Melissa Stasi-Thomas wants a visit to her new Wading River store to feel like “going to your favorite aunt’s house to sew.”
“And that would be me,” said Stasi-Thomas, a corporate buyer turned sewing instructor who sports professionally colored blue hair and a dangling necklace featuring a sewing machine pendant.
Little Miss Sew It All, an extension of Stasi-Thomas’ East Moriches studio of the same name, recently opened at The Shoppes at East Wind in Wading River. Inside the 1,000-square-foot space — which features a zebra print carpet, candy-pink walls and to-go sewing kits dubbed “chopped sewey” — Stasi-Thomas will offer sewing classes to children ages six to 16. There is also a retail store.
Classes start with the basics, like how to thread the sewing machine and sew in a straight line.
“I’m teaching them how to sew, not how to make something,” said Stasi-Thomas, who lives in East Moriches. Graduates of her program have gone on to study design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Johnson and Wales University.
A four-week summer program dubbed “Project Funway” ends with a fashion show during which the young students show off their creations.
Stasi-Thomas champions positivity and allows her students to break design rules by pairing letter patterns with stripes.
“I would rather waste five dollars of fabric than ruin someone’s confidence,” she said.
The space will also be available for birthday parties and drop-in “sew-and-go” classes, although registration is preferred for the latter.
An open house is scheduled for Saturday through Monday, Oct. 8-10, from noon to 6 p.m. New students will be able to register for programs and refreshments will be served.
Visit LittleMissSewItAll.com for more information.
American Pie is another store set to open at the Shoppes at East Wind.
Ross Renaudo of Bayport has moved his country-themed home goods and gifts store from Main Street in Sayville to the Wading River shopping plaza.
“We are known as the country general store,” Renaudo said. “Our theme is things mostly made in the USA.”
Expect hand-carved and painted yard decorations, home plaques with folksy sayings and kitschy kitchen basics.
“We love the [shopping center] owner’s concept and what he’s built here,” Renaudo said.