At Sew Crafty, we are passionate about using creativity to empower women and girls. The satisfaction of creating and expressing with one’s hands is priceless, and a world of materials awaits to be converted from one form to another. Learning the joy of tactile expression is particularly important to balance the increased time spent in today’s virtual world.
Our objective at Sew Crafty is to present these creative possibilities in a fun and easy manner. We provide a variety of opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy sewing and crafting. Visit our Adult Workshops and Girls Programs pages for more information, or contact us to learn about customized lessons.
Sew Crafty first opened in 2004 in the small commercial space in the back of 104 W Parrish Street. Toni Mason used the space primarily for teaching private sewing lessons and as her own sewing studio. In the summer of 2010, Sew Crafty expanded to the larger commercial area at the front of the building in order to provide a broader offering of programs. Then, in 2014, Toni decided to move the sewing studio to the second floor in order to enjoy the lovely windows that provide a delightful quality of light. This move also enabled Toni to rent out the first floor space, which is a big financial boost.
Toni Mason – Owner
Toni Mason holds a degree in Interior Design from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. She owned a commercial interior design firm for 14 years, specializing in corporate interiors for clients including GTE, Carolina Power & Light, Duke University Medical Center, Global Software, GlaxoSmithKline, and NIEHS.
Toni had always planned to retire from her commercial design career by the age of 50 in order to help care for the grandchildren she was sure would arrive, and to spend more time crafting and working with children. Beginning in 2002, she ran the Extended Day Program at Durham Academy Middle School, which gave her the flexibility to be with the grandchildren that existed by then and to reach a wider group of kids. In 2004 she opened Sew Crafty, fitting private sewing lessons into her schedule of working at Durham Academy and helping to care for her grandchildren.
In 2010 Toni decided to go for taking Sew Crafty to the next level and left her Durham Academy job, moved the studio from the small space at the rear of the first floor at 104 W. Parrish St. to the larger space at the front of the building and started offering programs and lessons full-time .
“Nothing can compare with the feeling I get from seeing a young girl glow with pride when she shows her parents what she just made at her sewing lesson. I feel like I am empowering them, which in turn, empowers me!” -Toni
ERIKA MARTINEZ – TEACHER’S ASSISTANT
Ms. Erika joined the Sew Crafty team in the summer of 2016. She has a passion for the arts and is an accomplished sewist and potter. Prior to joining Sew Crafty she gained teaching experience while working in the Human Resources field and she is a certified Executive Business Coach. She has transitioned these skills into teaching children her love for sewing. Ms. Erika enjoys teaching students new sewing skills as well as working with students to learn about color and fabrics. Ms. Erika is patient and caring and her infectious laughter can be heard in the studio all day long. In addition to being an assistant teacher at Sew Crafty. Ms. Erika is a local maker and business owner, selling her wonderful handbags and other sewn items at craft fairs.
SUE LAW -TEACHER’S ASSISTANT
Ms. Sue is on the scene helping the students during Summer Sewing Camp. She is an accomplished seamstress and, most importantly, is VERY patient and helpful with the students. Her calm voice and sweet manner go a long way in helping the students to accomplish their projects successfully. Ms. Sue has raised 4 children and has recently become an “empty nester” as her youngest daughter has gone off to college. Ms. Sue has 2 lovely granddaughters, one of which actually attends our Sewing After School program .