The Sewing Bee Café is a partnership between Sonia McCann and Debbie Roberts. We have formed a friendship after working together in a community centre and also volunteering together as part of a small team that successfully established a handmade local community market. As shared believers in the value of handmade products we have a desire to provide an opportunity for others to learn skills that will enable them to unlock their creativity. Additionally, we both strongly believe that strong and caring social networks make a robust community and this underpins the Sewing Bee Café’s philosophy.
The Sewing Bee Café is a fabric store that also caters for those who would like to learn to sew – in fact novices are our specialty. We sell beautiful fresh modern fabrics of a high quality which we are sure you will love. Where possible we support Australian designers with both fabric and patterns.
The difference between us and other fabric stores is that we promote social sewing. From the minute you walk in the door you will feel welcomed and at home. We won’t engage in a strong sales pitch but we will offer you a cuppa if you wish to sit and browse through our patterns for a while. We understand that not everyone has their own machine and/or overlocker at home so we provide onsite hire for a small hourly fee. We won’t hover over you while you sew but we will be there to help if you need a hand. We will also have designated times when you can come and sit and stitch and enjoy a coffee while chatting to other creative souls.
We have a common interest in sewing but bring different experiences and skills to the business. Debbie is an exceptional dressmaker who also learnt pattern making from her mother. This has enabled Debbie to individually make dance costumes for her dancing school ‘Extreme Dance’ for the past ten years. An expert in stretch fabrics and beading, her costumes are designed, sewn and beaded completely by herself – on average 160 costumes each year! Debbie has also taught sewing at a community centre and delights in seeing her students’ progress from track suit pants to formal dresses over a matter of months.
Sonia is a lover of all things crafty and has dabbled in many different crafts over the years. However, after undertaking a sample patchwork class 10 years ago she soon became addicted and has since concentrated on patchwork and soft toy making. Sonia has a background in community development and management and found sewing the perfect way to unwind after a busy work day. Despite working full time, she developed a small online business venture selling handmade dolls and softies and would love to fulfil her dream of helping others set up small enterprises.