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What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? It all started many years ago in Toronto around 1997. I was a young designer in her twenties eager to launch her first independent collection and I needed a name for my line. Naturally, I asked the person that I believed knew the most about business, my Dad. We were driving along when I said I wanted to come up with a name that reflected me personally, not only at the time but also for the future. I suggested just using my first and middle names, Natalie Dawn since I might get married someday and, in keeping with Christian tradition, my last name might change to that of my spouse.  Dad chewed on this a while and then glanced at me sidewise in that “Daddy’s being clever” way.


“Or…..”, he says. “Or…you could call it Dawn Abbey”, he continues with a grin. I confess, I needed explanation.


So he patiently reveals what he has come up with….our last name (my maiden name) is Monkhouse. The house where the monks live is called a monastery. A more feminine version of that? Abbey. I smiled. But he’s not done yet :)


“You could even (dramatic pause)….you could even call it Dawn Abbey Designs.”, he says wiggling his eyebrows knowing he’s being funny. This time the penny drops.


“Yeah – thanks D.A.D!”. We both start laughing and so the company name was created. It was one of those Daddy-Daughter moments.


BTW. The acronym of Dawn Abbey Designs is D.A.D. – so I never forget who named it. :))


Many years later, in 2013, when I re-entered the world of business ownership, with my husband Stephen, we used the name Dawn Abbey in tribute my Dad who taught me to follow my dreams. This company was born out of a longstanding passion for fashion, and a true commitment to helping others to express their unique style. The company offers classes and learning materials for novice through intermediate sewers, under the Sutura Style name, online and at these locations.

Spring Sewing Tutorial Sewing Menswear Sewist Club

Questions out of class? Get support from the Sutura Style Sewist Club! It’s free to join and  you will enjoy support via our forum at The Sutura Style Sewist Club. Post questions and get feedback from instructors and members of our growing community.

Dawn Abbey

Visit the Dawn Abbey website for more sewing tips, tricks and tutorials from Natalie Reiners, founder the Sutura Style 1-2-3 Sewing Course, editor of Sutura Style Newsletter Magazine and class instructor. Explore various areas of interest including using a 5 thread serger, machine embroidery and more.

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About Dawn Abbey Inc

Dawn Abbey was founded in 2013 by partners Stephen and Natalie Reiners to facilitate the teaching of sewing classes at their home studio in Whitestown, Indiana.  After teaching a few students, Natalie realized that she needed to create a simple training system that could allow someone who had never touched a sewing machine to gain the skills needed to create custom styles for themselves, others and the home.

The Sutura Style 1-2-3 Courses were inspired by the Wilton 1-2-3 Cake Decorating Courses® that Natalie had taken for interest. The Wilton Way® of taking something that seems very difficult, like making a wedding cake, and breaking it down into simple steps, using easy-to-follow instructions, motivated Natalie to create a series of course for sewing. The concept is simple; offer sewists the skills they need to bring their innate creativity and ideas to life. Today, classes are taught at Hancock Fabrics, in Carmel, Indiana under the DBA of Sutura Style, which is a combination of Latin and English words and means “Sewing Style”. Furthermore, to introduce the world of sewing to those who wish to learn how to sew, but cannot get to our classes, the company offers a free online Novice Sewing Course.

The Sutura Style Sewing Courses are inclusive and are open to men and women. The classes are designed so that methods taught can be used for sewing clothing for men, women and children. To ensure that the styles sewn in class are always current, new patterns for The Sutura Style 1-2-3 Course One are chosen every season. In Courses Two and Three, students are encouraged to choose their own patterns using pattern selection skills taught in class.

To provide students with ongoing support and resources, The Sewist Club website was created in 2014. A community forum was recently added.