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stitch interior 1The once crammed and cluttered Grouts drapers emporium is now the light and airy Stitch! Crafts and Classes

The arrival of Stitch! Crafts and Classes at 397 Green Lanes Palmers Green has a back-story with links to two stores that were once much-loved local shopping institutions.

stitch exterior cropped

Stitch! still retains an old-fashioned walk-in window display

This new community enterprise has moved into what was, for more than 60 years, Grouts haberdashers and outfitters. The classic Edwardian shop was the place to go for everything from school uniforms and millinery to thermal vests and knicker elastic. Grouts was one of the last retailers in the UK to use a pneumatic tube system to 'transport' cash from one end of the shop to the other via a series of metal cylinders.

The Heath Robinson cash-carrying contraption has long gone. But the corner shop, flooded with light from its giant windows, retains much of its Edwardian charm and features – a perfect environment to showcase a range of beautiful fabrics, haberdashery, wool, sewing and craft materials as well as handmade gifts designed and made by local artists and crafters now on sale.

stitch founders in empty shop

The three people behind Stitch!: Karen Mautner, Suzanne Kelly and Carol Balfe

The spacious interior is also tailor-made for the numerous crafting classes and events that the Stitch! team plan to run from the premises.

It was the closure, in January, of Rodwins, the craft shop a stone’s throw from Southgate tube station, that was the catalyst for the launch of Stitch!  When Rodwins owner Josie announced she was retiring at the age of 84 it resulted in an outpouring of dismay on social media sites.

Three regular Rodwin shoppers Karen Mautner, Carol Balfe and Suzanne Kelly were convinced there was still a demand for a local craft and haberdashery store and within four months Stitch! Crafts and Classes had opened its doors for business. 

The three local women behind the launch of Stitch! have brought together a roster of talented and creative trainers to lead their workshops and classes.

stitch founders in empty shop

Some of the fabrics on sale at Stitch!

Suzanne Kelly, the shop manager at Stitch! said: “The response since we opened at the start of May has been overwhelming. The classes we are running will cater for both beginners and experienced crafters who are looking to pick up new skills and make new friends along the way.”

Classes currently running include Learn to Crochet, Sew A Simple Child’s Skirt, How To Make A Quilt, Soap Making and Learning To Knit. Details of more classes will be announced shortly to cater for those interested in making jewellery, kids crafts and a variety of sewing courses.

Carol Balfe said: “Along with our range of craft classes we also stock all manner of fabrics and cloth, wool, crafting kits, equipment and products to suit all ages and pockets. The next time you are passing Stitch!, come inside and make your day.”

Stitch! is also keen to become the shop window for the many local crafters who are looking for space to sell their hand-made products.

stitch interior quiltsOne of the crafts taught at Stitch! is quilting

The launch of Stitch! is one of several initiatives supported by the Palmers Green Action Team aimed at creating Green Lanes N13 as the go-to local shopping experience.

More Information about Stitch! Crafts & Classes can be found on their website or on Twitter:  @StitchN13   Instagram:  Stitch_n13   Facebook:  @N13crafts.

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David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4531 14 May 2019 17:08

Pleeeeeeease can that Mark guy (who used an alias for some reason) see this and rejoice for apparently this shop will be a rip roaring success and turn around PG high street!

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