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Bloomington shop stitches together communities of all kinds

Bloomington Stitchery
Posted at 3:43 PM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 16:09:52-05

BLOOMINGTON — Whether it's a walk down the aisle or a strut down the runway, the stitchers inside Bloomington Stitchery can tailor just about any garment for any occasion.

“Focusing on the alterations and tailoring aspect, that's primarily what we do,” Liby Ball said. “We’ll do pretty much any kind of apparel.”

Ball is the owner of Bloomington Stitchery, an alteration business with humble beginnings.

“It started out in the guest room of my house, and then it grew into the hallway, and then it grew into a second bedroom,” Ball said.

Seemingly bursting at the seams, Ball moved Bloomington Stitchery into its first retail location in the fall of 2016.

Bloomington Stitchery Original Shop
The first commercial space for Bloomington Stitchery was inside a strip mall.

“We moved into what was available at the time, a strip mall in downtown Bloomington,” Ball said. “It was definitely not my dream setup, but worked for us at the time.”

Seven years later, Ball and the stitchers are growing once again.

“I needed to hire an additional seamstress and there was nowhere to put them, so now we're here,” Ball said.

Bloomington Stitchery

"Here" is at the corner of 4th and Rogers streets in Bloomington. The shop is hosting a grand reopening event Friday Jan. 5.

“We are planning to rejoin the First Friday activities of downtown Bloomington,” Ball said. “We were part of that when we first opened and then COVID canceled everything. So we are trying to branch back out into more community events and we'll be offering more craft nights and sewing classes.”

Cut from the same cloth

The people of Bloomington Stitchery pride themselves on catering to communities often found on the fringes of society. The shop touts itself as a body-positive, body-neutral and gender-affirming space.

Liby Ball inside Bloomington Stitchery
Liby Ball stands in front of a sewing machine at Bloomington Stitchery.

“I've just tried to make sure that the way we're presenting ourselves publicly makes it a little bit more obvious that this is a safe space no matter what your body type or gender is,” Ball said.

“Getting fitted for dresses and suits could be very intimidating for somebody who wants to be gender-affirmed. We try to make as much of a priority as we can to the LGBT community, because we're all a part of that community."

Bloomington Stitchery is located at 511 W 4th Street.

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