The sewing café has brought people together to create and share their passion for the craft since it began seven years ago. Co-founder, Becky shares the idea behind the business and what can be expected from this independent gem.
It was revealed back in April that the much loved BBC Two series, The Great British Sewing Bee will be returning to our TV screens next year, and very excited by this announcement is sewing-loving duo Becky and Fay, founders of The Sewing Café in Leicestershire.
Set-up in 2011, the independent business offers a variety of fabrics, haberdashery and sewing machines to its customers, as well as hosting a range of workshops for both novice and experienced sewers. Customers can also enjoy a sew by the hour service, which is where the name for the emporium derived. Becky explains how the business began:
“We struggled to find somewhere that brought together beautiful fabrics, inspiration and a real passion for sewing. We wanted somewhere with the more social element of sewing, where people can share their passion. We also couldn’t find anywhere offering the opportunity to sew or partake in workshops that were easy to slot into a busy life, a lot of courses ran for 6-10 weeks.”
The workshops held at The Sewing Café predominantly consist of one session of 3-6 hours as well as a couple that run over two or three sessions. Customers can learn and enjoy everything from quilting and dressmaking through to pattern alterations and overlocking. “One of our customers described it as being a bit like sat around a kitchen table sewing with friends, and that is exactly what we want – a relaxed, fun environment, where everyone can sew at their own pace.”
Choosing the right location for any independent business is vital, but for Becky and Fay, it was a no-brainer. With a proud history in hosiery and textiles, the market town of Hinckley has become a hub for creative talent, with artists, photographers and designers taking residence:
“We couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome in Hinckley, we’re completely blown away by the sense of community that has built up around the shop, people popping in to share life events as well as sewing successes. We have people visit us from neighbouring counties and further afield, and we’ve had a few friends that live at opposite ends of the country come and use us as a meeting point to spend some time together sewing.”
Over the years The Sewing Café has seen some exciting developments. In 2013, the girls expanded into the shop next door, allowing more space for fabric and two workshop areas. Back in May, they took The Sewing Café on tour again to the Handmade Fair, presented by Kirstie Allsopp, where they ran one of their most popular workshops teaching 20 people a day. Becky shares what else is in the pipeline: “We’ve been working on some exciting new workshops for the summer and autumn. And, we’re always on the lookout for gorgeous new fabrics.”
For more information or to enquire about a workshop, visit: www.thesewingcafe.co.uk