Top Stitch Interiors


I’m sure just about everyone has heard that old proverb “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine?” For those of you who may not know or understand the meaning of this proverb, it’s rather simple. It has to deal with procrastination; dealing with a small problem now to avoid a larger problem later.

This is something that Jerry Klich nicknamed “Stitch,” the owner of Top Stitch Interiors, has lived by his whole life. From a very young age, Jerry was always after enterprise; mowing lawns, washing cars, anything to earn money. By the time he turned thirteen; a friend of the family took notice of his entrepreneurial, enterprising skills and offered him a job at his automotive interior upholstery shop. After learning a few skills, one Saturday, there were a couple of guys that didn’t show up for work; Jerry stepped up and filled in the gaps. At the age of fourteen, just one year after he started working at this shop, the owner realized that Jerry’s skill set and learning capabilities far surpassed many of the seasoned veterans.

By the time he was seventeen, it was suggested by his school counselor that he leave high school and enroll into a trade school. The reason behind this suggestion was, it became quite clear that Jerry more than excelled in his elective classes; wood shop, auto shop and even gym. His parents did not have the money for trade school and since he had been doing upholstery from the age of thirteen, they felt it would be best if he continued the path of automotive upholstery under the supervision of this current boss.

He worked for Mayberry Upholstery in Belleville, IL up to the age of nineteen where he went to St. Louis and put in his application at Eddie’s Auto Top on Manchester Road. Eddie’s Auto Top had three locations around town. He was hired on and commuted back and forth from Belleville to St. Louis every day. At 21 years old, Jerry’s skills impressed Eddie so much so that he made him manager of his Florissant location. He worked for Eddie for about four years and ended up deciding to move to Northern California to be closer to his children.

California became his second home of 42 years. When Jerry moved to Vacaville; he worked for an upholstery shop for about four months and then decided to open his own business called “Sew Fine Interiors” specializing in Street Rods.

Throughout the years, he continued to perfect his craft. He became so good that in 1985 his work was recognized by the Auto Trim Association and he was award certification as a Certified Master Craftsman in his field. At that time there were 350 individuals that were certified in a five year period. Now that number has dwindled down to 50. 

Jerry’s work is well recognized; earning award after award, trophy after trophy. All the work he does is from scratch; from the fabrication, to the sewing, to the installation and trim work. Not only does he do complete restoration and fabrication projects, he also does simple repairs, center consoles, headliners, door panels for any automobile and custom motorcycle seats. He leaves no “Stitch” undone. 

Overall throughout the years, Jerry has won numerous awards and recognition for his many cars that he has restored and customized. Of these in 2002, he received the Boyd Cottington Pick for best interior at the Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, he has received several Best Interior at the Autorama in Sacramento, California and has one Best In Show many times around the United States. He also has won several high recognitions at Pebble Beach, California. Many of Jerry’s satisfied customers have won Best in Shows and Best Interiors throughout the Midwest and have been mentioned in numerous car magazines.

About nine years ago, he decided to move back to St. Louis to be close to some family that stills remains here in the mid-west. He moved his company, Sew Fine Interiors to continue his work.
Four years ago, he changed his company name to what is now known as “Top Stitch Interiors.”

“A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” are words to live by. Jerry is seventy now, and if he allowed procrastination and the lack of determination to get in his way; he wouldn’t be the best of the best in his field. 

If you want to be the best, then learn from the best. If you want to have the best, then you need to get it from the best, Jerry “Stitch” Klich; Top Stitch Interiors is the BEST!

Feature in Classic Trucks November 2018