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Monday, 27 July 2015

GUEST BLOG POST FROM STITCHED UP



I am delighted to welcome stitched up to my world of sewing, I hope that you will enjoy this their first guest post on my blog. I hope that there will be many more to come.


 Love Learning Sewing Skills

by


STITCHED UP





Angela demonstrates how a knowledge of sewing can help you create a varied wardrobe, based on your own style and tailored to you. I'm Maddy, Stitched Up's current intern. Like Angela, we at Stitched Up believe in passing on valuable sewing skills. Angela is an inspirational woman, and has found her own way of passing on her knowledge through her sewing blog. We both share a passion for sewing, and want to encourage more people to learn skills to create and sustain their wardrobe, whilst also expressing their own personal style
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At Stitched Up, we run community sewing workshops from our HQ in Chorlton, Manchester, aiming to teach everything from learning how to use a sewing machine to garment cutting to sewing a button! We can teach people how to sew at the most basic level, right up to advanced alterations and pattern cutting. We’re a non-profit co-operative with a strong environmental focus, using almost entirely recycled materials.



Not only this, but we love to go out into the community, like fairs and events. The other day, Stitched Up were invited to attend a celebration event of an eco-art project called “Tearing Stuff Apart” and I went along with them to see what they do. The event was held in a little known green oasis in the middle of Salford, called Kersal Dale. There we ran workshops, teaching people how to use vintage hand-powered sewing machines to make their own tote bags. These were then screen printed with the project's logo at a workshop run by another artist. 





The resulting bags were a lovely representation of the skill-sharing and collaboration that had been a key component of the Tearing Stuff Apart project all along. Stitched Up love to get involved with events like this, reaching new people and piquing curiosities to learn, or revisit, sewing.


It was really interesting to witness how the business encourages people out of their comfort zone and how the directors teach people the skills to reuse, mend and alter. The most recent garment cutting pattern workshop taught several novice sewers how to use patterns and to make whole new clothes (and they did!) 


Being someone who hasn't yet perfected sewing, I can see the time and patience that goes into teaching (and also learning), and the impressive outcomes that can be produced by learning the simplest skills. Since I've been here, I've witnessed a range of talented people, and see how craft can really unite communities.



After the community event, I asked the three cooperative directors what their best memories of best memory of teaching sewing skills. Kelly said "We teach workshops at school transition days. This means that we get a bunch of 10 year olds who are about to attend high schools and who don't know each other, and run a sewing workshop for them. It's great to see the kids reactions, and how craft can create a gateway making new friendships and setting them up for such a big transition.




 Bryony also said about the clothes mending workshops they run at housing associations "I find it rewarding to help teach skills which will be with people for life, which they can pass on and which will save them money". Emily spoke about the time Stitched Up were teaching a series of upcycling workshops at a community centre, and the participants of differing skill levels began swapping and teaching each other themselves, creating their own crafting community.


We hope to inspire our customers and supporters to embrace sustainable fashion, by taking a more resourceful and creative approach to the way they dress. Stitched Up is a non-profit cooperative, and almost all the materials we use are donated to us. Unfortunately, as fast fashion and the high street industry grows, valuable skills are being lost. We aim to reintroduce these, and hope they'll be retaught by those we inspire in turn.




It's been so great to find a friend in Angela and feature on this blog that celebrates sewing and teaching new skills.

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