BY SOPHIE BIRD
Bloomington Stitchery’s commitment to body positivity is visible from the parking lot. A rainbow banner in the window of the new storefront reads, “You are loved,” and the store’s slogan, “Fine Tailoring for Every Body,” is on the sign outside.
Owner Liby Ball, 32, says her goal is to make customers feel welcome. “I’ve had a lot of affirmations this week that people are really noticing and having a positive reaction to the body positivity and anti-hate posters that I have up,” she says. “There are people who are specifically coming here because of that message.”
Located at 421 E. 3rd St., Bloomington Stitchery isn’t new to Bloomington. Prior to moving downtown in January, Ball ran the business out of her home for six years. She says she has always focused on positive body image and making people feel good about what they wear. “I want to help people develop their own personal style,” she says. “And I happen to be good at solving bad-fit related issues. I can pretty much tailor anything to fit anybody.”
Ball specializes in bridal alterations. Photos of her custom bridal apparel decorate the walls of the shop, many of them featuring non-traditional colors such as gray, pale blue, and gold. Recently, she says, she made a bridal jumpsuit and several two-piece wedding dresses.
“I also do a lot of refashioned gowns,” says Ball. “So, for example, I take Mom’s or Grandma’s dress and I refashion it into something else.” She’s also seen an increase in bridal customers who want to reuse heirloom dresses or have pieces made that they can wear again in the future.
Ball has a fondness for repurposed fashion and has participated in the Trashion Refashion show three times. Past contributions have included a wedding dress made entirely from fabric scraps and a jacket and skirt ensemble made from neckties. Both creations are on display at Bloomington Stitchery.
Ball says that, so far, her experience with the storefront has been encouraging. “Bloomington is so supportive of the arts and keeping everything local,” she says. “I’ve been overwhelmed from the start by how supportive the community has been in wanting to hire me to fix their clothing.”
For more information, visit Bloomington Stitchery on Facebook.