Nicole Morganthau grew up around an entire family of women that knew how to sew. "I can't think of a woman in our family who hasn't sewn," she said.
So it makes sense that she's now owner of Finch Sewing Studio in Leesburg, Virginia.
"I live in Leesburg, and every time I passed this building, I thought, 'Gosh, that would be perfect!' It was important for me to be in downtown Leesburg where there is more foot traffic. It's also appealing to me that the building was built in 1790," Morganthau said. "The juxtaposition of the modern aesthetics in an historic building is something I love."
Finch Studio (102 Loudoun Street SW in downtown Leesburg) has a modern yet warm feel, with wall hangings and trinkets that were all made in the studio.
Morganthau seems to have found harmony with her own style for the studio. "We think it's important for people to feel inspired when they come in, and we want them to know that the possibilities for their own creativity can be endless. So there's definitely a lot of love that goes in to this place."
As for the sewing, knitting and crocheting that is done at the studio, you have plenty of options to choose from. Finch offers a variety of beginner classes designed around what you're interested in making, such as a beginner pillow cover class.
Close to 20 other options for sewing include a knit-and-sew pillows class, in which students knit a pillow front, and then come back for a second session to finish the back of the pillow with the sewing machine. You get the best of both worlds that way.
A maxi skirt class is one of the most popular -- students come for three hours and sew a custom-fit maxi skirt. Other beginner classes let students make beach bags and ruched scarves.
If you're looking for something more social, consider a sew-and-sip class June 2 at Stonetower Winery, where you can sip wine and sew 'till your heart's content. These types of events are held once a month at various locations.
It goes without saying that beginners and experienced seamstresses and knitters alike are all welcome at Finch Studio. There's also no need to bring anything with you. Finch has tool kits and sewing machines in the classrooms, along with all materials for classes sold in the retail shop.
Morganthau's ambition behind the sewing studio has always been about teaching others about these pastimes. "I'm just trying to bring back this very historic craft in a really modern way for a modern crowd," she said.
Finch Sewing Studio is located about an hour from downtown D.C.