Specializing in cozy at-home clothing that translates to outdoor wear, Nancy Melvin brings 22 years of teaching handwork in Waldorf Schools, attention to quality, natural fibers and sustainable sourcing to Union Handmade. 40 years of costuming for dance and theater means that every garment she makes is designed for maximum comfort and ease of movement along with a stage presence full of style and fun. 50 years of gardening is behind her growing local and seasonal, natural dyes in her Chicago bungalow garden for her silk scarves. Her studio is in her attic. Her patterns are graded by a woman in Lincoln Square and sewn by a woman in Chinatown. Trims and buttons similarly come from woman owned businesses in Chicago: Bari Zaki Studio next door to Union and Soutache in Bucktown. Local, handmade and woman in community are important to her.
Her studio is in her own Ravenswood Manor bungalow, an attic nook for the sewing machine and the kitchen stove and the garden for natural dyes. Her husband's painting studio is a short walk into Albany Park. In their mutual business for more than thirty years, Thomas Melvin Painting Studio, he is the paintbrush and she is the office and the muse.