In my quest to find my new sewing machine, I’ve been back at it around town, visiting lots of new places I had not yet explored. It’s a very intimidating feeling, shopping for a new sewing machine! First it’s the sheer options out there between brands and models and price ranges. Then, being in a major metro region, the number of authorized retailers becomes an intimidating hurdle — should I visit ALL of them? Which one should I see first if they carry this brand but not the other brand? I think I’m starting to narrow down what I want, but I’m going to save that for (hopefully) next week when I will unveil my new piece of stitch witchery.
Somewhere along the yellow brick road, I encountered the Sewing Arts Center. It turns out, this lovely little gem is just down the street from my day job office and now that I know this, there is far too much temptation to start scheduling “very important meetings” that are also verrrryyyy long. I promise, I will be a good girl! (I will only schedule normal length meetings. Frequently.)
The Sewing Arts Center
3330 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Here is what you need to know about the Sewing Arts Center.
- They are small, but mighty! I wandered around for a bit and they have a serious stock of notions and other sewing supplies. I ended up walking out with a huge roll of manila paper so that I can trace my patterns onto the manila and make easier alterations (as well as preserve the original tissue).
- They teach classes and have a lovely area in the back where it looks like they do some great class work. You can see their classes here.
- They do have machines for sale! They had the machine that I’m leaning toward buying (current as of this blog post) and while it retails for more than some other retailers around town they were very quick to let me know that they have a sale this Sunday and I appreciated very much their offer to help me find a good deal.
- Unlike some large commercial stores, there are people here who can answer all of your questions! They actually know what they’re doing.
- If you need specialty notions and don’t want to go to big box store, the Sewing Arts Center can definitely help you out. I saw some supplies that I had not seen at other stores like special chalk pencils and an incredibly wide variety of clear rulers.
- They stock Bernina and Babylock sewing machines as well as Horn of America and Koala cabinetry units. Honestly, I don’t know how they fit all of it in their store space — they sell an awful lot of variety for a fairly compact physical space. There is an entire wall of buttons. Need I say more?
At an indie store you often find higher prices, but I didn’t think it was such a markup that I wouldn’t purchase notions here. The proximity to my primary daytime location makes it ideal for picking up necessary supplies on my lunch break (what a fabulous lunch break!) and they have some supplies that I prefer like YKK zippers which are not stocked at all stores. They also stock some fabrics that cater more to quilters, but in a pinch for a regular garment’s yardage, I wager I would find something I wanted with plenty to choose from. In addition to the cottons, I found some sateen and voile, among others.
I like to support independent stores in a town like Los Angeles where we are blessed to have so many wonderful places to visit. For those of us west of the 405 freeway, we know how tough it can be to get east of the 405 during peak times of the day and week. (The traffic here is no joke.) So why not visit a neighborhood store and show them some love?
I decided to post this mid-week because I learned that the Sewing Arts Center is celebrating 13 years in business this Sunday, April 7, 2013. They are having a sale… how appropriate & fortuitous! Go check them out and save some dough while you’re at it. Sew on!