Valdosta Daily Times


January 4, 2008

Focus On: Sew and So Fabrics

VALDOSTA — Patti McGuffin dropped in to get her sewing machine fixed at the Singer Sew and Vacuum store at 601 E. Park Ave. a year ago.

Now McGuffin owns the fabric side of the store, which is celebrating a grand opening as Sew and So Fabrics.

Teaming up with seamstress/sewing expert Ruthie Batchelor, who still handles sewing alterations and more on the Singer Sew and Vacuum side of the building, McGuffin now has her dream floor loaded with fabrics, threads and materials for making everything from dresses to draperies, upholstery for furniture, table cloths, throws and more.

McGuffin bought the fabric side of the store in August, but isn’t new to the business.

“I managed a fabric store when I was 23 years old,” she said. “I have been sewing all of my life. My husband and I were living in Tucson, Ariz.. when he got a job here. We’ve been here about 2.5 years.”

That fateful sewing machine repair brought her into Batchelor’s busy shop. “I asked her if she needed any help sewing and she did,” McGuffin said. “So I had been working for her about a year when they decided they wanted to sell the fabric portion of the store. I jumped on it.”

Well, that is, her husband Jerry McGuffin jumped on it. She pays him rent. Jerry is call center manager at Fresh Beginnings.

“This is a lot of fun, but it is a lot of hard work,” McGuffin said. “Ruthie and I make a pretty good team. I’m great at helping you decide on materials and fabrics. And Ruthie and I both can help you decide if the material you chose will produce what you want it to.”

Tucked in a building that once housed a raw bar, the Sew and So Fabrics/Singer Sew and Vacuum building is just a few blocks east of North Ashley Street.

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