Meet the owner and operator of Pins & Needles Studio.
Nan Alexander opened this first-class sewing studio in June 2012. Located in the heart of Raleigh, Pins & Needles Studio offers sewing and design classes for youths and adults. Nan has turned the studio into a contemporary, comfortable space for students to learn hands-on sewing techniques under the guidance of an experienced classroom instructor.
A 1972 Meredith College graduate, Nan earned a degree in Home Economics Education, “taking every clothing and fashion course available.” After student teaching at Broughton High School, she taught at Rocky Mount Senior High for one year before returning to Broughton to complete 40 years of teaching and directing its clothing and fashion curriculum and chairing the Career and Technical Education Department. She completed a Masters of Education from North Carolina State University in 1977 and has taught clothing construction in the NCSU College of Design. She has been a National Board certified teacher since 2000. Nan also was selected for a Fulbright Teacher Award and spent three weeks in Japan to learn more about the culture of Japan. During this time her emphasis was in the areas of fashion and apparel on the elementary, middle, high school, and university levels.
Nan has authored numerous courses in clothing and fashion design for Wake County Public Schools and has been a member of several curriculum teams for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. For over 30 years, she has coordinated with the Field Studies Center of New York to lead clothing students from throughout Wake County on fashion trips to New York City’s garment district. Today, several of her former students work in the fashion industry.
Nan lives in Raleigh with husband Chip and their dog Daisy. Both sons, Bryan and his wife Alison, and Chris and his wife Cherie live and work in Raleigh. Bryan and Alison have a little girl, Olivia Nancy, and a son, Wyatt Edward. Christopher and Cherie have a little girl, Nora Grace.
Sewing has been a lifelong passion for Nan. She “picked it up” on her own as a 10-year-old in Wilson and sewed for herself and her sisters through high school. Now, she wants to share the joy of creating something special with pins and needles – and see the pride on students’ faces when they say, “I made this myself!”