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home : business : business May 24, 2016

6/18/2013 1:22:00 PM
Miss Sew-It-All celebrates 25 years
Marsha Marr has kept Sisters folks’ clothing and other items in repair for 25 years. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
+ click to enlarge
Marsha Marr has kept Sisters folks’ clothing and other items in repair for 25 years. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

For 25 years, Marsha Marr, owner of Miss Sew-It-All, has made her living by needle, thread and scissors. She has tailored, hemmed and sewed her way into the hearts of the Sisters community. This month will mark her 25th year in business.

A steady stream of people who can't live with ripped hems, buttonless pants, or clothes that are too tight or too loose come to the Miss Sew-It-All Shop on Hood Avenue.

"A few people don't know my real name is Marsha. They call me 'Miss Sew-It-All.' That name has stuck with me over the years," says Marr.

Marr seems to have been born to sew.

"I use to make my own Barbie doll clothes as a little girl," she recalls.

"I remember when we all started sewing class in the eighth grade, everyone started out making aprons. I was making bathing suits."

Each year she alters and hems dresses for the teenage girls from Sisters High School.

"Soon after school starts it's the homecoming dance. Followed by the snowball dance and in April or May is the prom," says Marr. "It's always such an exciting time for them."

Marr has sewn everything from tents to wedding dresses. Her 1954 heavy-duty Pffaf sewing machine has seen it all.

"I've had this sewing machine for 30 years," says Marr. "This machine and I have sewn approximately 19,500 pants and about 1,300 zippers in the past 25 years. It can sew anything."

When Marr first started her business in 1988 she was located on Cascade Avenue. In 1996 she purchased the building she is now in and turned it into a costume shop.

"I had so much fun doing both, my regular sewing and making costumes," she says.

For 10 years she made all the costumes for the kids in the rodeo parade. Not only did Marr make their eye catching costumes, she made the floats, too.

"The kids and I had a great time. I went with them on the floats in my own handmade costume. One year I was Big Bird," Marr recalls, laughing. "Each year we had a different theme."

There is more to Marr than meets the eye of the needle. She enjoys lending a helping hand in the Sisters community.

"I have been volunteering for the fire department for four years now," says Marr. "I answer phones and help with different fundraisers like the giving tree and the Easter egg hunt."

For 21 years Marr has volunteered at the rodeo, making her way around the stadium making sure vendors have what they need.

"I must have walked over 30 miles this year at the rodeo," says Marr.

A special highlight in her busy life happened for Marr in 1998 when she was a board member with Jeri Fouts for the Starry Nights concert series.

That year, Gary Morris was going to be there and she was looking forward to hearing him sing. He just happened to be her favorite singer for many years. Marr was one of the ushers at his Starry Nights concert.

"I was leaning against the wall watching Gary talk and some friends led me down the aisle in front of thousands of people," Marr recalls. "Next thing I knew I was in the middle of the aisle when he serenaded me with my favorite song, 'Lasso the Moon.' It was an amazing moment."

Sometimes life can get in the way for the happiest of people. Three years ago, times got tough and money got tight for Marr.

Marr couldn't make ends meet renting her home in Sisters. A friend suggested that she move into her shop.

"I remember telling him, 'Are you kidding, my shop is filled with costumes and everything else,'" recalled Marr.

But then she changed her perspective. It used to be a residential property; it had what she needed.

"The property has a history behind it. The front room where I greet my customers was built in 1940," says Marr. "They added the second part on in 1948."

It was zoned a commercial property when she made her purchase for the shop.

"I went down to the city hall and begged for them to change it back to residential," Marr says. "They came back one day later with a 'yes, you can live there.'"

It needed a lot of work in renovation. This time, Marr's friends and the Sisters community came through to give her a helping hand.

"I have been truly blessed over the years," says Marr. "In my 25 years I've realized it's not the amount of money that makes you wealthy, it's the amount of smiles that you create that makes you rich."

Marsha Marr is going to celebrate her 25 years in business by having a barbecue. The Sisters community is invited this Saturday, June 22, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Janet Shaver

Marsha and I were good friends in high school. I remember how well she could sew. I was always in awe of her God-gifted talent. I was one of the people making an apron. I thought the chore was a pain-staking endeavor and it caused me much angst.

Our whole crowd is proud of her accomplishments.

Thank you for caring for her so far away from home.

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