Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Third Coast Digest wrote an article about Fasten's transformation and Sparrow's birth. Read it here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grand Opening for Sparrow Collective

Big Changes

Dearest Fasten Patrons, (not very bad news, I promise!)

The Fasten Co-op was established way back in 2003 as an idea. That idea flourished into a storefront three-and-a-half years ago. And Fasten has been the go-to place for Milwaukee designers who want to establish and promote their work, and fashion connoisseurs who want to support locally handmade clothing.

It's been such a pleasure to do business in Bayview with all of you awesome people, designers and customers alike. But at the end of April, Fasten will no longer be a store.

Never fear! There will still be a place for Milwaukee to buy handmade awesomeness! A collective under new management has sprouted in our place! Sparrow Collective is the new store bringing you much of the same exact things you loved at Fasten, PLUS unique handmade items from out-of-state designers, and new types of items like pottery and home goods.

Fasten will live on and continue to promote and support local designers, artists, and musicians, only now without a permanent brick-and-mortar home. Please stay in touch with us! Our blog will be updated more than ever with style updates, artists interviews, and info on events happening all over the city. And keep your eyes open for some awesome runway, art, and music events that we will be producing later this year!

Thank you all for the support and friendship over the years!

XOXO -Fasten

Friday, March 27, 2009

April Gallery Night

Join us Friday April 17th for gallery night at Fasten

6-9pm Opening Reception of

"Bad Winter" by Christopher Macdonald
Bad Winter is a collection of black and white drawing and comics depicting my surroundings and emotions of this past season. Graphite drawings of streets and alleys covered in ice recall the grainyness of the source images; quick, blurry digital snapshots of walking and freezing. Late night hours of sketching, and thinking, and waiting. The work reflects the months of lack of direction, isolation, frustration, cigarettes and wasted time. The four page comic is about apathy and indifference among the twentysomthing generation in the midst of historic change. Together these works some up the greyness of a tough winter in troubled economic times, where sometimes we need to force happy times upon us to get through, and quietly wait for it to get warm.

Christopher MacDonald is an artist and illustrator living and working in Wisconsin. He recently received his BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. His work ranges from fine art drawings and paintings to comics to apparel design and everywhere in between. For more information please visit

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March's Featured Artist- Owl Eyes

Owl Eyes has been gracing Fasten with it's screenprinted tees since early 2008, but only recently has this line expanded to beautiful handmade clothing. Rachel Muza, the genius behind Owl Eyes tells her story below.

What brought on the switch from screen printing to making dresses?

With screenprinting, I could only print the same design so many times before I got bored with it. There's much more freedom with sewing. Each thing I make is different, I can put a lot more of myself into it.

How did you learn how to sew?

I basically taught myself how to sew. I started by looking at other pieces of clothing and figuring out how they were made. I ruined a lot of awesome vintage fabric that way, but I learned a lot. I also watched my mom sew all my life, so I pretty much knew the basics just from being observant, and kind of worked my way from the there.

Your whole family seems to be creative, it doesn't seem like you had a choice in designing. Are they your muse?

I'm the youngest of 6 children, and we each have our own artistic thing. I could go down the list, but there is so many of us!!! My mom, who also designs for Fasten, deserves a lot of credit. She helped me out whenever I had question or could not figure something out. She has also been pretty awesome at sharing her fabric collection.

Initially, the fabric itself inspires me. Sometimes I know what to make out of a piece of cloth as soon as I see it. Sometimes I will look at old patterns for ideas and try to re-create vintage styles with a modern touch.

What is the best music to sew to?

Vinyl!!! I have been sewing to Bob Dylan and Kimya Dawsom records. Also, I discovered that Elton John used to make really really good music, back in his early days. No one believe me, but it's true!!

What's next for Owl Eyes?

I'm working on my summer collection right now. I'll probably bring it all into Fasten around April or early May.

Friday, February 27, 2009

DIY Classes Spring Schedule

Basic Sewing
Saturday April 11th, 12-3pm
Wednesday May 13th, 6-9pm
Fee: $20
One day workshop for all those with an interest in garment making or repairing with little or no experience. Students will learn how to use their machines and with guided practice become comfortable with basic seams and hems. We will also discuss the basics of garment construction. Materials: Your machine and it’s manual. All other supplies provided.

Intermediate Sewing
Wednesday, April 15th, 6-9pm
Saturday May 16th, 12-3pm
Fee: $20
One day workshop. A follow up for students who have taken the basic sewing class, or for those with some experience. Students bring their own machines, and should already know how to use them well. The focus in this class is garment construction. Types of fabrics, notions, and tools are discussed. Design techniques such as draping, swiping, and patern-making are also discussed. Students will complete one garment. Materials: Sewing machine, 2 yards of stretch-knit fabric.

DIY Screen-Printing
Thursday, March 19th, 6-9pm
Thursday April 16th, 6-9pm
Thursday May 21st, 6-9pm
Fee: $25
One day workshop. Learn the best tools and techniques for in-home screen-printing. Through demonstrations explore stretching screens, image prep, drawing and photo emulsion, exposing screens and the printing process. Supplies: all provided.

-All workshops will be held at Fasten in Bay View
-Students are expected to bring their own machines, however, there is a house machine available for a $5 usage fee.
-Students receive a 40% discount on supplies purchased at Fasten during the month of class.
-Students must sign up at least one week before the class date.
-Call 414-747-9229 to pay by credit card, Or mail a check with your name, address, phone number, and the class title to Fasten Collective 2224 S Kinnickinnic Ave. Milwaukee WI 53207

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Craft Night

Wednesday March 4th 6-9pm

Come learn how to print by hand with Stephanie. We will be making easy stencils out of butcher paper and printing on fabric. Feel free to bring design ideas or anything you would like to print on. Materials will be provided.

Bring a friend and snacks if you can. Or come alone, we're a friendly bunch! We meet to craft together every 1st Wednesday of the month.