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The Make Cafe

I’ve often drooled over looked at overseas fabric stores and thought “why is no-one doing that here in NZ?”.

Dare to dream of a community based store where fabric is beautifully displayed, you can hire sewing machines (akin to an internet cafe) and there are workshops to learn new skills.


Thankfully, Kirsty at The Make Cafe in Riccarton (Christchurch) has made it happen for us Kiwis. Even better, she has catered to our passion for a good espresso with a full cafe in store. That’s everything I love, all in one place. You can imagine my bliss levels went through the roof here.
Usually fabric shopping with kids involves racing into a store for a mere 2.03 minutes before said kids begin to grizzle (actually, that starts at the front door. My son hates being there) and then they literally begin pulling the shelving apart. Yes, it’s a barrel of laughs.
While I didn’t get to give them the full kid-test, The Make Cafe seem to have it all in hand with sturdy shelving and (cue angelic chorus) a children’s play area. Phew!


The cute cafe oozes crafty inspiration to help get you in the sewing mood. Or you can just buy something that makes you look crafty without the effort.


In a spacious room by the cafe, you’ll find a workspace with sewing machines you can use for a nominal fee. There are also various workshops held here.


Back through the cafe and past the kitchen is the most beautiful fabric store I’ve ever seen. You’ll discover stunning fabrics by Echino, Amy Butler and Lotta Jansdotter as well as a sweet array of oilcloth.


You’ll also find inspirational magazines, Martha Stewart stencils and a couple of tables laden with lovingly organised fat quarters.

TheMakeCafe3.jpgKirsty is the owner and founder of The Make Cafe and she is just as inspirational to chat with. Having launched the physical store in November 2012, she has transformed a dirty old deli into this sewing lovers mecca.

Despite juggling this brick and mortar store along with her “Sew Pretty” online fabric store and motherhood, she still exudes a calm and gentle confidence that leaves me rather in awe.

The Make Cafe often run various workshops, so if you live in Christchurch you may want to stay in the know by joining their Facebook page.

While there I allowed myself to indulge in a little Echino fabric so I can’t wait to work with that. I’m not even brave enough to cut into it yet though … it’s too sacred!

I have dreams of turning it into a cushion sometime. I wonder if I can do that without cutting at all?

*I have not been paid for or compensated for this post in any way. This is purely a personal post with my own ravings.

Filed under: News

About the Author

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Freelance writer, sewing enthusiast, and coffee appreciator living in NZ


    • Me too! Sadly, this one is a 5 hour drive away from Nelson. Maybe it’s a good thing for the wallet though 🙂

  1. Cat

    *happy sigh* wasn’t it perfect . . . maybe we can convince her to branch out into other centres — — — Auckland & Nelson for starters

  2. Have you sent her the link to your wonderful review? She would love to see it. I know exactly what you mean about fear of cutting in to fabric too….

    • rachael

      Miriam! I’m excited to see you commenting on Katrina’s blog. I was seriously just about to email this link to you when I scrolled down and there was your beautiful face. It’s very nice to find out ones friends are friends. You too are a blogging match made in heaven. 🙂

      • Haha, no way! Small world. We just met on the weekend for the first time. Miriam was the life of the party 🙂 Can’t believe you guys know each other!

  3. Gayle

    I LOVE this place and so does my 7 year old daughter. She loves arts and crafts and they do fabulous kids workshops, of which we have been to many. We are booked in for a number of them over the school holidays also. She can’t wait (and neither can I!!)

    • Oh, that’s such a great age for doing crafts. So great to encourage that. You never what she’ll do with those skills later in life too. How exciting and a lovely way to spend the holidays. Enjoy!

  4. Thanks so much for the great feedback! It is so good to see creatively how much someone enjoyed their experience! It was great chatting to you and yes, branching out is on the menu! Watch this space!

      • I haven’t been to Whipstitch. I’ll have to see if there is something similar a little closer to home. Atlanta is about 3000 miles from where I live. Such a good idea for a fabric shop, coffee, snacks, play area for the kids, sewing machines…. who knew?

  5. I really want to get there, think hubby and I are going to need to arrange a chch trip sometime soon!


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