Make and mend enthusiast Penn Smith sewing.
Make and mend enthusiast Penn Smith will lead six online craft and repair workshops. Photo: Traid Charity / Kit Oates Photography.

A project to assist people to learn and improve their hand sewing is continuing in March and April, after an initial online session proved a success.

Local resident Penn Smith and Fitzrovia Centre hosted a one-off “make and mend” session in February to see how much interest there was, and with a view to holding regular online events in future.

“Six people attended the event where a lace scarf was mended, two lines of beginners’ crochet were created, a lingerie travel bag took shape, socks were darned, and we shared our experience and enthusiasm,” says Smith.

Now six weekly sessions of hand sewing are ready to go, starting on Thursday 11 March, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.  These will be free and online every Thursday, hosted by Fitzrovia Centre with Penn Smith leading the online workshops.

“Everyone is welcome to come along whatever their skill level. We will cover Running, Back, Whip, Herringbone, Blanket and Sashiko stitching, when to use each stitch, plus how to add patches that don’t fall off,” says Smith.

“Participants will need to have fabric, scissors, needle and thread, pins and safety pins, paper, pen and pencil. A more detailed description will be sent once they register but the main thing is that the fabric is not stiff, thick, stretchy or textured; it could be an old shirt, pillowcase or tea towel.

“Clothes can be fixed and altered using very basic sewing skills; usually all that is needed is a needle, thread and confidence, which this course is designed to supply. For those who already know how to sew, they are welcome to come along and work on their own sewing project,” she says.

Make and Mend with Penn Smith will run every Thursday from 12.30pm starting on 11 March for six weeks. This will be a Zoom event so you will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a camera and microphone. The Zoom link will be sent if you email (and please mention if you need help understanding how to participate in a Zoom event). Free to attend.