Entrepreneur and sewing enthusiast Christina Pasquet opened Patch Halifax on Robie Street in the summer of 2014 and has quickly established her business as the go-to haunt for experienced and novice sewers alike. I’ve been tempted for quite some time to try one of the workshops available but have been hesitating (mostly due to embarrassment) over my at-best rusty sewing skills. While hard-to-find, gorgeous fabrics are available at Patch, it’s the workshops that I’ve been hearing plenty of buzz about. With sewing machines, cutting tables and sergers at the ready, Patch is an ideal communal workspace to get creative. After chatting with Pasquet, I realized that the workshops at Patch are geared toward all skill levels, from the expert to the curious beginner.
Can you tell me about some of your beginner level workshops?
A lot of the people who are coming to us are beginners and intimidated because they think that they have to have skills, but we’ve actually designed the classes so that they are not only workshop based but project based as well. So, the idea is that you can start fresh with no experience and you can continue and take a number of courses to get to where you want to go. The envelope back pillow and the patchwork cowl are two pieces that we make in beginner workshops and they are great entry level, fun projects to get people excited about sewing.
Do you find that Patch is appealing to a certain type of customer?
There have been a lot of people coming in who are just so eager to learn how to sew but haven’t had the space or opportunity. Many people buy or inherit a sewing machine but have no idea how to use it. Our clients really want to learn how to sew—not just for Halloween or an occasion; they want to learn how to sew long term as a hobby or practical way to make the things they want themselves.
Will you be doing any holiday workshops?
We will incorporate some of our regular workshops with holiday themes such as our bunting workshop. So, we will add the appliqué of spelling out ‘Happy Holidays’ on the bunting and we will also be doing a stocking making workshop and the skill that is focused on is also appliqué. We pre-cut pieces for the stockings and then will add them in the workshops. There will also be a crazy quilt stocking workshop. There’s been a lot of people asking about this technique and this will be a great way to learn a skill that can be applied elsewhere. It’s a nice opportunity to add something special to our roster of workshops.
Do you find that people are graduating from the beginner workshops to more advanced classes?
Absolutely! Patch has only been open for three months but already I’ve witnessed many people come in and start out at a very basic level and carry on to become more advanced. One example was a woman who took the envelope pillow class, the cowl class and then went on to make a quilt. She was one of the first people to sign up for one of the classes with only a little bit of experience and the quilt she ended up making is amazing. This was her end goal and she took the basic courses to get to that comfort level.
Why do you think that Halifax was ready for an interactive business like Patch?
I think that part of the appeal of Patch is the sense of community we’re embracing here. There’s already a huge online community of sewing blogs and chat forums out there, but having the opportunity to come to Patch and physically talk to someone who can help, or even just working together in a supportive space really gets people motivated and inspired.