Sneak peek of Second Stitch Fabrics, Decatur’s new sustainable fabric store 

Topstitch owner Leigh Metcalf and Liz Roberts of Indie Craft Experience at Second Stitch Fabrics. (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

Indie Craft Experience and Topstitch Studio and Lounge have announced that Second Stitch Fabrics, a new joint venture, will soon open in Decatur. 

The sustainable fabric store concept will offer accessible and affordable fabric for crafters while reducing textile waste. Primarily stocked with fabric donations, Second Stitch will offer a selection of cloth including vintage prints, cotton solids, patterned textiles, and much more. 

Topstitch, which was founded by Atlanta native Leigh Metcalf in 2017, has been offering textile classes and workshops in the city ever since. The shop has occupied spaces in both Decatur and Ponce City Market, but Topstitch has grown and will now benefit from sharing this new, larger space in Ponce Works across from Kudzu Vintage and Antiques. 

During the pandemic, Metcalf pivoted her business model to allow for Zoom classes and workshops, which allowed people from all around the world to join Topstitch’s online membership community. In these classes, participants learned everything from beginner sewing skills to block printing and sandal making.

Now, with a larger physical space that’s better suited for in-person gatherings, they hope to provide even more diverse offerings of craft workshops, community nights, social events, and mini art markets. 

Liz Roberts, owner of Indie Craft Experience, is thrilled for the prospect of having a physical space to expand the offerings of the recurring craft market. Beyond that, she’s driven by the desire to build a sustainable fabric store in Atlanta.  

“We all have those extra stashes that we don’t quite know what to do with, but we’re done using, and it doesn’t really fit for Goodwill or other donation locations, and that’s where Second Stitch comes into play,” said Roberts. “We want to give second life to your stash and keep as much textile waste out of landfills as possible.”

When I visited their new 2,900-square-foot space Roberts and Metcalf walked me through some of the plans they have. There are multiple enclosed spaces, one of which will become Roberts’ fabric thrift store, and others that will serve as classrooms and offices. The larger main space will house a lounge or sitting area as well as the main workspace. 

When Roberts posted about the new space on social media, the response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Over 150 people asked to lead a class and hundreds responded to say they wanted to take classes themselves. That was all the confirmation that Roberts needed to move forward with the idea. “The need is out there, I just don’t know how it’s going to come together just yet,” she said. 

“It makes a lot of sense for us because I used to sell a lot of fabric, patterns, and supplies,” said Metcalf. “Now I’m pretty much focusing on classes only, and I do sell kits, but people really do miss buying fabrics. I’d rather focus on classes.” 

“And you see, I’m the opposite,” laughed Roberts. “I’d rather focus on the fabrics and not the teaching.” 

Before taking over the Indie Craft Experience, Roberts was initially inspired by a sustainable fabric store in New York City. Six weeks later she saw the news that Indie Craft Experience needed a new owner and she started the process to take over the enterprise. Coincidentally, it is one year later that she is now bringing that dream to a physical space.

Christy Petterson and Shannon Mulkey, the past directors of Indie Craft Experience, used to have a storefront in Candler Park. Unlike Roberts, the two used the space to lead their own classes, but that’s not something that she’s interested in pursuing at this time. 

Inspired by fabrics and textiles, Roberts shared that she is a hobbyist sewer and works on cross-stitch creations whenever she finds the time. When speaking about the types of donations they have already received her eyes positively lit up. She described some of the selections she has seen as vintage 90s textiles, Laura Ashley canvas, and soft rayons. Roberts emphasized that finding affordable, sustainable, and unique fabrics is what really speaks to her.

“There are a lot of cool and unique options for people who are into working with fabric.” 

Learn more about Topstitch on their website, and fill out the form on Indie Craft Experience’s website if you’d like to drop off textile donations. Topstitch’s classes will begin taking place in Second Stitch Fabrics in the second week of April, and they will host a Sewcial event on Wed., May 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. that will serve as their grand opening event. Free, but RSVPs are requested.

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