Fashion designer Anastasia Chatzka's childhood obsessions can benefit you

Date: 
06/19/2017
ShpAugDamen

Anastasia Chatzka's shop is on the northeast corner of Augusta and Damen

Anastasia Chatzka's obsession for music and dressing like a rock star in bell-bottoms, when 12 or 13 in Detroit, became the ground work for her future business life…which leads to helping you. 

After obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Chatzka learned from the best in the design field including Betsey Johnson and Anna Sui. Honing her skills in sewing, pattern drafting and design, she decided to open her own business in 2009. "I opened my store on Division near Alliance Bakery. I stayed there for about two to two-and-a-half years." Now you can find her boutique, Anastasia Chatzka, at Damen and Augusta. 

"We have ready-to-wear for women as well as men's tailored goods," she explains. Price tags range from $45 to $1,200 with the average around $100. "Our gowns are what have the higher price tags." Store ours are from 11 a.m.to 7 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Monday they are closed. 

In addition to the Anastasia Collection, a custom designed garment service is part of their offerings. 

When asked what she believes is the most important thing for people to know about retail in the area, she said, "People must shop small…local businesses. If they only shop online because it is cheaper though often of less quality, small businesses will disappear. We will be forced out of business." 

Her video "Made in Chicago," gives Chatzka's views of producing products in Chicago and how she progressed to where she is now.

Her atelier in the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago's (ICNC) incubator building at Damen and Carroll is not only where her clothing is designed and made, but also where she offers sewing classes. 

Sewing classes in Chatzka's studio include a six-week series, once a week for two hours for $180 and special popup classes such as a circle skirt class one-day class which was $85, including materials. 

AnastPence

Chatzka sews on the machine as intern Bethany Pence cuts away a tee-shirt sleeve

How you can benefit
Tied to those classes is Anastasia's gift to the community and you. 

Chatzka takes time from her business to help Wicker Park Farmers Market goers get a new eco-friendly re-usable shopping bag. 

At least once a month during this year's Sunday markets, Anastasia and her sewing machine appear to stitch up a new bag from your tee-shirt or one donated to her for this purpose. 

The concept is cool, you get use out of a tee-shirt you may never seem to wear or no longer like wearing. You save it from landfill, give it a new life and it is easy to wash! 

Here are the simple instructions, in case you have access to a sewing machine or like sewing a straight seam by hand and can't make it to the market when she is there. 

CrHandles

Pence cuts away the neck as Chatzka talks with a Farmers Market goer in Wicker Park

  • Lay the tee-shirt flat on a table.
  • Cut off the sleeves, starting at the shoulder seam, following the seam or on a diagonal down and out toward the side seam. Discard the sleeves…they can be used for cleaning.
  • Next, cut away the neckline which will result in having two handles for the bag.
  • Along a shoulder seam, determine how wide you want the bag's handle to be.
  • Begin cutting a u-shape out going from one shoulder seam to the one on the other side of the shirt. (This produces the bag's handles.)
  • Remove the neck area of the tee-shirt.
  • Turn the shirt inside out. Lay the shirt flat and sew one straight seam along the bottom of the shirt from one side-seam to the other.
  • Turn the former shirt, now a bag, right-side out. 

Be sure to thank Anastasia for caring about the environment and the community next time you see her in her shop or in Wicker Park.

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