By Dylan Deprey
What happens when that favorite pair of jeans splits at the seams? Grandma might be able to do it, but it needs to be fixed fast. Whether that old sewing machine is collecting dust, or those needle-and-thread skills learned in a middle school home ec class are long lost, a local Black-owned business is offering a fun take on a useful skill.
Basia Spencer opened Basia Rose Designs in early 2019 as part of the City’s “Pop-Up MKE” initiative. She solidified her spot on 17th/North after the month-long startup program. She has been pushing out personalized designs and alterations ever since.
“It’s the wedding season, so I’m busy, but on top of that a lot of people have been asking me for sewing lessons,” Spencer said.
She said that after her and a friend attended a “Sip and Paint” party a couple of months ago, she was inspired to host a similar event, but in her own field.
After hosting a trial run with friends and close-customers, she’s offering three classes to the public. Basia Rose Designs will be offering “Sip and Sew” events on Aug. 24, Sept. 28 and Oct. 26.
Participants will learn the basics from threading a machine, to reading and cutting a pattern, to pinning and stitch work.
“We have different, easy projects to get people’s feet wet, and they can use those skills for their own projects,” Spencer said.
Participants will have the chance to create two projects: a pocket-tee and a pillow with a pillow case.
“It’s something if people want to refresh their skills or others who have never touched a sewing machine to learn,” Spencer said. “It’s all pretty much the beginning stages, so anyone can do it.”
Spencer is also collaborating with other local Black businesses, Shindig Coffee and FashioNation.
“Most people have heard of sip and paint, where they might have a little liquor, but you’re really not supposed to be operating machinery under the influence. So, we’re collaborating with Shindig and they will be providing some healthy drinks,” Spencer explained.
Darla Shanae, FashioNation founder, will also be offering on-hand assistance as well. FashioNation teaches local youth sewing and alteration skills.
Spencer said she was excited to be offering an event that offered new skills to the community, along with bringing together local businesses.
“I know how to sew, she [Shanae] knows how to teach and Shindig will be providing the juices, and we’re coming together as one team,” Spencer said. “You get all the corners of a sewing lesson, and you also leave home with your project.”
The “Sip and Sew” events are one and a half hours long and will take place at Basia Rose Designs, 1617 W. North Ave. The cost is $30 and includes all materials and beverages. Although there is no specific age limit, the class is directed towards 13-years-old and up.
For more information or to sign up visit: www.basiarose.com/booking