September 2 2014

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Reviving The Sewing Circle In Style


Parisians are on-again, off-again about D.I.Y., but the Austrian designer Sissi Holleis and the Swiss makeup artist Martena Duss are all for it. “We’re both from northern Europe, and when we’re tired of something, we don’t throw it out, we customize it,” says Duss. Northern Europe or no, it’s Paris they’re aiming to convert. The pair met at Bob’s Juice Bar, a Canal Saint-Martin café, and spotted an empty storefront next door. A few well-placed calls to Singer later and the unfortunately named Sweat Shop Couture Café was born. 10 Singer sewing machines rent by the hour, make-your-own dress kits come courtesy of the Belgian designer Carolin Lerch of Pelican Avenue, knitting supplies from Bergère de France, and classes are in the offing. Machine rentals start at €6, coffee and pastry (from Bob’s, of course) at €5, and the company is free. Will it turn out the next great designer? At the very least, it should make for even better-accessorized street stylers by the time next Paris fashion week rolls around.

13 rue Lucien Sampaix, Paris, 33-09-52-85-47-41,

Photo: Courtesy of Sweat Shop Paris

Dept. of Culture