Sewing Humor and more with Sasha Black

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0000:33:37 Sewing Humor and more with Sasha Black


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Sasha Black

Sasha Black is a home sewist and content creator who is known for her amazingly hilarious sewing videos as Sasha Sews. She started sewing in 2015 as an amateur and began sharing her mishaps on Instagram, learning how to improve her craft from the sewing community along the way.

Lisa Woolfork

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 on 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.

Insights from this episode:

  • What led to the switch from sewing for fun without much care for instructions or technique to making something that would last
  • Finding humor in the process of sewing, making mistakes, and learning
  • Defining your summer style
  • The story behind Sasha’s TikTok apology to her Coverstitch
  • Navigating a change when your brand name no longer represents you

Quotes from the show:

  • “People are so willing to help, and that is why I have gotten to where I am and am still going–because of the fact that people are so willing to share information.” – Sasha Black, Stitch Please
  • “I enjoy creating. It’s a form of art for me, the same way sewing is. I want my page to be a space where people can feel like they can be creative. Like they can be themselves. Like they can make whatever it is they want, even if other people may not like it. So what? Do you like it?” – Sasha Black, Stitch Please
  • “I believe that Black women, girls, and femmes, we use our sewing as an extension of our freedom–as an expression of our freedom.” Lisa Woolfork, Stitch Please
  • “Don’t let anybody force you to turn your hobby into a business. If you don’t want to make your hobby a business, then let it stay a hobby! A lot of times people will be like, ‘Oh, you could do this! You can make money off it.’ Maybe I want to! Maybe I just want to do it because I love it!” – Sasha Black, Stitch Please
  • “Be yourself with what you’re making. Don’t make anything because it’s popular or trendy. Find out who you are as a person and what fits you, what your style is, because I promise you, people are going to gravitate towards those who are authentic in their style.” – Sasha Black, Stitch Please, [35:06]

Resources Mentioned:

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Instagram: Black Women Stitch

Facebook: Stitch Please Podcast

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork

Sasha Black

Instagram: SashaSews

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This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.

Read Full Transcript

Lisa Woolfork  0:10  

Hello stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together. 

Lisa Woolfork  0:37  

Hey friends, hey! Welcome to the Stitch Please podcast. I am your host, Lisa Woolfork. And as I say every week, this is a very special episode because this episode we are talking with none other than Sasha Black. And y'all might know Sasha, from her amazingly hilarious sewing videos on TikTok, and on YouTube, and on Instagram. I have been delighted. I feel like Sasha, when we see you getting ready to get set up at the fabric store, or you got your camera in your hand, or you're talking to yourself or something, something hilarious is on the way. So, thank you so much. And welcome to Sasha Black, Kingdom Daughter Makes, and thank you so much for being with us today, Sasha. Thank you!

Sasha Black  1:23  

Thank you so much for having me. I definitely took a shot at tequila before I got on this camera because I was so nervous. [laughter]

Lisa Woolfork  1:30  

Well done! I also like to keep uncle Tito nearby. Uncle Tito's is a vodka, tequila is something else. Yes. But you know, I may or may not have had some RumChata in my coffee this morning as well, because it was a day that ended and why. So, those are also the days that I like to have a little bit of fun in my beverages. So welcome, welcome, welcome. Now, you started in 2018. That was your first Instagram post, you mentioned this. Tell me why 2018 became the year that you decided to say you know what, I see everybody else on Instagram sewing and having a good time, I'm gonna go over there and show them how it's done. What made you get started on Instagram in 2018?

Sasha Black  2:11  

I started sewing in 2015, and I remember the day. It was a Sunday, my siblings and I were living with my grandmother. And my sister who was also a very talented with crafts, she actually had a sewing machine, had fabric, and stuff. And so my room was up in the attic, and that's where all of her stuff was. And I was just bored on a Sunday, and I texted her and I said "Hey, do you mind if I use your sewing machine? Can I learn how to use it?" She said, "Okay, yeah." So, I went on YouTube, YouTube University. So that's how I learned how to sew. I learned through Meesha TV,  Rest In Peace, Annika Victoria. I remember those were the two people that I was watching because they were making very simple garments. And so those were the garments. And then I remember trying to attempt a pattern, didn't even look at the instructions, just open the pattern up, cut like the biggest size that they had, didn't even measure myself. Cut the biggest size, took some good fabric, not even muslin. And I remember it was a princess seam dress. I didn't know anything about notches, didn't know anything about curves and stay stitching. And I'm wondering why is this dress not coming together? But, you couldn't tell me nothing because I could sew a straight stitch. So at that point, I'm making stuff for people. And I remember [laughter]

Lisa Woolfork  3:25  

Okay, wait, can we pause a little bit, there's a few point of order, I would like to kind of just dive back into a little bit. First of all, you were bored on a Sunday, and you contacted your sister, and y'all was living together sharing space. And you said to her, "Hey, I'm bored. Can I use your sewing machine?" First of all, how kind of you to ask. 

Sasha Black  3:46  


Lisa Woolfork  3:47  

Okay. Second of all, how kind of her to say yes. Because I could absolutely imagine as a loving older sister of three, I am the oldest of three girls. And there have been times, I might have to stretch my imagination to remember, when I might have inquired, or have been inquired by a sister, to ask for something. And even if I knew that I wasn't using it at the time, the answer would still be No. No, no you can't use it because I am feeling like a petty Pisces right now. And no, you cannot use it. Now, the way that that would happen is it didn't matter because my sister just do it anyway. But I'm just really loving, but also my sister would never ask to use a sewing machine. That is also something, neither one of my sisters would say "Lisa, can I use your sewing machine?" Those are the words they would have to say and I would know they were kidnapped, you know? Name something how someone would know you in distress. My sister would say, "Help me with a craft project. I really want to do a craft project." And I'd be like, "Oh my god, someone call the federal government. Somebody got it my sister and they are hurting her. She is in danger." The second thing is, you made a Gordon Gatrell, jacked-up, princess seem, no sides, no measurements. Most people, many people, myself, can't speak for everybody, but myself, if I made a Gordon Gatrell didn't measure... didn't read instructions... threw together a dress and it looked like a dress, and the zipper was half hanging off... if a zipper was involved at all.. My immediate thought wouldn't be "I need to go into business!"

Sasha Black  5:40  

[laughter] Oh I know, I know. 

Lisa Woolfork  5:41  

"I need to do this. I need to bring this to other people. You know what the world needs? The world needs more of these outfits." Sasha, I am loving 

Sasha Black  5:53  

And it wasn't surged and nothing. It was just raw... raw.

Lisa Woolfork  5:57  

Raw seems on the inside, maybe a little bit of raw seem on the outside. And Sasha says, "Listen, you want some of this? $300. $300. $300. Hey sis, if you want to use your sewing machine again, I'ma also need $50. Because listen, you see what I'm doing right now? I am spitting out pure genius here, off this sewing machine."

Sasha Black  6:18  

And that's what I thought too. I'm telling you could tell me nothing. And plus, like, when you're doing something that a lot of other people aren't doing, you're like, "Yeah, I got this!" And I did not have this at all. I did not have this at all. It was so terrible. I look back at it, and I'm like, "what was that?" Why did I think that that was okay? That was not okay. That was not okay. 

Lisa Woolfork  6:42  

Well listen, well, one thing we know for sure is that you absolutely got past that. Because when we look at images like this, we see this beautiful blouse with a beautiful background, and this whole gorgeous floral thing. Yeah, if you are a Patreon supporter, you get to see me and Sasha looking amazing. And you get to see these really wonderful pictures. You also get to support Black Women's Stitch and the Stitch Please podcast. So there's lots of really great reasons to be a Patreon supporter, and one of them, we're looking at it right now. Tell me about this blouse. This is such a beautifully styled and cheerful picture. Whatever you did to murder that poor princess seem dress, you radically improved your skills. And how did that happen? Was that continued YouTube University? Was it some more direct studying? How did you make that transition from getting your skills to finally match what you knew you could do? 

Sasha Black  7:39  

It was the community 100%. When I made that post to 2018, when I got to Instagram, I knew nobody. I didn't know anybody in the sewing community. And I just wanted to connect with people who could sew and then my account started growing. I followed anybody who had a sewing account. And I had people like that. So Monica, cheering me on and stuff like that. I would ask questions and my stories, and I still do, and people answer them! People are so willing to help and that is what I love so much. That is why I have gotten to where I am and still going because of the fact that people are so willing to share information and people are so willing to point you to different places with different resources. "Hey, you could do it this way, you can do it that way." I appreciate that so much. I'm not one of those people who is not open to feedback or open to things that I know that I could do better, because I know I'm not perfect at it. And so like, I want to get better at sewing. I wasn't always like that, at the beginning I was just like ripping through projects not paying attention to you know if they were gonna last. Lisa, I have stuff that I rip through sewing, like I was sewing in like a day, and I put that thing in a washing machine. [laughter] 

Lisa Woolfork  8:48  

Oh my gosh, were using like wash-away thread? What were you sewing the things with? What were you sewing them with? 

Sasha Black  8:53  

I was not making things properly. 

Lisa Woolfork  8:56  

So, you weren't knotting off your threads at the beginning and the end?

Sasha Black  8:59  

The poor things would come apart not when you wore them, after got washed it would come apart. But you know, I was not constructing my garments in a way that would make them last. And you know, I wasn't paying attention to those type of details. At the time, I didn't really think about them lasting, I was just thinking about sewing at the time and getting it done. 

Lisa Woolfork  9:19  


Sasha Black  9:19  

And now I take more time with my garments to make sure that whatever I do to it that it's going to outlast the washing machine or whatever because I'm planning on wearing this multiple times. 

Lisa Woolfork  9:30  

So that's a great point of view. Because I love the sewing of it, I love the sewing, I love the sewing, I love the sewing, but you do have to think about like, I found myself in this position again. I have so many clothes that it is now time for me to go through that closet and take out 30% just off the top. No matter what's in there, it has to be 30% less because gravity is failing, right? Usually you're supposed to hang something up and then like all I need to do, Sasha, is dump doggone clothes in that closet on like a bookshelf.

Sasha Black  10:01  

I hear you. 

Lisa Woolfork  10:02  

All I need to do is take it and put it in there. I sometimes don't even need hangers, I can just hang them up with the force of the other clothes standing next to them. It's too much. It is time for these babies to go somewhere. 

Sasha Black  10:14  

Yeah I understand.

Lisa Woolfork  10:15  

But was there a switch for you to take you from "I love sewing. This is great. No one else is doing this. This is amazing. And who cares if it only lasts for one wash? I'll just make another one!" to "I'm not going to make disposable things. I'm going to take my time and try to get something that lasts." Do you remember what shifted in your thinking? 

Sasha Black  10:36  

I think just hearing different people who had been sewing for a significantly longer than myself. Hearing them give me feedback and things like that and things that I could do it just the experience of seeing my clothes falling apart made me realize I was like, "Okay, wait, I don't have to rush through my projects. Because what am I rushing through them for?" You know? So, again, I will say the community, but again, it was also you know, my clothes falling apart. I'm just like, "Oh, I really like this. It's falling apart, I mean I can fix it, but what? I should have just taken my time to begin with."

Lisa Woolfork  11:11  

It's like you got tired of making things twice. 

Sasha Black  11:14  

Yeah. [laughter]

Lisa Woolfork  11:15  

I will invest in making it once well, and that's gonna be good enough. No, I think that's really wonderful.

Intro  11:29  

The slogan of the Stitch, Please! podcast is that we will help you get your stitch together. And now we're bringing it to you in a new way. The Stitch is a newsletter from Black Women Stitch and I am delighted to tell you about it. What do you get when you sign up for the Black Women Stitch newsletter?  You get to hear what's happening with Black Women Stitch and the Stitch, Please! podcast events that we've had, events that are coming up, contests for prizes, live shows, social media meetups, IRL meetups, episodes of the podcast that you might have missed, as well as opportunities to learn, and sew in community with other Black makers across the country, and across the world. You'll learn also about some actual stitches, we will help you get your stitch together with continuing education for your sewing life. Oh my goodness, y'all, I am so excited for this newsletter. It's always things I want to tell you, you know, but how? Well, now we have The Stitch. Sign up using the link in the show notes or on our website. We look forward to helping you get your stitch together soon!

Lisa Woolfork  12:44  

What I love about it is your overall spirit, your spirit of adventure when you sew. Yeah, you have that friend, you have that spirit of adventure, you have that spirit of fun. I can tell that you are having a great time, it seems like you're having a great time. And you're encouraging us to have a great time too. One of the things I appreciate about your account is the way that your Reels, and TikToks, and short form video, really capture some of the kind of funny, day-in-the-life type thing of a sewist. And one of the videos I really remember was a template and it was like someone was laying down on the ground, and they're just opening their eyes. That was the point of view of the video. And then your face comes into focus, because we, from our point of view, are laying down like we've just returned to consciousness. And you're administering us, leaning over and checking on us, and say, "Well, you know, have you eaten anything? Did you spend all your money on the fabric?" Can you talk about like what made you look at some of the things that sewist might do, or take to extremes, and then kind of extract the humor out of it? 

Sasha Black  13:52  

I think it just comes down to like the things that I experienced. And sometimes you don't see other people talking about it, but you like to maybe go through this too. And it's funny, because anytime I do post things like that, people are like, "Yes, exactly." So I don't know how I came up with that whole I'm like you're concerned sewing BFF like, "Hey, I'm just here to check on you, to make sure... I want to encourage you and I want to make sure that everything's going well, but you need to fix this." And I'm here, and I guess maybe that's because that's what people do to me in my DMs. I always see this one person in particular. Her name's Christina, her IG is i_hand_made_it.  Anytime I post anything, I know she's gonna give it to me straight. She's one of those sewists, I don't mind how she says anything to me because I know that what she's saying she's not being malicious. She's very technical with her sewing. She's like, "This is nice, but you need to fix this." And I'm like, "Okay", and I take her feedback. So I'm just like all I want to do is encourage people to be honest. There's so many things happening in the world, and I want my sewing space to be a place of encouragement for other sewists because I've seen people try to knock other people down. I don't really see a need for that. I want to encourage people because sewing makes me happy. The creative aspect of sewing the technical aspect of sewing, I enjoy all of that. I just enjoy creating overall. Like I love making Reels. I don't make Reels because someone's forcing me to make them or I'm trying to be trendy. Like, I enjoy taking video footage and taking it and creating it into something. I enjoy just creating. It's a form of art for me, same way sewing is for me. So I just want my page to be a space where people can feel like they can be creative, they can be themselves, they can give whatever it is they want, even if other people may not like it. So what. Do you like it? Do you like it? And that's where I want my place to be.

Lisa Woolfork  15:46  

Right. And that's what I think it is. And I think that this is how freedom gets practiced. This is something I've been thinking about a lot and Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a wonderful scholar and Audre Lorde biographer and just wonderful person, and a phrase that she uses and I come back to it all the time Sasha, is she says, "Freedom isn't a secret. It is a practice." And it makes me ask myself, "How do I practice freedom?" And I believe that Black women, and that's my focus being black women girls and femmes, use their sewing, we use our sewing as an extension of our freedom as an expression of our freedom. You know? And that I think it's so important. And this is one of the reasons for me when I am looking through your images and I see something like this and I see this gorgeous jumpsuit wrap around I think that you have a video of yourself putting this on. And when I saw it, I might have just gasped out loud. I was like [gasp] like that. It was truly breath taking. I was like, this looks like this gorgeous armor with this bodice and this wraparound part and the fabric and the colors. Can you talk about this particular look, because one of the things I do want to ask you about is here we are in summertime. And I want to talk to you about summer sewing and some of the things you think about when sewing during the warmer months. But this is a perfect something. This is a perfect summer thing to wear. Whether you want it to wear with the mesh underneath it or not. Can you talk about this piece? It's lovely. 

Sasha Black  17:16  

Yeah, sure. So shout out to Mimi G because this is a Mimi G Simplicity pattern, but also shout out to DoseOfFabric because that is where I got this fabric from. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. But I know that when she posted this fabric, I bought it immediately. I don't think I'm gonna be able to find this again. So, a lot of times when my projects it's the fabric that is doing all of the work. In the beginning of my sewing page, I didn't really know what my style was, which is why I was making so many pieces and not really wearing them or styling them because I didn't know who I was. Recently came into my own style like these prints, the colors and stuff like that, bustiers - that's me. And I don't have to try to wear things that fit that are like in season or trending. If it doesn't fit me, if I want to make 90 bustiers, that's what I'ma make because I like bustiers and this was a bustier type of garment. The first time I wore it, I think was last summer this summer before, and I'm in a place where, in my sewing journey now, where I'm more focused on styling than I am sewing. So that's where this inspiration came from. I just took all of my clothes, I threw them on the site here and I just started picking stuff up and throwing it together and seeing what worked. So that's why lately in my content in the last couple of days has been me styling things because like I really want to see what comes together but summer sewing for me - it's still gonna be loud prints. I'ma have a print. Yes, that's one thing I'ma have a print. 

Lisa Woolfork  18:49  

We outside and people need to be able to see us from a distance. So prints it is. Prints it is.

Sasha Black  18:55  

I enjoy bustiers but I do want to start learning to style them more with layers and things like that just because like I feel like my style is changing. Like I used to show a lot more skin but I feel like I'm pulling back a little bit on the amount of skin that I show, so I could still be comfortable in my summer wear, while still kind of layering it. And that's what I want to play with now, and I am playing with it because there are people who like to cover up more and I want to be able for them to see my content too. Maybe they don't like it when I don't show as much skin, and it's not like I'm trying to cater to a certain audience, but I'm pretty sure there are other people who like to layer a little bit more and they might be able to see what I'm able to do with my makes, so...

Lisa Woolfork  19:37  

Here's another example I think this piece right here, and this is why I know you're not being totally truthful because you said the fabric does all the work, and the fabric is not doing the work in this garment. This garment is 100% Sasha. Sasha is doing work in this garment. Y'all and if you do not have a Patreon I am sorry to this man, I am sorry to you for not having one because you do not get to see this picture but you should definitely go look at Sasha's Instagram and you can see it there. I really love this. I find it very dynamic. I think I might even have this pattern and that's why I love it so much because I got the same one. But that mine is a little older. So can you tell me about this piece? I think what this is a McCall pattern. Do you remember this one? Is this a McCall, or is it someplace else? 

Sasha Black  20:18  

So this is actually a tank top pattern. This is the Kila Tank by Allie Olsen patterns. And I took the pattern and I traced out the top part traced out the bottom part, I can't remember how I learned how to do it, but I knew how to get that peekaboo effect. So I took a tank top pattern, and I just lengthened it and then I just, you know, drafted it so that I can have that peekaboo effect. This pattern actually started as a tank top. 

Lisa Woolfork  20:43  

This is the best outcome for a tank top I have ever seen.

Sasha Black  20:47  

Yeah, this thing started as a tank top, and now it's this fantastic dress. 

Lisa Woolfork  20:52  


Sasha Black  20:52  


Lisa Woolfork  20:53  

I know you must marvel when you look back at your experience. And you're like "I remember when I didn't read instructions at all. And now I'm creating patterns and altering and doing my own thing." That's a pretty big transition to go from. So that's impressive, though you do have to tell us about the apology that you had to make to your overlocker slash surger.

Sasha Black  21:14  

Y'all. Why was Sasha on Tik Tok talking all kinds of mad cash stuff about the overlocker and how it was so terrible... And how was awful... And it did this wrong and it did that wrong... But then come to find out, dot dot dot... So I bought a used coverstitch serger combo off of eBay, it's a Juki. And when it arrived, I spent the entire day trying to get those stitches, right. I remember just being so frustrated, and it had been days and I was just like, "You know what? Forget it. I'm putting this off to the side. This thing ain't working. Everybody was right, unless it's a certain particular brand of a machine, all it's gonna do is be finicky." And so I'm talking to that one particular IG sewist, Christina, finally she gave me the settings that she use because she has the same exact machine and that thing worked like a breeze from those settings that she gave me. And you know, had I read the manual probably wouldn't also not have been in that predicament. 

Lisa Woolfork  22:12  

That information may or may not have been in the manual. Who's to say? You ain't read it, how you supposed to know? 

Lisa Woolfork  22:17  

Yeah. So once she gave me those settings, I'm telling you, I have had no issues with my coverstitch. And I was like, "You know what, I was talking so much crap about this coverstitch machine, like people think that I hate it, and I did. That was like, oh my god." So I was like, "You know what, let me go back and let people know that it was me", because you got to be able to admit when you're wrong, because I've been plenty of times I've been wrong on my sewing journey. And the people need to know that it was user error, because I don't want nobody to be scared to buy a coverstitch now because you never know, someone might be looking at it and be like, "Alright, nah, I'm not gonna do that." 

Lisa Woolfork  22:53  

"No, I'm not doing that. Sasha really suffered through that. I don't want to suffer through that." I have to think about stuff like that too. When I share things with, on my page, I'm like, you know, people are looking at these. They could be going based off of what you said alone to make a decision. And I'm like, "Oh, you know what, let me make sure I go back and fix anything that I might have said that might have been wrong." And if somebody points something out to me, I'll say, "Hey, thank you." This person pointed this out to me that I was doing this wrong, but I think that's important, too, because why not? 

Intro  23:25  

The backstitch is a reinforcing stitch sewn by hand or stitched by machine. The backstitch is a return with a purpose. On the Stitch, Please podcast, our new Backstitch series will recall early and or favorite episodes of the podcast. And the best news, it's hosted by you. Yes, you. Thank you. You. Do you have a favorite Stitch Please podcast episode? Let us know by leaving a voice memo on our website. Five minutes max. Let us know what episodes you love and why other people will love it too. And if we use your message on the show you will receive in honoraria. So remember, the backstitch makes us seem stronger. Leave us a message so that your contribution can make the Stitch Please podcast that much stronger. You can find the link at the website or just click on it in the show notes for this episode.

Lisa Woolfork  24:37  

That's how we learn and you know what I love about it. It shows the attention and care you give to your platform. That you take seriously the work that you're creating. You can tell that you enjoy the Reels that you're not just doing it because you went to a seminar and the seminar said you got to post this many Reels in order to do that and the third. Like you are doing it because you genuinely like it. And this brings me to a question about the name of your business and the name of your project, your brand, and some changes that might be coming forward soon. And so the name of your current IG handle is Kingdom Daughter Makes, and you are thinking about shifting that into something else. Can you talk about that process? And what it means to you know recognize this thing worked for me in this stage, but now I'm growing, and I'm going to do something different. Can you talk about that process and what that's been like so far? 

Sasha Black  25:34  

Before I came to IG, I was thinking about, like, what I would name my business if I started and Kingdom Daughter Makes. And at the time, what Kingdom Daughter Makes meant to me was based off of the person that I was when I made that name. And it had a religious and spiritual connection at the time, but I have evolved since then. And so, I remember somebody asking me, "Is that name religious?" And I remember them asking me that I was like, "It is, but I'm not that person anymore." And I don't know how to explain that to them. So I'm just like, are they gonna judge me now? Because yeah, it did have a religious and spiritual meaning behind it, but that's not who I am anymore. So now are they going to judge me because I'm not that person anymore. So I struggled a lot with whether or not I was going to change my name to something else. And I already know, I already have the name in mind, because Kingdom Daughter Makes is a lot to say. Let's say it, it's a lot. And it's a lot to write out, you know. So I have something in mind, it's a lot easier to say. And I struggle with that a lot because I felt like I basically built my platform, and it's not like I'm Beyonce, or anything like that, but everybody knows me as Kingdom Daughter Makes, and I built my platform around that on TikTok, IG, and yeah, I got like labels made and stuff like that. I had gotten a logo made and stuff like that, when I thought I was gonna create a website and stuff like that. And then eventually, and I want to say this to sewists, don't let anybody force you to turn your hobby into a business. If you don't want to make your hobby a business, then let it stay a hobby. 

Lisa Woolfork  27:10  

That's right. 

Sasha Black  27:11  

Because a lot of times people feel like, "Oh, you could do this, you're gonna make money off..." Maybe I don't want to. Maybe I just want to do it because I love it. 

Lisa Woolfork  27:19  


Sasha Black  27:19  

And I think that's where I was like, "Oh, what if I go into business?" After you know, conversing with you a little bit I think I feel a lot more comfortable with transitioning to be honest, because I don't want to pigeonhole myself to a name that I feel no longer represents me, because I don't even know what that name means to me as the person that I am now. So, and I can't make up anything, I tried to see if I can make it into something to where I am now. And I cannot come up with anything. And I think there's a reason for that. It meant what it meant. And that was it. You can't attach it to anything else. 

Lisa Woolfork  27:50  

Exactly, exactly. Well, the thing that I was reminding you, y'all we talked a little bit about this earlier. But what I was saying was, I think you are underestimating the power of you. I remember your videos. I remember the garments that you made. I remember how funny you were, and I thought that was so ridiculous. And I remember that very sincere and long and drawn out and well deserved apology that you gave to your overlocker. Like, those are the things that we remember. Don't confuse the name with the person who gave the name in the first place. In the same way that you had that same power to create that name, that then created so much more. And you're also in the practice of creating yourself and you are going to grow. And I think that by transitioning, by thinking through, by being reflective and conscientious, that is the beautiful true and deep connection that people value and respect about you. I think that that is the thing that makes you so powerful and unique. And just to remind yourself, that the same thing that got you here is the same thing that's gonna bring you through. You have that fire, you have that amazing creativity. You don't need to be put into a box. At first you thought it was a container. And now it turns out, it's like it's a box, and now you need to open some windows and then make something different. We are here for it. We are celebrating that. 

Sasha Black  29:22  

Oh, thank you. Thank you. This is great, you know, because I'm going through a lot of things in life and I'm going through a lot of different transitions. I'm even locking my hair, doing something different with my hair, you know. So you right, you're right. I appreciate you actually talking me through that. I'm glad you open that up because I'm pretty sure I would have never opened that up myself and I would have just been Kingdom Daughter Makes for the rest of my life, even though I have no attachment to that name anymore. 

Lisa Woolfork  29:49  

You deserve better and your work deserves better. You put so much of your best self forward. Why do you have to drag around something that no longer fits or no longer suits you? It's no disrespect to who you were then - it's respect for who you are now. And we can do hard things, we can hold two things together at the same time. You know, we know that there's such a thing as a past, and a present, and a future, and you want to be fully present in all of it. I'm just excited for you. I think this is awesome. Okay, let me ask you the last question I ask everybody. The slogan of the Stitch Please podcast, I forgot to say I was gonna tell you this, the slogan of the Stitch Please podcast is that we will help you get your stitch together. Sasha Black, what advice would you give to our listeners today to help us get our stitch together?

Sasha Black  30:34  

I would say please be open to listening to the community, there are so many people who are cheering you on. They want to see you grow as a beginner. So always be open to the feedback that we give. Because all we want is for you to grow. To be honest, we want to see you be the best sewist that you can be. Be yourself with what you're making. Don't make anything because it's popular or trendy. Find out who you are as a person, and what fits you, what your style is because I promise you people are gonna gravitate towards those who are authentic in their style. They really are because they're gonna be like, "This person knows who they are. And I liked that about them." Even if I wouldn't wear anything that they would wear, I just love the fact that you know who you are. At least those are the people that I'm attracted to. And I'm like, "You know who you are. And I like that about you." 

Lisa Woolfork  31:22  


Sasha Black  31:23  

And then just never stop learning. Don't ever think that you know it all. You made one garment, I promise you, there's a lot you don't know, don't be like me thinking that you could start making stuff for people not knowing what a princess seam is, and edges raw, and your clothes falling apart after you throw it in the washing machine. The community can be a great place. So just use it to your advantage. There's so many things out there. I can't say enough about the community because I just love it so much. I promise you because like, without them, I wouldn't have a page. Who would I be talking to? I wouldn't even be talking to you! You know? If I did not have this IG, I would have to talk to my family and friends. They don't want to hear that. They don't want to hear that. [laughter]

Lisa Woolfork  32:05  

They do seem to have a low tolerance for sewing talk. It's strange, it's strange. Like about three good minutes, and then they're like, "Can we change the topic?" And I'm like, "No, I'm just getting started. I've got much more to say." 

Sasha Black  32:16  

Yeah. Like, I show my husband stuff all the time. And he's like, "Nice." And I'm like, that's it? 

Lisa Woolfork  32:21  

"Yeah. Let me go on the internet and get some more affirmation from strangers." Thank you. Thank you so much, Sasha, for being with us today. 

Sasha Black  32:29  

Thank you for having me!

Lisa Woolfork  32:29  

It's been such a delightful conversation. It has really been a treat. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Sasha Black  32:34  

Thank you for what you contribute to the community, Lisa. Don't ever play yourself. Don't ever play yourself. You contribute so much. And you are just such a genuine soul and you're just great. You really are. 

Lisa Woolfork  32:48  

Thank you. Thank you. I receive that with gratitude. Thank you. 

Intro  32:55  

You've been listening to Stitch Please, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch,  the sewing group where Black lives matter. We appreciate you joining us this week and every week for stories that center Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. We invite you to join the black women stitch Patreon community with giving levels beginning at $5 a month. Your contributions help us bring the Stitch Please podcast to you every week. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support, and come back next week, and we'll help you get your stitch together!

Transcribed by

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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