SewFab teaches young fashionistas the basics of sewing

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Young fashionistas love clothes, but they sometimes have no idea how they're made.

A six-week summer camp called SewFab is looking to change that.

"The girls are learning everything from conceptual all the way to collection."

When WREG's Markova Reed visited the camp, the machines were humming and the girls busy making sure they're getting the basics, like how to sew straight lines.

"We're working on color theory. We're working on sketching and then we go into the basics of sewing: how to sew, how to thread the machine, getting familiar with the machine," said Denisha Locke.

Each girl is making a bow tie for Father's Day.

After that, they make whatever their little hearts desire.

"I don't interfere with their creativity. If they want to make a shirt we make the best skirt. If they want to make a top we make the best top."

Locke decided early on she wanted a life in fashion and design, and her desire was supported by her school and teachers.

"I went to high school here and I went to a vocational school where I had instructors which pretty much lead me all the way to my professionalism."

In schools today, home economics classes may not be offered in middle and high school.

Locke said she's filling that void with SewFab.

Mia Savage attended last summer's SewFab camp and still wears the clothes she made.

"A halter top, a skirt and a tennis dress."

This year she is going in a different direction, and she already has a pattern and fabric she's ready to work with.

"At the end of this they are going to have a full collection they can present to the city of Memphis."

Locke said she is very hands-on, and it's that one-on-one attention that has helped her campers excel.

"To see them come in and say 'Ms. Sha I can't' and to turn around and they're more eager to do anything in the class. For them to come out on top and say 'I did this, you know this is my creation.'"

The summer session is full, but Locke said she is adding Fashion Friday -- an abbreviated version of SewFab that meets once a week.

For more information, you can call Locke at (901) 653-7820 or email her at

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