Sewing Room & Style Lounge
From the outside, The Sewing Room & Style Lounge looks like an old-fashioned dress shop, complete with a chalkboard sign and a mannequin with a lovely wrap dress. Step inside and that vintage feel continues, with a wondrous mix of locally designed women’s clothing and accessories, as well as an opportunity to learn or perfect the art of sewing yourself.
The brainchild of local designers and seamstresses Jennifer Serr and Desiree Salas, The Sewing Room & Style Lounge offers both clothing (primarily Salas’ vintage-inspired dresses, skirts, and tops) and Serr’s sewing classes for both children and adults. The store also sells kits that include patterns (mostly for tweens) and fabric.
Serr had been teaching sewing as well as updating and reconstructing wedding dresses and selling accessories from upcycled materials for six years when she and Salas came up with the idea of having their own boutique. “We wanted to bring ‘slow fashion’ to Alameda,” says Salas, referring to the trend toward creating small batches of clothes handmade from locally sourced fabrics, “as well as continue to teach people how to make their own clothes. We like the idea of helping people connect with the person who makes the products.”
Most of the classes are aimed at kids, but the two women also offer a “Sewing Jam” on the second Wednesday evening of every month. For $10, you can use the shop’s sewing machines, and get help on sewing projects. And inspired by her daughter’s love of American Girl dolls, Serr has started sewing and creating patterns for dolls. “This is so much fun,” she says. “I love making them. It makes me feel very nostalgic.”
The two are hoping to bring in more classes over the next year – maybe on jewelry-making, embroidery or felting. “Our goal is to foster a love of making things,” Serr says, “to see the value in taking the time to handcraft objects.”
The Sewing Room & Style Lounge, 2434 Webb Ave., Alameda, 510-332-9807, www.facebook.com/SewingRoomStyleLounge.