It was only a matter of time before Stitch Buffalo and The Factory Buffalo collaborated. The two like-minded businesses/organizations have come together the create and launch a line of artisan-made apparel that is breathtaking, timely, practical, empowering, and oh-so Buffalo.
This new garment sewing program got its start when Stitch Buffalo’s Executive Director, Dawne Hoeg, realized that there was an increasing demand for learning the art of machine garment sewing, particularly amongst a group of women from the Somali-Bantu Organization of Western New York.
Considering that Hoeg had previously worked with Molly Worth, CEO of The Factory Buffalo (a cut-and-sew manufacturing, design, and product development company) for a previous fashion event, she understood the importance of striking up a more tight-knit and longer-term relationship between the two entities. Thus a mutually beneficial relationship was solidified.
The relationship has now resulted in the release of a collection of garments that can be sewn at the homes of the seamstresses, and then sold at Stitch Buffalo’s retail shop.
The result is a collection of garments that can be constructed at home by Refugee women sewists and sold in the Stitch Buffalo retail shop.
“Molly has enabled us to start another product line using the skills of the seamstresses to create simple garments, working from their homes,” Dawne told me. “If they already know how to sew, they can jump right in cutting and sewing patterns. For those that are in need of instruction, we teach them how to sew a garment using muslin, before they can get started making the actual garments.
“The garments themselves are pretty straight forward and simple,” Dawn continued. “We use whatever materials are provided to us or are available, including woven fabrics, quilts, and textiles that are sources from people’s travels. The pattern lends itself to the embroidery embellishment and the materials. There is some creative freedom as well – the customer can provide the fabric, and the seamstress can add her own embellishments. At this point, we have 5 seamstresses, and we’re expanding the program to at least a dozen. This is another evolution of Stitch Buffalo.”
Stitch Buffalo is always accepting sewing machines from the community, which they tune up and give to the seamstresses that work from home. This particular program benefitted greatly from the donation of 5 brand new sewing machines (via a grant) from Five Star Bank.
Stitch Buffalo | 1215 Niagara Street | Buffalo, NY, 14213 | email@example.com
^ Photography: Rhea Anna Photo + Motion | Production Design: Leah Glickman