"A stitch in time, saves nine." -proverb
sewing lounge (noun) a commercial space where people may sew, or learn to sew, as members of a community or a location for a modern sewing circle. Sewing equipment one may need is normally available.
Inspired by Project Runway last year, PR gal RW and I thought we would channel our inner fashion designers and try a sewing class. (After all sewing a custom is one way to assure having a truly unique outfit along with being quite recessionista chic.)
Not knowing much about where we should learn the art of stitching, we signed up at a local craft store chain. The results: frustration, loss of inspiration from seeing too many hideous floral jumpsuits and a highly comical, unfinished shirt (pictured left). Note to self: to truly enjoy the experience, we should have have waited for a hip and fabulous sewing lounge targeted for well, hip and fabulous gals.
Drop-in sewing lounges have been popping up around the country. They offer a space to get creative without having to own your own equipment (or having to lug your own sewing machine to a class). Stitch Lounge in San Francisco started the trend offering not only a place to sew but a place to socialize while working on projects. According to Time Magazine, "Once relegated to little old ladies, the frugal-minded and neohippie handicrafters, sewing your own clothes is back in vogue. Inspired by the desire for a unique look and by reality-TV shows like Project Runway, in which aspiring designers compete for an entrée into the established fashion world, more young people are trying their hand at this traditional domestic art."
But the article also notes that sewing has evolved from stay at home moms sewing in their dens. "Newcomers are heading to chic urban sewing lounges for classes on making handbags, lingerie and cocktail dresses."
The lounges offer an alternative to dull sewing classes: lessons for beginners but also access to industrial equipment for those who are more advanced. Sewing lounges focus both on making new stylish and trendy clothing from start to finish and giving new life to old clothing through refashioning and restyling. Many of the classes and renting of workspace cost as little as $10 an hour.
While Stitch Lounge in San Francisco is no longer open (they are still available online and through their books), the company put together a list of sewing lounges around the country. The best of the bunch include:
Boston: Sparks Craft Studio
Chicago : The Needle Shop
Houston: Sew Crafty
LA: Sew LA
Minneapolis: The Sewing Lounge
NYC: Make Workshop
Santa Clara, CA: Bobbin's Nest Studio
So, get creative and come up with a truly unique original piece. Hopefully it looks better than my shirt.
image source: getty images
(Special thanks to AP)