By Darragh Doiron
The News staff writer
NEDERLAND — Tammy Holt stepped away from sewing machines just long enough to battle breast cancer, but she’s back in a new Nederland shop just in time for Christmas monogramming.
Hoop craft kits are hot for the holidays, and quilting lessons are on the way, but for now Holt said she expects Snuggies to bundle up her holiday sales. Snuggies are the much-maligned fleece “robes you wear backwards” as seen on TV and joked about on late-night monologues. But they’re popular, keep the wearer warm and become more meaningful with a name or “grandpa” stitched across the front, Holt said.
Holt sold sewing machines on Boston Avenue for years, then got a cancer diagnosis in April of 2007. She’s been cancer-free since March of 2008. As she felt better, she began to sew in her Nederland home, then from a portable building on her property. She said she outgrew the business, supported by loyal customers, and has opened in the shopping center by Market Basket, on 27th Street in Nederland.
Surrounded by colorful threads, fabrics and Baby Lock machines, she said she couldn’t put down the needle.
“That’s just my love and my passion,” Holt said. “We were in high demand, I would say.”
She said she considered if her passion would support a larger business venture.
“I was real scared to open up again,” she said, and referred to the economy’s downturn.
Back in the day, homemakers often made clothing for all their children. Now Holt said she finds most seamstresses aren’t creating garments, though they may buy a denim jacket to embellish. What they want to sew is crafts.
“We do have a lot of younger people coming in,” Holt said.
She’s planning a slumber party project where girls will design and monogram their own pillow covers, she said.
Halloween, Holt says is known as the biggest season for sewing and crafting sales, but she’s gearing up for another season, of Thanksgiving.
“I’m very thankful to be through with all that cancer,” Holt said.