Monday, September 22, 2008

Oct and Nov Classes

To sign up for a class, please call 414-747-9229.
Or mail a check along with your name, phone#, and the class date to:
Fasten Collective
2224 S Kinnickinnic Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Basic Sewing
Wednesday, October 22nd, 6-9pm
Tuesday Nov 11th 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 November 19th, 6-9pm
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 pattern-making are also discussed. Students will complete one garment. Materials: Sewing machine, 2 yards of stretch-knit fabric.

DIY Screen-Printing
Thursday October 23rd, 6-9 pm
Thursday November 20th, 6-9pm
Fee: $20
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

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Featured Designer

Erin is the designer behind howl. handbags and is in the spotlight as our featured designer this month. We carry her line of suede and leather bags, and absolutely adore her quality craftsmanship, attention to details, and her fun style.

How was howl. handbags born?

As silly and mystical as it might sound, howl. sort of always existed somewhere in my consciousness. I've always been frustrated by a seemingly homogeneous landscape of apparel and accessories, and have such always wanted to launch my own line that would meet my needs and aesthetic.The motivation I lacked in getting started actually launching the label finally came when I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to find the kind of satisfaction in my day job as I had initially hoped. I had tons of ideas, and though I'd always been a self-taught creator and fixer of things, I knew I lacked the polished skills I needed in order to really get serious about designing. So I did the only sensible thing I could come up with, took a few classes, bought too much pretty fabric, and got started sewing. I quickly discovered the nuances of fit in regards to apparel were a little overwhelming; to be honest, I was crap at making clothes. But what I then discovered is that the geometric world of handbag design fit my passions and abilities just right. Not long thereafter, howl. was born. :)

What materials do you use, and where do you get them?

I LOVE leather. Forgive my controversial enthusiasm, but I can't deny it. For handbags, leather is undeniably the most versatile, durable and rich materials you can use. To keep cost down and resources sustainable, I started using reclaimed materials whenever possible. Many of my pieces come from old coats, pants, skirts, etc. I've found that this is my favorite way to source materials, because, being kind of a literary nerd, I've always loved the stories that might be hidden in these pieces. Some of my favorites have been cut from objects that have colorful travel logs, like used burlap coffee bean sacks and my father-in-law's motorcycle chaps. It's exciting to take something that has a history of its own and then send it out into the world to have completely new adventures.

What in your daily life, or in the art world, influences your design?

Oh, just about everything. I'm constantly absorbing shapes, colors and textures around me and dreaming up relationships between them that excite me. Often, the materials I source inspire their own designs; other times, I draft out a pattern that goes unused for months, until one day it comes to life. I trend toward a very organic (some might say undisciplined... ;) ) method when I work on my designs, and I find that often that results in the best, most unique pieces.

What excites you the most about what you do?

I've always had a need to put things together. This certainly satisfies that need, but what surprises and excites me the most is how joyful the people are who carry my bags and wear my accessories. I understand the inevitable link between a person's appearance and the way they feel, and to see my pieces inspire confidence in someone else just about makes me giddy.

Is there any new howl. project, or other artistic endeavor in the works right now?

I've started expanding howl. to include fashion jewelry and accessories. I still adore handbags, and it's still the label's main focus, but I've found it's helpful for me during the design process to have another outlet in order to keep things fresh. I used to make jewelry when I was in high school and found that I haven't lost my love for poking around with tiny things. Plus, sewing leather can try the hands, eyes, back and patience, so smaller items give me a little breather, while still allowing me to create.

Craft Night

Come on down for Craft Night on Wednesday, September 10th from 6-9pm.

As always, guests are welcome to bring in a project from home to take advantage of our space, social atmosphere, sewing machines, and advice. Or you may opt to come empty-handed, and let us tell you what to do. This month, Madam Chino will lead us in making "trouble-free cuffs for the well-behaved". We'll explore surface design techniques using scrap fabric and water-soluble paper. All supplies will be provided. "Oh snap!"