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Sweat Shop

A Parisian outlet introduces crafting to café culture for a DIY haven

by Laura Neilson in Culture on 28 May 2010

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Joining the growing spate of yarn stores pulling double duty as coffee shops, Paris' Sweat Shop provides a social environment where sewing enthusiasts can fuel up on caffeine while also toiling away on their latest craft projects.

Located in the increasingly chic 10th arrondissement, a neighborhood near Canal Saint-Martin, the cafe-slash-workshop houses a large communal table and 10 Singer sewing machines where craftsters can rent out the machines on an hourly (€6/hour) and daily (€25, with tea and coffee included) basis. Thanks to kooky decor and a menu of organic muffins and vegan nibbles provided by the nearby eatery Bob's Juice Bar (owned by Steven Alan's brother), Sweat Shop has already become a decidedly hip hangout for sewers and non-sewers alike.

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Those looking to hone in on their craft can also sign up for one-day workshops with various experts and designers including Marie-Claire Idees' Celine Dupuy aka "Mlle Kou," a designer for the magazine's home and decorating-focused blog. Sweat Shop also offers knitting workshops, in addition to sewing seminars that double as English conversation sessions (cheekily titled, "Patch Up Your English").

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Taking the concept of "café couture" even further by selling DIY sewing packets, the space has a lot in common with Wool and the Gang and their popular knitting kits, supplying everything you need to create your own unique item of clothing.

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