Welcome to The Confident Stitch

The mission of The Confident Stitch is to uplift and empower people through sewing. To us, sewing is transformative for both humans and the Earth. We believe those of us with the time to hyper-consume should slow down and create. Instead of following the newest fast-fashion trend, we can use quality fabrics in just the right colors to make things for ourselves and the people we love. We feel soothed while we create and we prevent harmful environmental waste. And although the things we make may not be perfect, the act of creating heals us and the Earth.

We understand that humans and the earth need a lot more healing than sewing can provide. But sewing heals both humans and the Earth a little bit, and for that we are grateful.


Kate McIvor

Kate McIvor

The Confident Stitch began as Kate McIvor’s blog to chronicle the pleasures of combining beautiful fabrics with custom-made patterns that curve with your body. She dreamed of providing the resources needed to transform great sewing ideas into outfits and projects.

Now she is making that dream a reality through this website, and a brick-and-mortar shop in Missoula, Montana. Kate’s mission is to create a welcoming place that uplifts and empowers all people. She hopes this website will make you feel as though you have just walked into the fabric shop of your dreams.

Kate grew up in Lafayette, California. She has a bachelor’s degree in History from Wesleyan University, and a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University (both of which are surprisingly useful in this endeavor). She has two daughters who are in their 20’s, Charlotte and Mairin. She lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband, Fred, three dogs and one cat.

Maisie Gospodarek

Maisie is The Confident Stitch’s Shop Manager. She has just begun to dip her toe into the world of sewing, and the water feels fine! As a true Jaqueline-of-All-Trades, and life-long ‘crafter’ in many other mediums, Maisie is determined (and excited) to add this fun and versatile craft to her repertoire!

Maisie, a born and raised Montanan, grew up with Yellowstone National Park on her left, National Forest on her right, and Bison everywhere in between! She moved to Missoula to obtain a degree in English Literature, with minors in Vocal Performance and Political Science, from The University of Montana.

She currently lives in a teeny apartment with her wonderful (and adorable) roommate, Bea the cat.

Bonnie Thompson

Bonnie Thompson

Bonnie is the true Montanan and the true seamstress here at The Confident Stitch. Born and bred in Missoula, Bonnie still owns a house in the Rattlesnake near the land her grandparents homesteaded. Bonnie started sewing professionally in 1980 for a custom sewing business in downtown Missoula. By 1987, Bonnie owned the business, which she ran for almost 20 years. She is well known in this small town as a great garment maker and tailor.

After Bonnie closed her shop, she went to New Zealand for three months, marveling at the similarities and differences between Montana and an island in the South Pacific. When she returned to Montana, Bonnie continued doing alterations out of her home, which continues to thrive.

Bonnie enjoys working at The Confident Stitch shop because she loves seeing people get excited about sewing. Sewing is her art, and fabric is her medium. Being The Confident Stitch seamstress allows Bonnie to sew for herself with beautiful fabrics, something she hasn’t done for almost 30 years. She also makes our ready-to-wear garments, and all of our window display samples.

Bess Bird

Bess Bird

Bess Bird, now The Confident Stitch graphic designer, single handedly took (nearly) all the photos on the website for five years. She also fell in love with Montana after working in Glacier National Park. Why did she travel from Wisconsin to Montana? Because one day she was leafing through old National Geographic magazines at a friend’s cabin, and Missoula was featured as a great place to live.

We are so glad Bess stumbled upon that magazine!

Bess has a bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Montana. She worked at Green Door Photography for a few years before she started her own eponymous business. Whenever she has time to tear herself away from her work, Bess hangs out with her little Missoula family, including a man named Fox and a yellow dog named Yellow Dog.

Jen Grady

Jen Grady is a Sales Associate here at The Confident Stitch. She grew up in Southern California making up her own sewing patterns and hand stitching them out of repurposed sheets. Eventually her interest in sewing evolved into a desire to create clothing options for body types not typically catered to in ready-to-wear garments.

Jen attended Canada College’s Fashion Design program, graduating with a 4.0, and an emphasis on fit and small business. She went on to work independently in a wide variety of industrial, manufacturing, production, costuming and private design roles. She continues to do custom work and alterations. She’ll soon reach her 20th year of working in the industry and is always excited to help customers realize their sewing goals with tips and tricks along the way!


Rachael Searchfield

Rachael Searchfield is a Sales Associate at The Confident Stitch. She grew up on a little island off the coast of Maine where she learned to sew during high school theatre productions. Rachael ventured out West to work on cattle ranches as a wrangler. After spending a few years in Colorado and attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Business, Rachael moved to Missoula with her fiance, Zac.

Hoping to one day live a self-sustaining life on a small farm, Rachael brings her sustainable mindset to The Confident Stitch. Scraps are Rachael’s gold and she loves nothing more than creating useful products out of what may otherwise be trash. Rachael always sews with the help(?) of her cats, Taco and Tequila. Outside of the sewing room, she can be found charging through rapids on her trusty old Hyside raft.