Field Trip: Spool of Thread

Ever since I first heard of Spool of Thread, I was dying to check it out! For those of you who haven’t heard of Spool of Thread, it’s a brand-new sewing lounge in Vancouver.

You can rent machines, take a class, or buy fabric and supplies at this bright and friendly space!

They just opened up this year and I think it’s a brilliant idea. (I mentioned it way back in June, in fact! Can’t believe it’s taken me this long to drop by.) I was on my way downtown so it worked out perfectly.

I arrived right as the store opened, and already the phone was ringing with people signing up for classes, wanting to learn to sew. How exciting!

Borrow a machine, a table, a dress form – plus there’s tons of space to work! You can rent space by the hour, if you already know how to sew and just need the space and machinery.

But if you don’t know how to sew, Spool of Thread will teach you! There’s even Sewing Machine 101 for the very beginner. Classes are listed on a chalkboard at the front of the store.

They sell fabric too! Cotton solids and prints, a variety of wonderful quilting cottons, all arranged by colour.

I know there’s a lot of debate on whether quilting cotton is for clothing, but doesn’t the rainbow of fun prints make you want to ignore the rules and make yourself a sundress? (I sure did, and then remembered it’s freezing out. Guess the sundresses are on hold for a couple of months.)

Patterns for sale! Colette Patterns and Oliver + S. One of the only places in Vancouver that sells Colette Patterns that I’ve seen! (Maybe one day Sewaholic Patterns will get a little spot on that wall…)

Besides fabric, they also stock essential supplies like thread, scissors, pins, and marking tools.

I bet you’re wondering, what did I buy? I couldn’t leave without something, so I picked up this adorable owl-print cotton! I’m going to make cloth napkins.

When I first moved out to my own place, I bought a ton of brightly-coloured paper napkins from IKEA. (Doesn’t everyone buy napkins and candle-holders when they first move out?) Well, I’ve finally worked through my supply of paper napkins and I’m looking for a more eco-friendly solution.

Aren’t these little owls so cute? I’m going to cut napkin-sized pieces, serge the edges and whip up a ton of reusable napkins! (I’ll write up the easiest tutorial in the world, so you can make your own napkins, very soon!)

I wanted to hang out longer in Spool of Thread, if you’re in the Vancouver area, it’s worth a visit. Especially if you’ve always wanted to learn to sew, why not take a class or two and try it out? Or if you sew in a very small apartment and need more space – don’t we all need just a little more space?

Check out for more info!


18 Responses to Field Trip: Spool of Thread

  1. Amanda November 18, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    How cute! This reminds me of the sewing lounge I used to go to in LA, cleverly called “Sew LA”. And I love your owl fabric – I eyed that exact one the other day online! Looking forward to your napkin tutorial, I really need to get a serger :)

  2. Mary November 18, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    What a fun little store! Love the owl print! I just made a bunch of napkins in red gingham…cut them up and then did a fine rolled hem on the serger with some wooly in the loopers…turned out fantastic!

  3. Amy November 18, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Ooo, I wish we had one of those near me, I’d love to hire an overlocker by the hour! The zigzag stitch just isn’t as pretty looking, I keep trying to save up for an overlocker but boring things like petrol and food keep getting in the way :-(

  4. Liz November 18, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    Hoot, hoot, they’re so cute! (Sorry, couldn’t resist rhyming!) There are two sewing shops in Toronto that I know of, Sew Be It Studio/Sew Be It Girls Studio and The Sewing Studio.
    Here are the links for any TO readers that might be interested:

    I live too far north of TO to fight traffic on the Don Valley Parkway, so I sew at home with the tunes blaring! And by the way…..I have no doubt that Sewaholic Patterns will be located on Spool of Thread’s wall and many other places too! Keep up the great work Tasia!

  5. Corinne November 18, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    What an interesting concept! Nothing like this in my little Northeast corner of the world. I think many people, who are considering sewing or are beginners, are somewhat intimidated by the larger “chain” fabric stores. So much stuff! Where to start? This setting takes some of that out of equation. I had considered setting up a little sewing school at one time. Unfortunately, the stars just were not able to line up on that project, but this is innovative and welcoming. Good luck to the founders, thanks for sharing your field trip!

  6. Tanit-Isis November 18, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Wow, that looks fun! It would be awesome to be able to go in and rent a coverstitch or overlocker… even something that will do an industrial buttonhole!

  7. Patty November 18, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    that’s exactly the kind of shop that i just started working in!! The best part is the KIDS!! They love to learn to sew, they love fabric, it’s fun! Also, we have girls nights where friends come and work together on projects (and wine-drinking :-)) I love that Minneapolis has TWO shops like this (maybe more in the suburbs!)

  8. julia November 18, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    I have been meaning to make cloth napkins for a while. We just use too many paper towels with 3 kids, and they would love a print like that. I have a brand new serger, and I’ve been reading about how to use it. In this case I’ve been wondering if you have to secure the end of your serged napkin before serging the other corner or if I can just cut the thread without it unravelling.

  9. Irene November 18, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Love the owls! Thanks for the link . It’s interesting to see what is going on elsewhere in the land of sewing classes.

  10. Holly November 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    What a great review of Spool of Thread! I love this sewing lounge concept and have taken a class there to make an A-line skirt. What a fun way to improve your sewing skills!

  11. Louise November 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Owl fabric looks great. Make the napkins as if you were constructing something important. It really is worth the extra effort as they last so long and get so much use. Good hem. Maybe mitre the corners. Use a scrap to trim a placemat for the dishes in the middle of the table. Every meal becomes a celebration of your effort and love.

  12. Karen in VA November 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    LOve the owls…would be great to match fabrics together for the Oliver and S patterns…..and sew up a few samples, which could then be donated to a children’s shelter one the display was finised….

  13. Tasia November 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Thanks everyone, glad you found it interesting! I’m always excited to hear NEW things in the world of sewing. It proves our hobby/passion/obsession isn’t a dying art, as some might think! Pretty cool that the ‘sewing lounge’ concept is popping up all over the world.

    @julia: I think, and I’ll test it out myself, that you can’t just cut the edges of the serging or it will unravel. You can serge over the previous edge, when you start the next edge, but on your last edge you have to leave that tail and either tie a knot, or use a big needle to ‘thread’ the tail back through the serging.
    Tutorial, coming soon! It sounds like some of you might be interesting in seeing how I do the napkins :) I’ll show you what I end up doing. Perhaps this weekend I’ll get to it!

  14. Sandy O'Leary November 21, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    I love the idea of making napkins, I agree that we use too many paper napkins. I await the tutorial!

  15. LisaB November 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    I’m planning to make some napkins for christmas and was just going to wing it – so would love to see what you do!! (I don’t have a serger, so tips for those without one would be super!)

  16. RobinDenning November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Very cheerful and inviting place! Thanks for the tour. I wish them much success!

  17. NancyDaQ November 25, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Tasia, no need to pull the threads back through on the napkins if you finish off with some fray check. Apply, let it dry, then trim. Avoids bulk that can make it difficult to sew the next edge.


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