Freshman Newman finds a side hustle in sewing and embroidery

By: Brenden Schwartz, Editor

Ugly grandpa sweaters, thrifty crewnecks, patchwork jeans. If you’re looking to spice up your wardrobe, freshman Newman can help you with her own remodeled, altered, and handmade clothes, which she’s turned into a small business.

Emily Pachta is a Biology/Psychology double major. She tries to be an active member of the community and participates in groups like the Sloppy Joe Improv team.

In addition to her busy school life, Pachta enjoys working on sewing or embroidery projects in her free time. She said she took up hand embroidery as a hobby when the COVID pandemic started. For Christmas 2020, she received a new sewing machine that doubled as an embroidery machine, which opened up the possibilities for what she could do with her craft, she said.

Pachta said she loves thrift shopping and recycling clothes to prevent them from ending up in a landfill. She loves buying old shirts and crew neck sweaters and giving them new life.

Pachta said the idea of ​​selling his projects came to him in high school when some of his classmates asked him to make them crewnecks with various design requests. She then received requests to sell her work, but she said she didn’t have time at the time.

Pachta said that during the winter break, she finally felt like she had enough plans and time to start.

His store is called Aster Apparel. Pachta said the name Aster comes from a character she played in one of her favorite plays “Peter and the Star Catcher”.

“Molly Aster was a fearless leader, so I loved incorporating that into the name,” she said.

On Pachta’s Instagram page for Aster Apparel (@asterapparels), shoppers can mostly find upcycled thrift store clothes that Pachta has either repaired with embroidery or turned into his own creation using sewing. Pachta says she also takes orders for specific embroidery designs and also has jewelry and keychains available.

In addition to shopping on her Instagram page, Pachta said, people can also talk to her directly or message her on social media.

Over the semester, Pachta said, she doesn’t know how often she’ll be able to post and sell items, but she sees that activity continuing for at least a few years. She said she hopes to see the business grow over time and aims to release several pieces a month while maintaining her school and personal responsibilities.

“Sewing and embroidery are such a big part of my life now that I’m excited to share it with my community,” she said.