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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: lamx
Date: 10-25-2006, 07:41 AM (1 of 10)
Ever since reading about sewing lounges in the newest issue of Threads Magazine, I have been toying with the idea of opening one, such as the one at I have lots of sewing machines, 13 industrial and over 50 family machines, all I need to open the doors is a space. Does anyone have one of these in their area? How is it doing? What are they doing right/wrong? How do they advertise? What are their sidelines? My main concern is that I don't live in a heavily populated area and there might not be sufficient numbers of customers to keep the chairs filled. On the other side of the coin, I do live near a large Navy Base having lots of people who have to keep their possessions at a minimum and can't lug sewing machines, especially industrials, all over the world with them. I also live near lots of water and lots of boat owners who always need to make or repair canvas.

User: lamx
Member since: 05-04-2006
Total posts: 44
From: Pudge99
Date: 10-25-2006, 09:53 AM (2 of 10)
As a military spouse I love the idea. Buuuutttt. You know there is always going to be a but. In general military families don't have a lot of cash. Paying $5 for 30 minutes doesn't sound like much but when you figure it takes at least four hours to complete something simple and add in the fact that when sewing women and/or military spouses get together they tend to talk more than work. So it might take you twice as long to finish. You might end up spending $40 not including all the necessary supplies. I just don't think you are going to get a lot of military spouses with those kind of prices. Now if you could work out a membership plan like for the gym you might be able to hook some of us. Or something like the tanning booth, $40 for 1 month of unlimited usage. Month at a time would probably work better than a yearly plan as some spouses are hesitant to pay that far in advance because they have no clue if they are going to get orders next month.
All in all I think it is a great idea. I say go for it and if you don't get the business you are looking for try switching to more classes. People will always pay for lessons.
Pictures of my successes and failures
Pfaff 2040
Janome Mylock 134D
Singer Futura CE-100 w/ Autopunch
Husqvarna Viking 3D Sketch
User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: JustSewCrafty
Date: 10-25-2006, 02:44 PM (3 of 10)
WHat a neat idea.
May your bobbin always be full-
"Sewing is the new black"
User: JustSewCrafty
Member since: 10-04-2006
Total posts: 168
From: pjbobbins
Date: 10-31-2006, 09:57 PM (4 of 10)
I don't know personally about sewing lounges, but my uncle did something similar with shop tools. Right after WWII, he bought a Govt. surplus Quonset hut and set up "The Tool Crib". Local men with "Do it yourself" projects would pay him a small fee to use his shop, he was available give advice. He bought more tools with what the guys paid him.

Are there Rennaissance Faire enthusiasts or Civil War reenactors in your area? Those might be groups you could attract too. Having a place to go to work on projects with others, and not necessarily having to haul my own machine sounds very appealing to me. I live in a very small apartment, and finding room to layout and cut projects I would like to tackle is often a challenge.
User: pjbobbins
Member since: 08-15-2006
Total posts: 12
From: lendube
Date: 11-01-2006, 12:32 PM (5 of 10)
What a great idea! I think success or failure would ride on the location, getting word out initially and then good ol' word of mouth would take it from there.

I love their little policy statement...........

Good luck and it could be a lot of fun. Please let us know what you end up doing.

User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: Miss Spring
Date: 11-01-2006, 05:04 PM (6 of 10)
I love the idea!

My mother taught me to sew when I was about 5 or 6. When I had kids of my own I wanted to sew for them but as being young and not having a ton of money to buy my own machine I would have jumped at something like this. I too vote for the monthly membership. I think if you could also offer a little bit of help to those who just cant get the zipper right it would be awesome.

I remember when I first bought my serger I broke a thread and couldnt for the life of me get it rethreaded. I went into our local fabric shop and asked for help. A local quilters group was in there and they had a really good laugh at me that I couldnt thread my own darn But one did tell me she was very impressed that someone in their early 20's even wanted to

I think you should go for it!
User: Miss Spring
Member since: 05-03-2006
Total posts: 87
From: blackie
Date: 11-05-2006, 01:59 PM (7 of 10)
Oh my gosh. What a fabulous idea. I would like to help run one! I just love spreading the joy of sewing.

I agree a monthly membership would be ideal. Maybe have a "Wednesday Drop-In Day" where people paid a small amount for use during the day, just to get things started.

I would love to believe this sort of a thing could succeed, and I would love even more to be part of something like this.
see the mundane life of a housewife.
User: blackie
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 594
From: Patty22
Date: 11-11-2006, 08:43 AM (8 of 10)
I woke up this morning thinking about the sewing lounge.....maybe I am intrigued with the concept. Anyway, I was thinking that something nice to be able to provide your frequent clients would be locker storage. This way if they didn't have a place at home for their sewing basket, etc. or hiding a gift they were making they could lock it up there.
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: Miss Spring
Date: 11-11-2006, 10:52 AM (9 of 10)
How funny....I woke up thinking about it today too. My husband is off work today and If I had one of these close by Id so be there today. It would be so fun to see all the projects that people are working on for christmas.

Now you have me thinking about opening one of these. My husband works for at a state park and this time of year they are packed with snowbirds who had to leave their sewing stuff at home.......hummmmm

I think that the storage lockers are a great idea.

I think that you should really start one of these. The more I think about it the more I want one!
User: Miss Spring
Member since: 05-03-2006
Total posts: 87
From: Shellymoon
Date: 11-23-2006, 09:22 PM (10 of 10)
Sewing lounges are catching on. There's one here in Dallas called "Make."
You can read about them at

It's popular with the young, trendy set. I think it would be a good idea if you supplemented your space by offering sewing retreats, classes or parties.

I've never been to "Make" myself, only read about it in the paper.

I would go to a place like that if you had something I didn't have at home, e.g. an embroidery machine or an industrial machine that can sew denim. I'd also use it as a good place to "stretch out to cut and sew," which is a problem for people who live in small homes or apartments.

It would also be fun to build camaraderie with other sewers. There definitely needs to be a coffee bar!

I also hear that sewing lounges are popular on the west coast.

Sounds intriguing....Let us know if your concept comes to fruition!
Shelly Moon
User: Shellymoon
Member since: 05-27-2001
Total posts: 240
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