Monthly Round Up September | Madam Sew

Monthly Round Up September

So what’s new in the sewing community? Here’s a monthly round-up of some news of what’s happening in the vibrant sewing community across the globe!

Niczka Studio in Lakeview is collecting sewing machines to teach sewing classes for kids and adults.

Designer Tania Mackey wants to revive the “dying art” of sewing by teaching classes out of her Lakeview store.

Mackey opened Niczka Studio, 3140 N. Lincoln Ave., in June after spending the past several months operating out of a pop-up storefront in West Town.

Niczka offers handmade clothing, custom pieces, alterations and thrift flips, but Mackey said she hopes to expand the practice to start teaching sewing classes.

“I want this to become a creative space where people can come in, learn about sewing and leave with a finished piece depending on what level of classes they take,” Mackey said. “Sewing is a dying art, and it can’t be.”

The public’s interest in fashion's behind-the-scenes process has long been a pillar of reality entertainment. It’s what shows like Project Runway and Making The Cut owe their success to. Now, as fashion communities grow on TikTok, people are using the app to showcase their own kind of reality show via short videos, diving into sewing challenges worthy of a Tim Gunn compliment.

These videos are streaming via the hashtag #SewingTikTok, which has garnered over 725 million views thanks to creators like thrift-flip expert Andriaa Hall and designers John Azzi and Susy Guerreros. More recently, following the boom of archive fashion on the app, creators are DIY-ing their versions of vintage luxury pieces and even couture gowns with small budgets (typical comments express both awe and shock by the fact that a Chanel lookalike could be made for less than $100.)

It was a tweet heard round the internet. Two images, side by side: two regal blue Royal Dansk tins, filled with sugar-studded butter cookies slotted in white wrappers, next to an identical tin with a much less enticing assortment of buttons and thread. Written beneath the first image, “My fall plans.” Under the second, “The Delta variant.”

The tweet in August, which followed a popular meme about pandemic disappointment, drew more than half a million likes and 75,000 retweets. Its author, the film critic Carlos Aguilar, was surprised to find that he had hit on a seemingly universal experience: the repurposing of a Royal Dansk tin as a sewing kit, and the dismay of all of the children who’ve opened one.

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I grew up watching my grandparents mend their clothes. A pedal sewing machine was kept handy at home. A nifty companion to it was an elaborate sewing kit, stashed with a wide variety of needles, buttons, threads, and other colorful bits and bobs. Each time a button popped on my grandfather’s shirt, he would wield the needle and thread and sew it back on, albeit clumsily. For more elaborate rips, he would refer to the expert skills of my grandmother.

Mending, unfortunately, over the years, seems to have gone out of style, especially with the advent of fast fashion and its take-make-dispose philosophy. It is estimated that the average American dumps a staggering 70 pounds of clothing per year.

We hope you enjoyed this round up of what’s new in the sewing community!

Do you have any other local stories/news that you came across that would be worthy of sharing with our sewing community? Share it with us on

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Is there a cost to belong to madamsew web site?

Paula Whisner

What number is your bobbins 15 or 66

Gloria kearns

My word of the year 2021 is “mend” so I appreciate the mention of it in this post. I have worked through most of the sock pile (yes, I know how to darn socks) but I’m still slogging through the blue jeans that need patching. Just a couple more to go, then on to some fun projects. I’m planning on taking my sewing machine and some kits along on our vacation later this month.


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