The brain child of Judy Lillace, Judy’s Designs and Music Studio has opened its doors at 308 First Street West. The new store offers a variety of retail goods for those involved in the knitting, crocheting, quilting or sewing world. It also functions as a studio for private music lessons as well as Lillace’s workshop for custom sewing, alterations and repairs.
Lillace has a diploma in Dressmaking and Design, a field in which she has 30 years experience. “I can repair pretty much whatever,” she says.
She will tackle anything from simple alterations such as hemming or zipper replacement, to altering wedding dresses, re-covering seats in industrial equipment, mending gore-tex, and everything in between.
“I always have black vinyl on hand,” Lillace says, “and a special outdoor thread that is resistant to rot, mildew and UV.”
In the store Lillace carries a variety of different weighted merino wool, from lightweight to super chunky, all of which come from New Zealand. They include two super wash lines. She also carries two cotton lines.
“I have all the equipment a knitter or crocheter needs as well,” she says. “Metal or bamboo circular and regular knitting needles, a wide selection of knitting looms, and crocheting goods.”
Aware there are plenty of sewing aficionados in town, Lillace is happy to carry sewing notions like elastic, zippers and thread for those who can fix or make what they need themselves. She points me towards a variety of small coloured fabric squares.
“I don’t stock quantity of fabric, but I do carry fat quarters for quilters as well as other tools of the trade,” she says. She is also happy to order in particulars for people.
Lillace has a passion for music. It’s clear when she talking about it, and with a degree from Conservatory Canada in Voice Performance, which she teaches in addition to piano, flute and music theory, it’s not surprising. An experienced musical theatre performer, Lillace has also tried her hand as a musical director for stage performances. “I sang before I spoke,” she says with a laugh.
Lillace’s music students range from eight years old to seniors. They are people who want to learn, improve, or challenge themselves with something new. For voice lessons, “some just want to be able to sing hymns at church confidently,” Lillace says.
“I start with technique and I teach people to get the most out of their voice. Everyone can learn and improve if they are willing to practice and work at it.”
Having moved to Revelstoke in April to be with her partner Bob Lahue, Lillace has been embraced by the community.
“People are coming into the store and introducing themselves,” she says. “Others are signing up for music lessons starting in January. It’s been really wonderful.”