I’m Hilarie Dayton, and I teach sewing and fashion design. I am also a designer, author and mom who, by good fortune and lots of work, has created a business doing what I love most. If you are new to sewing, welcome. I’m so happy that you are here. I have a studio where I teach weekly classes as well as a book and a blog.
I've been obsessed with fashion and sewing since I was a young child. I would save up money and beg my mother to drive me to a fabric store that had just the right trim to complete the vision of whatever I had come up with. I know the history of the petticoat and I get excited about all of the different types of cashmere.
As a very small girl of four years old, I began to learn to sew. My grandmother always had an array of projects she was working on and happy to have me next to her. I spent hours making clothes and elaborate furnishings for my dolls, Barbies and myself! My grandmother owned a plant nursery and would sell dolls and crafts that she and her friends had made in the shop. Occasionally she let me sell my things as well.
As I grew, so did my sewing interest and ability. I spent one year studying Fashion Design in college then transferred to a small college closer to home and majored in Art History, with a concentration on the History of Costume, because they did not have a fashion program. However, they did have a fantastic theater department and extensive internship opportunities. I found use for my sewing skills in the theater department’s costume shop. When I couldn’t find the right pattern, I would make one from existing garments. After college, I had a line of women’s clothing, then accessories that I designed, manufactured, and sold in boutiques. Later, I designed and made custom wedding gowns and veils.
Years later, I took everything that I had learned and brought it all forward with me and opened Little Stitch Studio. As my focus is now on sewing education, I have written two books, Sew Bags: The Practical Guide to Making Purses, Totes, Clutches & More, (2019, C&T/Stash) and Sew Your Own Wraps, Capes & Cover-ups: Simple shapes to embellish with your own personal style, (2021, C&T/Stash), published several sewing patterns and I teach classes and workshops nearly every day. I am a member of The Costume Society of America, the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals as well as a BERNINA Brand Ambassador. Recently, I was a featured guest on WHRV’s Hearsay with Cathy Lewis as well as season 76 of PBS’s Creative Living with Sheryl Borden. My work has also been in Sew News and Love Sewing Magazines.
Check out my books! Sew Bags The Practical Guide to Making Purses, Totes, Clutches & More