If buying clothes from the mall has ever gone wrong for you – no size fits or the material is cheap, or over-priced, then perhaps the slow fashion movement is something you might want to get involved in.
A new and unique business, Sewsciety Studio, which opened its doors in Claremont last month may be of interest. Studio owners and teachers Yvonne Dill-Cruz and Yvonne Coleman offer classes and workshops on sewing personalized pieces for children, teens and adults at any skill level.
Dill-Cruz and Coleman previously taught sewing to Sycamore Elementary School students before turning their hobby and passion into their very own business.
“When we joined forces in sewing at the school it was definitely something Yvonne Coleman had in mind to make into a business,” Dill-Cruz said.
Dill-Cruz previously spent 15 years working in broadcast advertising production. Coleman worked for more than 10 years in theater and film costume design.
Both moms of Sycamore School kids, when the pair met several years ago, they soon realized they had common interests, including a love for sewing and crafts.
“There is a great need for people to come together and socialize, and people can do that while learning how to sew,” Dill-Cruz said.
Coleman and Dill-Cruz consider themselves a part of the slow fashion movement, which rejects the idea seasonal fashion trends and the mainstream fashion industry’s globalized, mass production.
“Slow fashion to me is really deconstructing the current process of fashion industries,” Coleman said.
Whether students are beginners or advanced, Sewciety offers a range of classes, which are available to choose from on its website.
Sewciety also provides materials, machines, fabric and workspace for anyone interested in learning how to make custom apparel or accessories, such as shirts, dresses, pants, purses or aprons.
The small studio has six working stations and two large tables complete with blue lockers where customers can stow their personal belongings.
The blue lockers are around the bottoms of two large warehouse, work station tables on wheels, that can be moved apart or together depending on the project or class size.
A sewn chandelier hangs in the middle of the studio, as well as examples of clothing, decorative zipper bags and other sewn wall décor.
Coleman said that there are people beginning to grow their own cotton and source their own natural dyes from vegetables, and that this is also what the slow fashion movement is all about.
“One of the people that I love is Natalie Chanin,” Coleman said. “Her clothing line is made naturally and will last forever.”
Natalie Chanin is a fashion designer from Florence, Alabama, who sources the materials for her fabrics and dyes locally and naturally.
Chanin’s “open source” philosophy means that patterns and techniques for her garments are available through books and workshops.
Dale Mattson, owner of is the owner of The Velo Bike Shop and Cafe in Claremont, a half block away from the Sewciety studio, gave Dill-Cruz and Coleman an antique sewing machine that he said had been taking up space in his home for more than five years.
“If its set up there I can go use it whenever I want,” Mattson said.
Dill Cruz and Coleman moved into their Foothill Blvd. studio in March.
“I totally love and support them and I want them to succeed,” Mattson said. “I think that their business is a great idea.”
Mattson said that he enjoys sewing materials such as leather, and that he even taught his own children how to sew.
“Here are these two women who have been, and still are willing to teach children something that is vitally important,” Mattson said. “If kids have confidence on the machine it completely changes the way they look at fashion.”
Sewciety is located at 218 West Foothill Blvd in Claremont and is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information, visit sewcietystudio.com.