The Sewing Bee comes to Battersea!

We invite you to our first Sew and Show exhibition.
Wednesday 21 June, 1 – 2.30 pm at Katherine Low Settlement.
Come and see what our Sewing Class made this year.

In January KLS volunteers Kate and Rachael held the first sewing class with an eager group of ESOL students. In the first lesson, we began with learning how to use the machines by sewing carefully around letters of the alphabet drawn on pieces of paper. Although a few students had used machines before everyone was starting from a basic level and keen to learn and make progress.

We have designed the curriculum so that with each project there is a new skill incorporated and we learn something new about working with fabric and the craft of sewing. In our first project of making a tote bag, we learnt how to lay out a pattern, use the straight grain of the fabric, cut out properly and how to use the sewing machine. As the bag was lined it didn’t really matter if the stitching went a bit wonky because you couldn’t see it!

Our next project was an apron and then all the stitching was on full show so we really focussed on sewing as neatly as possible. For some of us, there was some unpicking to be done before we got it right! The finished aprons were really great and can be seen along with the other projects at our Sew and Show exhibition on Weds 21st June.

Inspired by a conversation with Valentina the KLS chef we then started designing and making oven gloves. These were lined with heat-resistant wadding and needed to be quilted on the sewing machine which was a further opportunity to improve our careful, neat sewing skills. We also learned to create our own edge bias binding.

A small group of students have been able to move on to more advanced projects such as making loose trousers, blouses, cushion covers and kimono tops.

Sewing teacher Kate says:

I have been so impressed by how much progress everyone has made. We have a great deal of fun in the lessons. There is always laughter, everybody collaborates, and helps each other. There is a genuine feeling of shared pride when one of us completes a project.

When I look back to January and remember the group in that first lesson sewing on pieces of paper I am super proud of what the students have achieved in just 6 months. There is a real buzz and confidence in the room. I am looking forward to helping the students continue to build on their skills this next year.”

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