Avenue Fabric Studio is tapping into the do-it-yourself movement as it joins other stitching businesses in Greater Victoria.
The studio opened this month at 108-1841 Oak Bay Ave., selling colourful fabrics and sewing supplies and offering a variety of workshops. Customers can use new sewing machines in the shop for $7 per hour.
The studio also runs Sunday salons from 2 to 4 p.m. to bring people together in a social atmosphere as they work on projects, which could be anything from knitting to sewing projects, said studio owner Vivian Moreau.
“We’ll hang out and the teapot will be on,” she said.
The do-it-yourself trend caught Moreau’s attention. “I notice when I go to coffee shops, all the young women sitting around knitting, and I figured, well, maybe clothing is going to be the next big thing.”
Moreau, a former newspaper reporter who has sewed for many years, took note of a friend’s Facebook posting 18 months ago showing a skirt made at a sewing studio in the U.S. “She was thrilled to pieces,” said Moreau.
Avenue Fabric workshops include beginner lessons, children’s classes, tailoring, dress-making, moccasin making and Roman blinds. The studio joins other sewing-related businesses in Greater Victoria that offer everything from sewing clothes and quilting to knitting and creating home decor items such as cushions and curtains.
The studio is also hosting an exhibit by fabric artist Kathy Demchuk from Feb. 28 to March 31.
Sewing classes and fabric stores are an established part of Greater Victoria’s business scene with long-time family firms like Sawyer Sewing Centre, 3400 Douglas St., and the Cloth Castle, 786 Goldstream Ave. Those businesses sell a range of sewing machines and related products, offer classes and host sewing clubs.
Another newcomer to the city’s sewing scene is The Makehouse, 833 Fort St., which also offers a drop-in stitching parlour. For $10 per hour, customers can use sewing machines and other items, get advice if needed and have a tea or coffee.
The Makehouse is close to the Satin Moon Quilt Shop at 825 Fort St.
Makehouse owner Jenny Ambrose opened a small studio last year, starting with a make-your-own-knickers workshop. In September, she relocated to its current site.
Ambrose said people find satisfaction in making something themselves, adding “we’ve had so many people coming back.”
Upholstery is a new addition to her event calendar, which includes teen classes, children’s parties, learning-to-sew-clothing workshops as well as events that show you how to make different types of knickers and piped cushions. Artist Freyja Zazu is also based at the Makehouse, where she works and teaches.
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