Sew Awesome: Announcing our November winner, Urban Stitches

With all the buzz around the “maker” movement, it’s easy to forget that for generations, sewing machines allowed people to dream up and make new creations in their own homes everyday. Our November winner, Urban Stitches, has a mission to reintroduce sewing to the young people of Pittsburgh. “The goal of Urban Stitches is for young people throughout the city to have the opportunity to learn to sew irrespective of their family’s financial status. Our instructors are eager to pass the love of sewing and the enjoyment of imagining, discovering, and creating on to the next generation,” says Tameka Reed, the leader of the Urban Stitches program.

Sewing instruction has become increasingly rare for students in a lot of schools. In fact, the idea for Urban Stitches came to Ms. Reed when she discovered that the local schools no longer offered sewing classes. That’s when she decided to develop and offer a course at no cost to students. Urban Stitches will provide an opportunity for teens ages 13-18 to learn outside of the classroom in a less intimidating setting. Reed, a Pittsburgh native and former Clarissa School of Fashion Design student, plans to use Awesome Pittsburgh’s $1,000 grant  to purchase several sewing machines for the program and offer classes as part of an 8-week program.

Congrats to Urban Stitches!

Awesome Pittsburgh awards $1000 grants every month to great ideas like Tameka’s. Any idea that you believe is awesome is eligible, and submissions are due on the first of each month. Apply today!

Update 2/5/13: Tameka is launching the classes for 10 young women ages 12-18 at George Westinghouse High School in collaboration with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. She’s looking for donations of sewing machines, notions, patterns, fabrics, zippers, buttons, etc. If you’ve got anything to donate, please contact Tameka (sew_1 [at] – your generosity will help introduce a new generation to sewing!