Watch CBS News

Lakeview Designer And Seamstress Teaching Volunteers How To Sew Mittens And Hats For Charity

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Here's a good deal for the holidays: learn to sew for free while helping a Chicago charity.

You donate what you make. Morning Insider Jim Williams tells us it's the creation of a talented designer who's teaching the class herself.

Tania Mackey found her calling as a child.

"I always wanted to be a designer. I always ripped things up when I was little, and put them back together," she said.

Repurposing old clothes or creating a variety of new apparel; she does it all. At her Lakeview shop NICZKA, Mackey is both designer and seamstress.

Williams: "So somebody comes in and says, 'I'd like a gown for a black tie event.'

Mackey: "Sure, all the time."

Williams: "You'd make it from scratch."

Mackey: "Yep."

Alexa Simon is a customer and admirer.

"What's best about her is how understated, sweet, calm she is; and not realizing the creative genius within her that makes anyone who meet her get blown away," she said.

Add another label: benefactor. On Sunday at her shop, Mackey will teach a free sewing class. Together, her students will make mittens and hats to be given away to the charity, "By the Hand Club."

All they have to bring is an old wool old sweater.

"You're going to wash and dry a wool sweater so that it shrinks, and it compacts, and it makes it easier to cut out the pattern pieces and to sew them together," Mackey said.

The class welcomes absolute beginners.

"I'm going to teach everyone how to thread their machine, how to sew the mitten and decorate it so we can donate it," Mackey said.

Mackey has been the recipient of kindness. All the fabric and all the sewing machines she'll use in the class on Sunday were donated by the community.

Now she is giving back.

"I have the ability to bring people together and make awesome mittens. I mean, why wouldn't I want to do that?" she said

A charitable endeavor for the holidays in good hands.

You can sign up for the mitten-making expo on the NICZKA website, or by calling 312.918.6900

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.