January Stockist of the Month: Sew Much To Do

In the two beautiful cathedral cities of Bury St Edmunds and Ely you will find Sew Much To Do, a friendly and welcoming sewing and craft shop offering gorgeous colourful fabrics for dressmaking and quilting plus a growing selection of yarns and dedicated workshop rooms.

We caught up with business owner Lesley to find out more...

Tell us about the history of your shop and the team?

I started Sew Much To Do in 2012 with the shop in Ely and we have since opened a second shop in Bury St Edmunds in 2016….before all that I’d worked in an office all my working life – so the shop was quite a change in direction – but I’ve loved it! We have a small team of very creative ladies in each shop led by Beverly in Bury St Edmunds and Annabel in Ely.

Our motto is “Inspire...Create...Smile…” we want to inspire our visitors and customers to share in the joy you get when you create something, and to experience the smile you get when you gift a friend or loved one something you’ve made…it’s a wonderful feeling.


What do you offer that makes you stand out from other retailers?

Our aim is to be a friendly, creative space with a creative team supporting and inspiring the practical maker – we’re not trying to make things over complicated, we are just a team who really enjoys what we do and are passionate about sharing the love for sewing, knitting, crochet etc. 
What are you passionate about?

Nurturing other people’s creativity, getting people to play with colour and to give things a go.

How do you choose what you stock?

I love spending time with company reps, visiting trade shows and exhibitions for inspiration…I love that part of the job where we get to ‘play’ with new fabric and yarn ranges, making our own ‘story’ with them, or collection … Our stock is a personal collection, personally curated by me and the team

What do you love about quilting?

I love the planning, the choosing of the colours, patterns….I am a bold colours person (though always seem to be dressed in dark colours)…but I love challenging colours in quilts and sewing projects…I love the mindfulness of the whole sewing process too … I’m also known for very short deadlines with my quilt projects, so am often found at the machine late into the night.      

What project are you working on at the minute?

Ah….this is where I can’t lie….a new year’s resolution…I am trying to finish three projects that are 95% complete…a bright sunny quilt for my sister-in-law in Sydney – this quilt has even travelled there and back with me, I thought I’d finish the hand quilting while I was out there on a holiday about 3 years ago…a ‘going to University’ quilt for our eldest boy…though he’s now completed that degree, been and done a Masters and has been working for a year….and, in a similar vein, I’ve been working on an 18th birthday quilt for the daughter of an old college friend…who graduated with a Midwifery degree a couple of weeks ago…enough said, I really need to finish them before I start anything new this year!
Are there any future plans you wish to share with us?

Our new website should be launched in January – it’s been a long project as I try to fit everything in, but it‘s very, very nearly there. We’ve also got some new workshop tutors joining our programme in 2019 which we’re really excited about…and a few more treats that are almost, almost ready to be launched…we’ve got lots planned for 2019 and it’s great to have the support of our suppliers along the way – our supplier relationships are really valuable and we really appreciate the support of Simon, our EQS rep, he’s worked closely with us now for 6 years and has a really good take on what will work or not for us and our customers – which makes it all so much easier!!

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