Vichcraft owner moves her custom embroidery shop to Irving Park

IRVING PARK — An artist who specializes in creating custom designs using a vintage embroidery machine has moved her studio and boutique to Irving Park.

vichcraft owner Jenna BlazevichThe Cornely A crank-and-wheel chainstitch machine is just over 100 years old, but it still performs well for its customers’ sewing needs. When creating a custom design, Blazevich directs freehand needle direction on pennants, shirts, and other items.

“If you imagine a mechanic shirt or a bowling shirt, they would have been customized with this type of machine,” Blazevich said. “It’s a really special, very rare machine.”

Blazevich moved his business to 3757 N. Kedzie Ave. last year and started seeing clients by appointment this summer. Starting Oct. 30, she plans to open the store from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays or customers can book appointments online.

Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
The crank and wheel by Jenna Blazevich, owner of Vichcraft, Cornely A chainstitch machine is just over 100 years old and when creating custom designs.

Blazevich loved to draw as a child. When she got to college, she first studied fashion before focusing on graphic design, she said. She is also interested in printmaking and lettering, she said.

Blazevich started her business in 2015 and was previously based in an artists’ collective in Humboldt Park and later in a studio in the Ukrainian village.

“It’s always been my interest to create my own clothes and to be able to put ideas into a portable format,” Blazevich said. “And there is a rich history of textile arts in my family. My great-great-grandmother was very good at hand embroidery, which I think is really cool.

In 2020, Blazevich’s studio lease expired; due to the pandemic disruptions, she decided to start working from home.

Last year, Blazevich and her husband moved into Irving Park, and she noticed the Kedzie Avenue storefront was vacant.

Blazevich decided to move his shop to the Kedzie spot. She and her husband have spent the last year “wearing themselves out” renovating the old Vichcraft tattoo studio and preparing to open to the public, she said.

Besides custom chain stitch designs, Blazevich creates stained glass designs and designs logos for clients, she said. She also has her own line of prints which she sells through her website and storefront.

“Most of it comes down to working with personalized lettering, taking a phrase or a word and sprucing it up, making it interesting in whatever medium I’m using,” Blazevich said. “I do a lot of events…all over town where a company like Madewell, J Crew or something has had me come in and do some customization on the things they sell.”

Blazevich’s friend gilded the store window with the Vichcraft logo. Blazevich and her husband also placed the Honda motorcycle they built together in 2017 as the main display behind the front glass.

“It was so fun doing it because there’s this ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ inspired illustration on the gas tank, and we did a tank badge that says Vichcraft instead of Honda,” he said. she declared.

Blazevich’s previous locations would host workshops open to the public focused on font design or motorcycle maintenance, and Blazevich hopes to bring those events back to his new location next year.

“I’m thrilled that there’s now a catch-all day on Sundays where people can come in and get their stuff stitched up,” Blazevich said.

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