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SEW MUCH SOUL
Cecily Habimana and Tisha Thorne met by chance in the hallway of a new building they both moved into back in 2006. They soon realized that they both had a passion for sewing.
The pair noticed that there really weren’t many places where people could take sewing classes, even though there was clearly a demand for it. So, they decided to fill that void and launch Sip and Sew DC, a three-hour workshop that teaches participants how to sew and complete a project such as a clutch, pants or skirt.
The response was overwhelming with many of the classes selling out from 2014-2016. Hosting pop-up classes was a lot of work and Cecily and Tisha’s husbands eventually urged the pair to find their own space. It was from their recommendation that pushed them to open Sew Creative Lounge in Mt. Rainier, MD.
Today Sew Creative Lounge teaches children and adult sewing classes and hosts summer camp at their home studio and satellite studio in Chicago. They also partner with various elementary schools throughout the DC metropolitan area including Yu Ying Public Charter School, Creative Minds Public Charter School, Center City Public Charter School and the Burke School. In response to the pandemic, Cecily and Tisha opened up an online store and began designing their own collection of fabrics. They excited about their work and are always eager to work with their students.
Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.