In 1995 I received a phone call from Dwayne McClure. Dwayne (also known as Mac) was the owner of McClure Sewing Machine Service and an old friend. In response to his call I went over to visit Dwayne and Shirley. First we enjoyed Shirley's homemade cookies and coffee. Then Dwayne said, "Tim, I'm going to teach you how to repair sewing machines and then I am going to give you this business." At the time I was not aware that I wanted to learn about sewing machines, but Mac was persuasive. That generous decision by a good friend was the beginning of what would eventually become The Sewing House.
For several years my wife, Linda, and I operated Dobson Sewing Machine Service out of our home. I serviced thousands of sewing machines. Linda did the bookkeeping. I began to notice how New Home Sewing Machines were solidly built. They reminded me of the old black sewing machine my mom used when I was a boy. I learned that New Home Sewing Machines were manufactured by the Janome Company. I gradually decided that if I ever became a sewing machine dealer I would sell the Janome brand.
In 2007 Linda and I formed The Sewing House, LLC, and became a Janome dealer. We rented a small retail space at Quincy Place Mall in Ottumwa. We also purchased an old house located at 255 N. Davis Street, just one-half block off Church Street and right behind Fuller Monument Co. We began remodeling it into a sewing store. Our intentions were to sell and service sewing machines. Often the ladies who came to the store asked when I was going to start selling fabric. Finally I decided to buy a few bolts. We started out with one little rack of fabric in the backroom. Our customers encouraged us to buy more. Gradually we increased our investment in quilting fabric. Soon the walls of The Sewing House were lined with more than 2000 bolts of beautiful fabric.
We soon outgrew our original Sewing House on Davis Street. We were actively looking for a larger property. One day in 2011 a good friend of the store told me that Brown's Shoe Store was for sale. We contacted the owner and after a short negotiation we purchased the building. After extensive remodeling we moved into our new Sewing House at 220 East Main in 2012. We now have about 6000 square feet of display and class room areas.
When you come to The Sewing House you will see over 4000 bolts of fabric, sewing supplies, quilting tools, a classroom, Janome, Elna and Necchi sewing machines, embroidery machines and sergers. Some of our customers have joined our team. They make The Sewing House a relaxing, refreshing destination for visitors from all over southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri. We hope you will stop by soon. You will always be welcome.