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Carrie Collins celebrates Fabric Horse on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly

Tia Bianchini, holding one of her original designs, Carrie Collins, and Sarah Santo,Not present but very much part of rthe team is Tran Nguyen
Maria Merlino Copyright 2014

On the night before Easter, Halloween and Christmas, when she was a little girl, Carrie Collins would go to sleep hearing the whirring and clicking of her mother sewing on her old Pfaff machine. Magically, the next morning, a beautiful dress or costume would appear in hanging in her room. “ I come from a long line of seamstresses”, she begins. “I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother. My fore-mothers had a love of sewing that was passed down to me. I remember playing with the sewing machine and am self-taught. In high school, my home ec class was a breeze.” Collins, originally from Ohio, moved to Philadelphia in 2003. “ I graduated from the DAAP School of Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati. I was focused on merging my love of sewing with sustainable design. I took a pattern making class. I went through five home sewing machines before I bought a refurbished industrial one. The materials I use are tough, such as upcycled raincoats, banners, canvas and vinyl, so it’s important to make sure all the stitching is done right.” Much of the webbing she uses for straps come from car seat belts that she obtains from manufactures. “ When I moved here I sold my car and bought a bicycle. I saw there was a need for city bags and accessories that would weather well and had durability. For instance, I had a need to carry my lock. I was blowing out my back pocket until I came up with the Lock Holster, a simple product with two belt loops to string onto your own pants. Many of my designs are made with bikes in mind but are bought and used for other purposes. The tote bags are shaped for a bicycle basket but people use them for beach bags. I also have a very popular uni-sex diaper bag. Everything is vegan. We mix old with new to get a unique product.” Collins loves the Passyunk Avenue area. It’s a great corridor with wonderful shopping.”

Fabric Horse

1737 E. Passyunk Avenue

Philadelphia 19148

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