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, when possible, to Union Handmade. The collection offers comfort and easy care with a sense of elegant whimsy.
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 informs her growing of natural dyes in her front yard for her silk scarves. The patterns are graded by Mai Thai in Andersonville and the garments are sewn by Jian at New Way Fashions in Chinatown. Trims and buttons similarly come from woman owned businesses in Chicago: Bari Zaki Studio and Soutache, right next door. Local, handmade and women in community are important to her.
Nancy's studio is in her Ravenswood Manor bungalow, an attic nook for the sewing machine and the kitchen stove and the garden for natural dyes. She and her husband collaborate in Thomas Melvin Painting Studio, a short walk from their home. For more than thirty -five years, he is the paintbrush and she is the office and muse.