Sharing skills and building community through sewing since 2015

The Spool officially started in 2015, in a 100sq ft spare bedroom in a small house, before moving to a 500sq ft two-room space above a barber shop. We first started carrying fabric there - only about 5-10 at a time, and classes often involved working on the floor and clambering over one another. Eventually we were bursting at the seams and, frustrated by the lack of accessibility in our upstairs space, we moved to our current location; a 1400sq ft dream space with separate retail and two studio spaces. This new space has provided us the opportunity to expand our schedule and available fabrics and host guest teachers while maintaining a safe environment in COVID times. We look forward to post COVID events, like our clothing swaps, fabric swaps, sew & tell, fashion shows, and travelling teachers (some day!). One of the best things about the new space is that we’ve been able to hire amazing people to share their skills with you!



Since that first pair of PJs was cut up and sewed into nonsense by hand at age 8, Nicole has loved dismantling and understanding garments. As an extrovert, teaching sewing has blended her two passions of sewing and building community, and The Spool has grown from private lessons at home to group classes, employing local folks and bringing in guest teachers with a wide range of skills. Her favourite things to sew are currently fussy button up shirts. Her favourite way to teach is when everyone is working on a different project, and her brain has to leap between projects like a trapeze artist of sewing skills. When she’s not running the shop, teaching or sewing, she can be found in the garden, cuddling with her family and pooch or surrounded by library books and market spice tea.


As a child watching my mom sew I knew that sewing was going to be a life long love, now it has been 50 years of sewing. As a young adult I attended Kwantlen College Fashion Arts program and really spread out my creative wings, then I settled in Port Hardy where I raised my three girls and ran a sewing business,“Sew Busy”, sewing many graduation dresses and wedding parties. One of my favorite memories was teaching neighbourhood children sewing and having a fashion show. I knew then that I needed to continue teaching, and there is no better spot than at The Spool.  I really like watching the creativity of students making imaginary creatures out of fabrics at hand. There is a spirit of giving and sharing skills and ideas flowing between students in my classes. In just a few months I have witnessed students achieve all sorts of different projects from hoodies, skirts, vests, shorts, button up shirts, jumpsuits, and almost an entire zoo of stuffed animals. I am grateful to share these skills and this time with the children here!


Ever since I was little I’ve loved drawing, painting and raiding the recycling bin for materials to craft with. My recesses in elementary school were often spent underneath the playground drawing up my own fashion magazine. I’m now in my last year of fashion design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Here I’m learning to push my design skills and think critically about problems in the fashion industry. I’ve been incredibly lucky to apply my learning and grow so much more at The Spool. I love seeing students stretch their creativity and resourcefulness as we build confidence together in the studio. My favourite times are when sewing is used to connect with friends and family, take time for oneself and create something long-lasting and valued. When I’m not working on school projects or for The Spool, I love to cook, spend time outside and of course, craft!

‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‎Sophia

Sophia is one of the first ever Spool students, beginning her sewing journey with Nicole in 2015 as a newly ten year old with a big smile and a big obsession with Harry Potter (she even named our machines after the houses of Hogwarts). Sewing with Nicole for three years while also learning robotics, coding and using her prodigious imagination in innumerable ways. Sophia drafts her own patterns, and uses her youthful tech wizardry to get Nicole out of binds on the regular. You can see her here most Saturdays!

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