Vernon resident Dawn Whelpley to open Sewing Studio next month. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

Vernon resident Dawn Whelpley has been sewing for over 60 years.

She said she recently began noticing a need for sewing lessons as inquiries from people wanting to learn began pouring in. Whelpley, who is a local seamstress and has owned and operated Copy Cut Fashions in Vernon for almost a decade, recently decided to fill this need.

“After doing a little investigation, I realized that there isn’t anybody in the whole central B.C. teaching lessons so I decided to open a studio and start offering lessons to people,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

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Classes officially kick off April 15 but an open house will also take place April 11, 12 and 13 for those interested in learning more before signing up.

Whelpley will be hosting sequences of four 2.5 hour-long sessions to those who sign up for lessons. People of varying levels of experience (beginner to expert) are welcome. To start, she will be limiting class sizes to four to make sure she is providing each with individual attention and adequate instruction.

While people are welcome to bring their own equipment, Whelpley said she supplies everything from needles to fabric to machines.

“People who are taking lessons have the advantage of using brand new machines if they don’t have their own. I will teach them everything they would want to know about a machine and if they decide that it just isn’t time to buy one, that doesn’t matter, they can come up here on an hourly basis whenever they want and use with machines,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that with these lessons, people will be given everything they need to make a garment of their choice.”

Drop in hours will also be offered when classes aren’t being held — she encourages those interested in that service to check her website copycutfashions.com to see availability. Individual lessons will be offered on an hourly basis, available upon request.

She said she also plans on setting aside certain days to cater to specific students. For instance, on Tuesdays, the studio will host a seniors social.

Whelpley will also be hosting an after-school program for kids aged 12-17 on Thursdays from 3:15- 6:15 p.m. and plans on offering sewing summer camps this summer.

The sewing studio is located at 1501 33rd Street in Vernon. People can sign up at the open house next month or by calling Whelpley at 250-545-8372 and by visiting copycutfashions.com/classes.

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Related: West Kelowna woman empowers others with sewing machines

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Whelpley will be offering lessons at her sewing studio in Vernon starting April 15. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

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