Meg Ammerman is turning a life-long love for sewing into a business.
Last week, she opened So Sew at 130 E. Pike St. above her family’s Smith Insuror’s agency.
While she laughs about still honing her business plan, she knows that it will all be built around her love to sew and create heirloom designs.
“Heirloom sewing is a lost art,” Ammerman said following the Friday morning ribbon-cutting for her latest endeavor.
She has on display a few 100-plus-year-old children’s gowns as well as some of her own creations.
Ammerman is a licensed teacher of heirloom sewing, a certification she sought after being laid off from Hospice in January.
“Things just fell together,” Ammerman said.
Twenty years ago Ammerman taught a sewing class for children ranging in age for 4 to 18, both boys and girls.
As she was thinking about her business and what she wanted to offer, she decided that she wanted to do more children’s classes as well as the adult classes.
“If we’re going to have more of these gowns, then we have to have people who can make them,” Ammerman said holding up one of the heirloom gowns from her family’s treasures.
Ammerman said that women used to sew out of necessity. Then they got busy and only picked up needle and thread as a hobby.
“There’s more interest out there than anyone knows,” she said.
Ammerman plans to start her classes teaching the different techniques of heirloom sewing. The best way to do that, she said, is to make quilt squares of each technique.
Those squares can then be sewn together for a beautiful quilt.
She has one she made on display in her shop along with several dresses.
Ammerman attended an heirloom sewing class in Lexington taught by Martha Pullen in February. The class bolstered her idea to open a shop that would allow her to not only teach sewing, but would also offer a place where “sewists” could find a clear table to spread out their patterns and materials.
Her upstairs loft will accommodate up to 14 people.
She said she has already had numerous calls for classes including a Girl Scout troop wanting to earn sewing badges.
Her hours are 3-10 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and by appointment, which can be made by calling 1-859-556-0079.
She reserves Tuesdays and Thursdays for her grandchildren, which were born this year, but for whom she began sewing about 10 years ago.
Meg and Bob Ammerman have three children, Sarah Wylie, Joseph and Celia, and two grandchildren, Harlan Ammerman and Otis VanMeter.