Thursday, 12 April 2012
Sew Good with Zo!
It's probably impossible not to notice, particularly if you live in a city, the recent proliferation of sewing schools, studios and classes popping up all over the shop. This is reflecting the rise in interest in recapturing the crafts of our foremothers; to obtain hands-on skills in an increasingly virtual world AND to create and maintain our own clothing, freeing us from the exhaustive quantity of often poor quality mass-manufactured garments that have been produced though questionable means.
Personally, I'm very much heartened and excited by this increase in sewing schools, studios, classes and courses. For a beginner, this new range of choice of how and where to learn serves to facilitate the seeds of a new hobby, if not way of life. Plus, the amount of classes springing up means the teachers are becoming more innovative with the selection available. Therefore, some more advanced courses and single-skill sessions are popping up for the benefit of those who have a bit more sewing experience and don't need to learn how to thread their machines.
Even though there are lots more sewing classes and schools popping up, the world is far from saturated. Not until EVERYONE knows how to maintain their clothes will there be enough, in my book! So, today I'm going to tell you about a new sewing studio that's just opened up in London. This one is unique in two main senses: #1, it is run by a charity, so your class fee will not only go to running the course and studio, but will profit development projects in the Third World, and #2, I'm going to be teaching there!!!
Yes Siree, TRAID (the charity I work for) has launched the Sew Good Studio, 'A permanent creative workshop offering sustainable fashion courses teaching sewing and up-cycling skills'. The Sew Good Studio is housed above the TRAID charity shop in Kilburn, North West London and was set up the to fulfil demand for the taster sessions Lyla, Head of Education, had been running with her assistants to teach participants basic sewing skills to mend, revamp and adjust their wardrobes. Back in February, I headed up to London to help out at one of those sessions, and as cool as it was, it was evident that a permanent set up, rather than shifting sewing machines and boxes to set up temporary work stations in charity shops outside of opening hours, would improve what could be offered to the public.
It makes a lot of sense for a textile recycling charity like TRAID to offer sewing courses, because their entire focus is already on sustainability, reducing textile waste and re-purposing clothing. And the selection of classes to be held at the Sew Good studio is as impressive as the rest of the private sewing schools, including how to make a quilted laptop bag and how to make a panelled jumper dress. As with most non-for-profit organisations, everybody at TRAID has several job roles, are pretty overloaded and have to work within very limited budgets. Therefore, advertising the classes fell behind somewhat, but you can see the full listing for April here.
And me? What will I be teaching? My session is rather grandly titled 'The TRAIDremade Masterclass: Rework Your Wardrobe'. I'll be helping people bring life back into their unworn and unloved clothing by teaching a variety of skills to mend, alter, re-fit, hem and upcycle the items they bring along.
My first class is meant to be next Saturday (21st April), however due to the late pressing of the schedule, it's a possibility not enough people will sign up for that session to go ahead. The following 'TRAIDremade Masterclass' sessions are booked in for 19th May and 23rd June, basically every third Saturday in the month. My sessions will last a value-packed four hours. That's a whole lot of clothes-rescuing right there!
If you are interested in booking any of the Sew Good classes, or require more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lyla on 020 8733 2591. Happy clothes-saving, peops.
Oh, I just realised that the hands in the Sew Good flyer pictured above are mine!!! Some photographer was sent to our studio for something completely different months and months ago and took a bunch of pictures which I can barely remember. But I just recognised that pattern master, then I checked the little mole on my arm to confirm it's me! You can tell it was a photoshoot because I NEVER use pins when cutting out!