You might have spotted the colourful deckchairs outside Ray Stitch in Essex Road but did you know it’s a great place for a good coffee. A coffee machine is an excellent addition to independent shops and I am very pleased at how many businesses are investing in one.
Opposite the New Rose, halfway down Essex Road, I spotted Ray Stitch from the bus and decided it needed checking out. I wasn’t disappointed, finding delicious cakes and biscuits and Climpsons coffee. A relaxing mix of jazz, country etc plays while you have some time to yourself. You can sit in the window, watching the world go by or outside on a nice day where the team have made good use of the exceptionally wide pavement at this point. There is even a garden at the back.
In the shop you can find a fantastic array of fabrics, threads, buttons and really anything you might need if you sew. There is also a selection of gifts and kits for budding young tailors. The massive range they sell is on the website, though it’s obviously better to visit to properly see textures etc. I love the way you are encouraged to reuse and recycle any fabrics you have, being creative and customising your designs using Ray Stitch accessories.
Workshops and sewing classes are very popular so make sure you book early so you’re not disappointed. They range from complete beginners to specialised traditional craft like Blackwork and practical skills such as blind and curtain making. Class attendees qualify for a discount on purchases.
On the website there is a delightful set of photos of items made from fabrics sold in the shop and here you can sign up to the Newsletter so you don’t miss out on special events and offers.
Visually the shop is a delight, a bit like a small art gallery and I don’t even sew! Do visit if you’re in the area but not on Mondays as it’s closed.