Dream Job: A Sewing Lounge?

Do you have a sewing lounge in your area?  I had never heard of these until last year when Tasia blogged about Spool of Thread in Vancouver, and since then I have seen quite a few online references to similar sewing lounges.

Spool of Thread, Vancouver
image from www.spoolofthread.com

They are sewing places where you can pop in and use workspace or equipment that you don’t have at home, where you have access to essential supplies, maybe take a few technique workshops, and enjoy the company of other sewers as well. I have to admit I can’t get the idea out of my head – wouldn’t it just be the best place to play work?!!

Sew Over It, London
image from www.sewoverit.co.uk

I think I would be the first to arrive and the last to leave if this was my job – I’d love helping others out all day with tips and tricks, helping with construction and fitting issues (we all find another pair of hands useful here don’t we!), making patterns and meeting like-minded friends – just like I do on my blog purely for fun, but in real life – I’d definitely be in my element!

Spool of Thread

Although I’m not sure I could do the patchwork thing…

Would you visit a sewing lounge if there was one in your region?  Maybe you have already been to one and can share your experience.  Or would you rather just stay at home and sew by yourself for free?  I suppose it would be a slight inconvenience getting there with your gear (I guess you can bring your own machine!) but once there, the lounge might have better equipment like cutting tables and professional irons for use, and hopefully a nice social atmosphere with good coffee and inspiring magazines!  Sounds like the place to be don’t you think?

Sew Over It

I’d love to hear what you think of sewing lounges – so fire away!

…just like we did on Guy Fawkes, hehe:

DH let off tons of sky rockets!

Sonny Boy lit tons of sparklers!

(and I sat on the verandah with a glass of wine and admired the view!)

Advertisements

Posted by

I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

49 thoughts on “Dream Job: A Sewing Lounge?

  1. Don't know of any near me, but sounds a terrific idea if only to gain and share tips with like minded sewers! Just love the styling of 'Sew over it', and your firework piccies are awesome
    (though I do think you had the best idea!)

    Like

  2. That's so funny that you've put up pictures of the one that is down the road from me (sew over it) however, I haven't been to it yet. Mainly due to cost and having everything I need at home. Although, they do look like they have some excellent courses…

    Like

  3. Hello, I'm a spanish-italian mamma living in Germany, I started sewing a year ago, and altough I'm living in a quite little town we DO have such a place!! It's actually a fabric shop, the owners give sewing “lessons” late in the evening and we come with our machines, sew toghether, talk about children, laugh a lot, etc. At the moment it's very “in” in Germany, I love it!

    Greetings from Peine and excuse my english! I forgot a lot, my head is now full with german…

    Like

  4. Sherry, your comment made me realise I had left out the fact that I had sewn that dress about 7-8 years ago; for a 7-8 year younger me….
    Re sewing lounges; they do sound like fun, don't they?

    Like

  5. I had the chance to rent space in two sewing lounges in the States (one in San Fran and one in NYC) on my recent trip and OMG. I LOVE THEM! I wish we had something like that here! I would be there ALL the TIME!

    Like

  6. I feel very very very lucky because I have quite a few options in London. When I wanted to learn how to sew I chose The Make Lounge and it's fabulous. I was tempted to rent a machine to practice on but I just bit the bullet and bought one. No regrets!

    Like

  7. Sherry, you'd be great in something like that because of your expertise & teaching skills. I haven't been to one, but have been to knitting groups at yarn stores & though I get a bit tired of women, I always enjoy seeing what others are working on.

    I do find that I do better solving problems on my own, so a sewing club would be for fun; I probably would not get that much done. Also, I don't do much by hand (that belt loop you taught a few months back was one of my few non-machine projects), so I wouldn't have much to work on.

    I haven't been, but this is in DC:
    http://www.bitsofthread.com/

    Like

  8. I love the concept of these. One of my best friends (a non-sewer) live in Paris (I live in Sweden), and the next I am visiting, we are planning to first go fabric shopping, then go to a sewing lounge where I can make her some garments, while we drink coffee and chat. Perfect! 🙂

    Like

  9. I love this idea and read more about others popping up. If I had the funds, I would give it a try in my area. Maybe I will win the lotto and do this. I just never seem to remember to buy a ticket. I think I would love to go to a place like this everyday, and I would if I owned the shop.

    Like

  10. I'm in London these days, and live less than a km from two of these and they're great. Auckland could definitely use one though, right? Can't you just picture one sitting nicely in Grey Lynn? 🙂

    Like

  11. That idea sounds so lovely! I could most certainly imagine you as a … uh! what exactly is the job called? But anyways you would be a good whatever it is 🙂

    I'm afraid there aren't any in my region. I have been to a sewing lounge. I couldn't even sew back then but somebody a know did … I just can't figure out who took me there ^^! It was really nice, even from a non-sewing perspective I could apreciate it.

    Like

  12. We don't have one in our area, but it does sound like so much fun. Sewing classes are great, but so often people just need a little help with their own projects, and this would be the perfect set-up.

    Like

  13. I run a sewing lounge called Sewing Cafe at our local tech college. The participants enjoy the dedicated sewing time, getting help from me with fitting issues and expanding their skills. We have men and women, young and old, beginners to advanced stitchers. We all enjoy seeing what others are making, and are very respectful of each other. We often talk about opening a store and what features we would like to see it have…comfy chairs, lots of reference(which I currently haul back and forth with me) a coffee and biscotti bar of course, a good supply of notions, linings, and interlinings, as well as pattern making supplies, and lets not forgets world class fabric and buttons.
    I highly recommend going to one of these facilities, you will be exposed to tips and idea's you knew nothing about, everybody always learns something, including the instructor

    Like

  14. I've never been to a sewing lounge, though they do sound dreamy. I wonder how they ever make enough money to cover the rent though, I must admit.
    My husband took our girls to a Guy Fawks fireworks display at the local church field while I was in NYC visiting my sister and her new baby. One of the Roman Candles was faulty and went whizzing into the crowd! No one was hurt, but now my four and seven year old never want to go to another bonfire night:-(

    Like

  15. I love the idea—especially with someone like you as the proprietor!

    That being said, I'm chronically broke, so I would probably have a hard time justifying the money when I can sew at home for free.

    Like

  16. I second Tanit-Isis! I'd welcome the opportunity to pop in occasionally and have some company, but … gasoline price is up, my 20-year-old vehicle is unreliable, I live 10 miles away from all but rudimentary shopping. Plus there's all those pesky commitments to family and work. Great idea for the young and enthusiastic, though.

    Like

  17. This is just what I've been looking for; even considered going in with someone to lease one of those “personal offices” just so it would be all ours in which to sew.

    Go for it. I think you'd have lots of takers.

    Like

  18. We don't have anything like that in my town either, but I'd welcome a space like that with open arms! I'd love the fellowship & live tech support. I might actually finish a project or two!

    Like

  19. Hi Sherry, I do think about it as you described, as a job for me. What fun to spend my time spreading the sewing joy, I think it would be so fun to help other sewers all day and have endless sewing chat, a topic I never tire of.
    Even though the web is great for learning, it can't top getting out and seeing techniques in person. thanks for the interesting post.

    Like

  20. They had a sewing lounge in Nelson – I'm not sure what happened to it, but if it could survive in such a tiny place as that it could survive in Auckland.

    I love the idea of doing sewing classes in a lovely space, and that's how I would use it – I'd also make use of having someone on hand to fit – I always have fit problems I can't sort myself. So yeah, I'd use it for that too!

    Like

  21. We used to have a knitting lounge in my town in a yarn shoppe. I always wished for a sewing lounge. It would be nice to chat while doing handwork or cutting out tons of projects.

    Like

  22. I work in a sewing lounge here in southern California. We have classes mostly geared towards children so it's not quite the same as the lovely ones I've seen online. It does keep you focused on sewing and the ins and outs of it, having to answer questions all the time and sew everyday, no matter what!

    Like

  23. The idea is excellent and the concept is applied to other area, like the concepts of Fablab developed by Harvard. I am curious to know about the financial aspect of those lounge. They need to pay bills like all of of. thank you for this interesting post.

    Like

  24. I have one that just opened about six blocks from my house, but I haven't been there yet. It's in Minnesota, USA.

    It looks just lovely from the outside, I drive by it everyday, but as others have commented, I couldn't really justify spending money to sew somewhere else, when I have everything I need at home. That's money that could be going for more fabric or patterns!

    I do think its a great idea for someone learning or interested in getting into sewing, so that no serious investment is made until that person knows for sure if sewing is going to go anywhere for them.

    Like

  25. I'd love one in Auckland! I take dressmaking classes at Mt. Roskill, they give me a chance to see what everyone else is sewing, and ask for help. It'd be great to have one that I could just drop by . . .

    Like

  26. We run one in Leeds uk, it's been in a studio for the past 3 years but just expanded into a shop for more space and accessibility. We run classes and also drop in sessions where you can just use the equipment, also any other craft subjects

    Like

  27. A local craft shop here ran something similar for a while. I found that I was so busy chatting that I didn't not get much sewing done. I would have to take projects that did not require much concentration. I did enjoy going though.

    The limitation for me was that they did not have a private area to try things on or a mirror and I like to try on all the way through sewing. If people need fitting help, you might need a private corner for them to get changed and a mirror.

    Sounds like the job for you! You probably don't need to get into quilting, because there seem to be plenty of quilting places around already.

    Like

  28. I think it's a fantastic idea! Every now and again I have dreams of doing something similar my way but they're just dreams. I agree with you, what a fantastic place to work, much better than my day job office desk, lol.

    Like

  29. Most of the time it is more convenient to sit at home and sew in snatched moments. But I would definitely use a nice clear space that provided tools I didn't have at home but most of all, if a lovely, helpful, knowledgable staff member was available. If I got stuck on something I'd plan a time to go and sort it out, take in my muslins for fitting help…It would be awesome. And the chance for peace and quiet? Yes yes yes!

    Like

  30. I do not know of any in my area. But, I'd love to check one out, if there were. It sounds like a fun place, depending on what you were working on. My mom had made use of one, once she retired and traveled to a warmer clime for the winter. She did say that she felt limited in her projects, because they had to be portable. Perhaps they should have lockers!

    Like

  31. Sounds like an awesome idea. There are some retail spaces in Birkenhead on the North Shore that have been vacant for a while, so you should totally set a sewing lounge up over here! I'd likely be a regular customer 🙂

    Like

  32. I would love one of these, especially if there were a range of machines one could try out, as well as helpful support and great fabrics and supplies for sale; a real one-stop shop. But can you please bring it to Wellington where I live.

    Like

  33. The Thread Den in Melbourne is some such set-up:
    http://www.threadden.com/_pages/about.html

    It's fantastic! And I certainly think you'd be a marvellous person to run one in your neck of the woods, Sherry.

    Go on!

    I think a sewing lounge is an ideal place for people with no sewing experience to try it out before having to commit money buying their own machine for home.

    I think they're also great spaces to get help with a new technique or an unknown element. So many people don't have knowledgeable sewers around them anymore, and a lounge fills that gap.

    I'd love to see you start one up, Sherry.

    Like

  34. Hi there,
    I'm from the Netherlands.

    I know there is a sewingcafé (naaicafé) in Rotterdam for those who don't have a sewing machine or overlockmachine at home or need some help to finish their projects. Some cafés also offer lessons. And, of course, it is also possible to meet other people and make new friends with the same hobby.

    Like

  35. There used to be two sewing labs in Austin (that I know of) but sort of on the opposite end of town from me. The one that closed was run by a freelance patternmaker who used to work as an in-house samplemaker for several companies. (I think she still offers sewing classes at her home.) It'd make a wonderful job for someone who loves to teach and likes a local community approach.

    Like

  36. It would be cool (especially a pattern-cutting table – I use our dining table and it's just a smidge too small and low), but HA! to having something like that here in Hamilton. Our choices are the dreaded Spotlight, or the shop where the lady obviously either hates sewing, or doesn't like helping people. The other day I bought some sheer chiffon for a top (Tasia's Pendrell blouse, actually) and when I asked her about underlining she just sarcastically said I should wear a singlet (cami for you non-NZers) under it. Geez, if I was going to do that I'd just buy something off the rack. In the end I got voile from Spotlight, which did fine.

    Rant about grumpy lady over! (But it really irked me.)

    Like

  37. I'd love to have a sewing lounge nearby! Sometimes I would want to enrol at a course way too easy, just to be around fellow seamstresses and being in the environment… It's so much easier to arrange a knitting club, but bringing along an on-going sewing project just takes too much space. I don't have any hopes for a lounge nearby though, so maybe I'll just buy a big enough house one day!

    Like

  38. What I think? I think I am dying of envy that there's a concept of a sewing lounge somewhere and it's definitely not in my country! I would love to work in one. I don't care doing what – scrubbing the floors! Just to be near all those sewing machines and sewing hobbyists, and maybe giving some advice and sharing the love for this great craft… Oh, what a dream.

    Like

  39. I dream of opening one. I'd fill it with my collection of vintage machines and just know that there would be creative people there all of the time to talk with and share ideas with.

    Like

  40. I would give my eye teeth to have a professional/fashion industry insider (like you) help me with fitting. I live in Vancouver but I'm from Auckland. Next time I'm in Auckland visiting my my mum I'll come to your shop (and bring my sister and her friends too). Promise.

    You should go for it!

    Like

Have your say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s