My only stitching qualification is that I have been obsessed with making and textiles since I was a small child. I was fortunate to grow up in a family where making things by hand was completely normal. My Mum has always knitted and sewn and now derives great pleasure from quilt making. My Dad spent most of his non-working time dreaming up kite designs and making them for us to try and fly. My paternal aunt and grandmother were amazing makers – my aunt in particular was a wonderful seamstress, artist and small holder.
I am a keen believer in mending and have been known to take my mending pile away with me to work on when going on a much loved annual women’s craft weekend. There is something very satisfying about continuing the life of a favourite shirt or pair of trousers. I am quite a ‘free’ (messy) sewer so imagine my joy as visible mending became acceptable, rather than aiming for an invisible repair!
I have been practising the art of Japanese ‘Boro’ using Sashiko stitching. It is a very ancient practice where families patched fabric on top of existing fabric using utilitarian stitches, strengthening the fabric and making beautiful cloth. This can be very neat and ordered or the stitching can be much more free. I invite you to spend a relaxing few hours learning the basics of this technique. I will provide you with cloth, thread and needle and we can explore the theory and the different stitches and patterns. If you would like to bring a piece of clothing – denim items work very well – then please bring them along and we can make a start on mending any areas that need patching, or simply adding patches and stitches anywhere you want them!
The workshop will be on Saturday morning, with the opportunity to continue on your own during the rest of the day and on Sunday morning, if you catch the Boro bug! I will be on hand throughout the weekend and will hopefully be able to help you with any queries. But the main thing is just to sit, and enjoy the meditative qualities to sewing. The patching will never be completely ‘finished’ because there will always be another patch you could sew on, or another hole that may develop. But that is the beauty – the process helps you move away from goal-centred living and towards a more accepting approach: concentrating on the present moment and staying open to what unfolds in the future.