By Emily G. Peters
In an era of mass-produced clothing, limitless fashion stores and a dry cleaner around every corner, sewing has more or less become a relic of the past. However, while they maintain everyone should be taught to sew on a button, Pollard’s Sew Creative in Arcadia has found new ways to make the skill applicable in 2019.
“I didn’t necessarily get into this because of a passion for sewing,” said Jenny Nobile, who runs Pollard’s Sew Creative, a shop launched by her parents more than 20 years ago in Glendora. Nobile’s career, in fact, seem to run in the opposite direction—instead of preserving crafts of yesteryear, Nobile led the edtech department as a professor at University of La Verne. Ironically, it was sewing technology that lured her back to the family business.
“I came back because of the technology emerging; the design and creative side of sewing,” explained Nobile. Like embroidery software, for example.
“What’s cool about it now is the latest machines have Wi-Fi, have the cloud. We teach you how to create and design on our laptops and then spit the actual design out via the machine,” said Nobile. The ease of it is attractive to all ages, too.
“What’s neat is the fact that sewing with this technology is not just for younger people; if someone struggled, we have basic computer classes to show women and men how to be more tech savvy. It’s making sewing easier— there are even apps that exist to tell you when the thread is low,” said Nobile. So while the shop offers sewing supplies, machines and even repairs, that teaching element reigns supreme.
“Sewing used to be taught in schools, but now it’s disappeared. We’re planning on launching online classes to make it even more accessible,” said Nobile. “Above everything else we’re about teaching.”
On the Saturday of our visit to Pollard’s Sew Creative, “class” is in session. Sewing club members meet here to discuss their latest designs, followed by hands-on classes for embroidery, basic sewing and more. Yes, sewing is a practical, everyday skill— but it’s self-expression, too.
“It’s not so much that people sew for necessity, but embellishments and making items unique. It’s about the creativity, it’s about mixed media—combining a practical skill with an artistic skill,” said Nobile. With that progressive mindset, Pollard’s Sew Creative is doing its part to keep those skills alive.
“Today in sewing there are no real rules,” said Nobile. “The creative form and freedom is there. It’s not your grandma’s sewing anymore.”
Pollard’s Sew Creative’s Arcadia store is located at 27 S. First Ave. For more information, contact the Pollard Sew Creative team at pollardsewcreative.com | (626) 795-9907 and follow along Facebook @pollardsewcreative.