PressPraise for Sewn for Good
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From pussy scarves to PPE, Ardmore bridal couturier pivots again
When her couture business fell off the covid cliff in mid-March, designer Janice Martin (above) could easily have pressed pause. No one would have begrudged her the R & R. She’d been creating bespoke wedding gowns on Cricket Ave. nonstop since 2005 and running a private label cause-related company since 2017.
Instead, in a classic pandemic pivot, she started stitching face masks. But, true to her couture roots, Martin’s masks would stand out – and not just for their interesting fabrics.
With N95 and surgical-grade masks easily soiled, uncomfortable to wear, and in short supply during the pandemic, Martin endeavored to build a better mouse trap.
COVID Couture: Designer Donates Mask Covers
For providers on the front line of the fight against COVID-19, a N95 mask is essential protective equipment. These masks, however, can be difficult to wear for the many hours they are needed.
Enter Janice Martin, a couture designer in Ardmore who was already ahead of the curve. In 2018, she had established Sewn For Good, an adjunct passion project that creates cause-related clothing and accessories.
When Martin learned of the shortage of medical protective wear and masks in the fight against COVID, she jumped into action. With established ties to industry sourcing and Jefferson University (which incorporates the former Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science), Martin designed a cloth mask cover to extend the life of surgical grade masks and make them more comfortable to wear.
She then canvassed the tri-state area to locate newly unemployed industrial seamstresses to make them for hospitals in need.
“When this crisis first hit, our business basically came to a standstill,” explains Martin. “So, several home sewers and I began making masks for ourselves and a few friends.
Meet the Ardmore Bridal Designer Making Silk Pussy Power Scarves
Under her label Sewn For Good, Janice Martin is turning placards from political rallies into wearable pieces of protest art.
Main Line Times
Women’s March scarves featured in Main Line Times
When Janice Martin looked at a computer screen of pictures she’d taken at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., all the colorful protest signs reminded her of a quilt.
“The placards were so creative and pithy,” she said.
The idea for a quilt would not be unusual for Martin, a premier custom dressmaker who designs and sews bespoke wedding dresses, evening wear and elegant suits in her Cricket Avenue shop in Ardmore. She lives and breathes sewing and fabrics.