, a coach, a mom, a wife, and a cuddler to her pug and bulldog.
Sarah received her bachelors in Textiles Merchandising and Fashion Design specializing in apparel studies from the University of Rhode Island in 2011. She has been sewing for as long as she can remember and even took courses every year in high school including an independent study. After graduating college she became a Technical Designer for a local denim company where she stayed for 6 1/2 years. Today, she is a 3D Product Owner at Gerber Technology and our garment instructor. She sews as often as she can including projects for friends as well as the on going Costumer for the burlesque show Mama D’s at Playhouse on Park.
Tiffany is an all-around creativity enthusiast. Sewing skipped a generation in her family. She taught herself to sew on her grandmother’s old sewing machine when she was 12. She eventually convinced her mother, who loved to crochet and cross stitch but didn’t sew, to get her a couple of lessons and buy a new machine. That 1990 purchase is one of her oldest possessions still in use to this day. A competitive figure skater growing up, Tiffany especially enjoyed designing and sewing her own skating dresses throughout her teens. Today she is mostly a “crafty” seamstress, throwing together costumes, enhancing home decor items and upcycling old garments into new accessories. She tries to make sure the art of sewing doesn’t skip another generation in her family by curating projects that include her kids and their friends, especially on snow days!
Tiffany lives in Hartford with her husband, 4 children and their dog. In addition to sewing, she enjoys building elaborate gingerbread houses, fruit and vegetable gardening, jamming out to broadway tunes and reading historical fiction set in World War II, the Victorian Era or Tudor England. She is also passionate about education and every child reaching her full potential.
Dawn started sewing at age 10. After asking her mom one too many questions she was handed a small square of Aida cloth, needle and embroidery thread, and told to start making Xs. Those x-shaped stitches turned into hearts, hearts became flowers, flowers transformed into unicorns .. you get the picture. Following a brief break after college, the maker bug hit again. Projects became more challenging and supplies more refined after she and her husband moved to Washington, D.C., where she joined a group of like-minded “sisters-in-stitches.” Those talented sisters inspired her to enter her first competition and pass along knowledge to others who claimed “I could never make that.” Dawn got her first break as a paid instructor in 2017 when a librarian asked her to teach an arm knitting class. Subsequent classes have allowed her to share skills built over the last 36 years and her love of all needle arts, whether it be hand embroidery, machine sewing, quilting or knitting. You could call her an equal opportunity fiber enabler. She is currently enrolled in the WEBS expert knitter certification program and a member of the American Quilter’s Society. If you don’t find her behind a needle, you can find her on the hiking trails, on the road headed to the next great stitching store/retreat, reading science fiction or in the kitchen trying a new recipe. By day, Dawn is a high school librarian.