Topstitch is not your average sewing shop. You won’t find your grandmother’s fabrics and baubles here. Instead, the modern fabric shop and sewing studio is a sanctuary for stitchers where funky fabrics, unique tchotchkes and must-have supplies can be found. Owned and operated by mother of two and author Leigh Metcalf, the shop offers apparel fabrics, sewing tools, kits, patterns, crafty gifts and even classes. Here in her sewing oasis, Leigh sources special fabrics and materials and creates in Atlanta what many other cities embraced long ago: the local haberdashery. It’s this concept of a neighborhood sewing shop that Leigh has spent the last year building. Her new location at Ponce City Market marries a community vibe with an exclusive experience to create one stellar sewing studio.
At the 21st-century atelier, which opened in August, Leigh showcases small, interesting sewing supplies from around the world. She explains, “Atlanta didn’t have a modern fabric shop with a focus on garment sewing, one that had both classes and sells fabric and supplies, until now.” The idea for Topstitch came to Leigh while she was living as an expat in London. While there, she wrote for a few craft and lifestyle magazines and wrote and photographed a guide to London’s fabric and knitting shops called London Stitch and Knit. She never lost her interest in sewing and instead daydreamed about owning a fabric and sewing shop and “a place for the sewing community to gather, sew and share ideas.” Topstitch was born. Now, a year after opening her initial location, Leigh has created a new, warm and inviting space at Ponce City Market for novices and aficionados alike.
Shoppers will delight in the wide range of colorful fabrics in cheeky prints and patterns, while gift seekers will find art prints, pincushions, handbags and other knick-knacks. Companies like England’s Merchant and Mills, France’s Sajou and Japan’s Cohana fill tables and shelves. Leigh describes her sourcing process as an intentional one, “I choose things people would need, like scissors and thread, but try to find companies that go above and beyond the basics of function and also make their design interesting, unique or beautiful or some combination of those qualities.” Sewists will find solace in the shop’s sitting area which Leigh says was designed for customers to “sit and relax and not feel rushed when browsing; where people can look at books and patterns and take their time.”
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Topstitch is Leigh’s dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching. Topstitch students will find a large communal table with eight sewing machines. There, among their peers, they can learn the intricacies of the craft. Classes of all skill levels are offered throughout the week and range in themes. True beginners can start with the Learn to Sew class offered on Tuesday mornings, while those looking to up their game can take classes to ultimately create espadrilles or bomber jackets. And classes are only the beginning.
This October, sewers can join Topstitch as they host a grown-up, 80s-inspired prom. “The theme is Pretty in Pink. We will have classes leading up to prom that are all prom-related such as corsage making, tie making and garment redesign. For the week leading up to prom, we’ll show Pretty in Pink on a big wall at the shop on a loop, and then have a super fun, full-on 80s prom at the shop on October 27th.” Essentially, if you’re looking to even dip one toe into the world of sewing, Topstitch is the place to start.
When asked to describe Topstitch in just three words, Leigh does not hesitate. “My tagline of sorts is ‘Inspire. Gather. Sew.’ I want it to be a place with inspiring products where people can gather in sewing lessons or other social events. Mainly, I wanted people to feel comfortable and not rushed.” If you find yourself at Ponce City Market, meander into Topstitch. You’ll find a place where you’re encouraged to tap into your creative side and stay a while, too.
Find Topstitch in Ponce City Market at 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE #225, Atlanta, GA 30308. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit topstitchatl.com or call (404) 228-7243.
All photos provided by Topstitch unless otherwise noted.
StyleBlueprint offers your best “me moment” of the day. Subscribe HERE, and you’ll receive our emails filled with fabulous content — delivered by 5 a.m. Promise!