Sue Roush, a local entrepreneur and sewing instructor by night, has taken her passion for sewing and turned it into an activity for all ages.
Since April 2015, Roush has operated her own DIY Creative Studio on 6002 Elston Road in Jefferson City with a mission of inspiring new and experienced sewers and crafters.
“I see the experience as a way for the girls to get their feet wet without a lot of investment,” Roush said. “My goal is really to get people out, to be creative and to come have fun.”
The DIY studio is a place where women of all ages can learn to master an array of crafts like sewing, embroidery, crochet, wreath making, woodworking and more all under one roof.
With more than 30 years of experience, Roush has a lot of artistic creativity and knowledge to share with her clients. Roush started when her kids were quite young, teaching herself to do everything she knows how to do today. As the years passed and she gained more experience, her skill level has evolved.
Over the years, Roush has made different articles of clothing for her children and at one time fell in love with making porcelain doll costumes. Today, Roush says her favorite thing to do is machine embroidery.
“I really enjoy making baby things, adding my own personalization and digitizing my own design,” Roush said.
Participants who have been enrolled in her classes have sewn everything from pillow cases, fabric baskets and weekend tote bags. For those who may want to venture into other crafts, the DIY studio hosts specialized projects that dip into canvas painting and woodworking while other classes dab into creating signage and house planters.
Since Roush opened her doors, her selection of classes have continued to grow. Participants interested in the sewing classes pay a flat rate of $100 for four classes a month. The prices of the other specialty classes vary.
To enroll in the sewing classes or any of her specialty classes, participants may reach Roush at 573-291-4664.
For the love of Sewing
“When I first opened the studio, I had never taught before, but I knew that sewing was my passion,” Roush said. “As word got out that I offered classes, I wanted to maintain small class sizes until I could figure out if teaching other people is something I could do.”
This was back in 2015 when Roush relied on word of mouth to promote the studio, and she sat one-on-one in a beginning level sewing class with one of her first patrons. Now she offers beginning, intermediate and advanced level sewing classes that can hold anywhere from six to eight participants per class. The beginning level classes, allow participants to get to know their machinery and get acquainted with their classmates.
Julie Griffin, a year-long patron of the DIY Creative Studio, said she saw a flyer about the studio in a restaurant and has been totally in love with it ever since her first class.
“I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew,” Griffin said. “Sue’s classes make it easy for anyone to jump in and feel comfortable learning a new craft.”
Griffin said she was the only one in the class when she began attending classes in 2015. Now she has five other classmates, who all work at various skill levels.
“The part that appeals to me is that Sue can work with anyone at every level without leaving others feeling isolated,” Griffin said. “She is an excellent teacher and is very knowledgeable.”
Griffin said she has enjoyed the various projects that Roush has introduced and her favorite project was creating a quilted table runner.
“When I began these classes, I had no experience, so I couldn’t believe that I was quilting,” Griffin said.
She said Roush’s expansion has led to a variety of craftmaking classes, but she always felt like her prices were fair.
Roush said she doesn’t want people to feel like they can’t afford the classes, but she also wants them to know that a lot of the materials are included in the initial cost.
She said sewing machines, embroidery machines and the tools associated with woodworking and other specialty classes are on site.
“I tell people that I hope they enjoy sewing, but I know it’s not for everybody,” Roush said.
As her demand for more specialty classes increase, so does her need for instructors. Roush is happy to find instructors who have a passion for that craft.
Roush came from a big family and has one daughter of her own. No one in her family has taken up an interest in sewing like she has. Even as her outreach has expanded to young girls in the community, Roush said her daughters have little to no interest in sewing.
The youth can be anywhere from ages 8 to 12 years old.
Roush said her favorite remark from one of the girls in her youth group is “I feel sorry for your daughter, this is so fun.”
“Remarks like this make the classes worthwhile,” Roush said.