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Mary Enos

"I started sewing when I was a kid," says Mary Enos, owner of 27th Street Fabrics. "In those days that's what you did -- everybody had a sewing machine." A graduate of North Eugene High, Enos had a brief career in accounting before she married into the family that had founded the Eugene Vacuum and Sewing Center in 1948. When her mother-in-law looked to retire, Enos was recruited to take over the fabric department. "I've been here 30 years," she notes. "When I came in, I decided to expand and offer sewing classes." 27th Street Fabrics (renamed when it moved across Willamette Street in '86) currently has classes every day of the week, sewing clubs, occasional guest speakers and benefit events. (They also sell Bernina sewing machines -- lessons included.) "Sewing has changed -- clothing is so cheap it doesn't pay to sew your own," Enos remarks. "Now it's recreation -- also a social thing." Quilting, purses and home decoration are popular class offerings. "All day long the phone rings with questions," says part-time employee and sewing instructor Viki Neville. "It's a wonderful place for people to show off projects and get free advice."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 12 February 2004

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