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We’re coming to the end of one of our projects and we’d just like to take a look at the progress the students have made.

Although the classes officially finished today we are pleased to announce that SEW classes will continue to be held once a week on Wednesdays from 1 to 3pm until July 12th.

Starting in February, students had no sewing or computer skills but now they’ve been able to produce aprons which are ready for batch production and have typed up all their recipes from around the world which are ready to be compiled for a book.

Today, after 7 weeks of consecutive classes twice a week, the students and trainee tutors have demonstrated that they can do without their head tutor: one of the goals of SEW was to achieve just that:, pass on knowledge from one person to the next….

Within today’s class they achieved  a huge amount:

2 jeans shortened, one dress altered, 6 children’s aprons cut, two aprons made, 6 recipes written on the computer



SEw garaduation

Today we followed the Class facilitator instruction to prepare for our graduation and every student chose a recipe from their country to bring on the 29th.

AS a group we felt everyone was able to speak up, share and laugh… Our head tutor was very pleased with our performance and progress.

Let us know whether you can join us in the COMMENT box  below or call Cat on 07931729812 .

Invite  family and friends, or a lonely neighbour…


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HaringeyTimebank  broker Sam came to visit our class to present the wonderful opportunities available when becoming a member of Timebank. Every hour of volunteering activity given is counted in the Bank and will be matched, hour for hour, with other activities or services of your choice you will be able to receive in exchange, all you spend is your time…

Piano lessons for your children, ICT classes, sewing, cooking, house maintenance, visits to trade shows, swimming… the list is endless…

So give and receive, for free, and make friends…

SEW can envisage a happy way forward after the current money from the Skills Funding Agency comes to an end in two weeks time: by arranging a weekly rota of 2 mums from our class to look after their children in the Children’s Centre Crèche while the rest of the group can pursue their newly acquired sewing passion nextdoor, within the Children’s Centre which will kindly let us use the teaching room for free.

The Children’s Centre is the perfect open space to spread such great programmes as SEW and TimeBank because young parents often need an extra pair of hands, and the room walls being  made of  glass from the waist up, it is easy for other uninvolved parents to see what fun it is to learn and share.

For more information Call Sam Leggatt, Haringey Timebank Broker Haringey Timebank (A Groundwork London Project)                 Mobile: 0772 66 95812    www.haringeytimebank.org.uk

Our Students

Between our two locations – CS4 and The Children’s Centre , we have managed to engage 43 local residents, 10 volunteers and 10 trainee tutors, which we have grouped accordingly to what they would like to gain from this project.

Sessions have been tailored to suit the needs of all learners as we know that each person has a differfent aim which they would like to achieve.

All groups were involved with developing the design process using a sewing machine and a computer to fulfil their requirements

  • 23 young mothers achieved the basic level of sewing and using a computer for the first time
  • 3 young women were able to create a portfolio and made complex products to prepare for higher education
  • 11 men and women planned a marketing strategy to help pave new career paths for their lives
  • 6 young fathers developed graphics for a t-shirt line which they’d like to start up in the near future as a collaboration

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Visit to Printer

As some students have decided that they would like to use their graphic designs to print on the bamboo based t-shirts which were donated by SueMe® , we took a visit to P21 Printing Studio in West Hampstead, London.

Here, we were able to experience the production process of printing onto fabric from an industrial perspective.

Recipes from around the world

Each week at the Children’s Centre a new recipe is presented to the group by a student from somewhere around the world. Here at SEW, we like to embrace different cultures and so by doing this, we are able to learn a little something from everybody’s background.

We were honoured to share the Moroccan Couscous with Annie from NIACE who came to meet all the partners to discuss the best way to show what impact SEW has on the local community.


Class Update

Each week has been a working progress on the SEW course.  Through the weeks we have been working our way through focusing on different aspects of the course.

SEW offers opportunites to learn within different groups:

1- Group 1: Basic Sewing and ICT related tasks for first time users with embedded English

A step-by-step programme allows us to understand the equipment well before using  it, guided with new confidence developed through learning to spell each part of equipment and tell others what it is used for. Writing everything in the Module diary and in a personal creative Rainbow diary with a new colour each week helped memorise and progress quickly.

This approach made it possible for our group (up to 18) to share new equipment in a small space and be aware of safety measures involved. We now also feel more equiped at home with guiding our young children.

Extract of  weekly progress:

Week 1)   We focused on drawing a sewing machine and a  computer and labelling the parts to it and what each part does.  As the course is based in the Children’s Centre the classes have a creche available so the students can bring their children whilst learning.

Week 2)  Each week we look at a different recipe from around the world.  There were foods from countries including Algeria (Basbousa), Ethiopia (Dabu, Samosas) where we had to guess the ingredients to the recipe and write it down on the computer in a Word document.

Week 3)  We progressed with learning how to thread a sewing machine, make a bobbin and stitch slowly enough to count the stitches. We tested the machines by making a mobile phone cover.

Week 4)  The design process was introduced with learning how to make a template to draw and outline to use to design an attractive apron. Studying different types of fabrics will help to choose what we like.

Week 5)  Currently toiling aprons following design and spec stages: sketches had to be drawn to real dimensions and then pattern cut before cutting fabrics and writing a making strategy to be checked by Head tutor.

Week 6)  While aprons are getting ready, others learn how to write their Action Plans on the computer and the folders are being checked for coming report.

2- Group 2:  Advanced Design:  CS4  sketch, portfolio, pattern cutting , construction for students to progress towards higher education

The course supports students to apply to Fashion Colleges, developing patterns and toiles for portfolio build-up, gathering artwork and asking group feedback to maximise impact

3- Group 3:  Extra curriculum activities: CS4 IAG mentoring for work, CVs strattgies, job applications, marketing, advice,  networking, events research

Participants come with a brief and agenda they need help with in order to move on to the next level of their professional journey, learning how to     search for  fashion jobs following CV development, or developing their own marketing strategy within group discussions

4- Group 4: Advanced Visual Design: CS4 T-shirts graphics development using  ILLUSTRATOR and Photoshop

Students progress original designs into computerised forms perfecting graphic original artwork to finally get feedback from a professional printer they will visit as part of their course

5- Group 5: CS4  offers volunteering  opportunities to understand how to run a project and work with people from many different backgrounds

Two young volunteers are currently running True Love, a project they set up themselves with Unltd during a course at CS4, where they use creative activities to interact with younger groups and share values of long lasting relationships

A “choc” team:

Trainee tutors (10 since programme started) learn basics and evolve into managerial roles to fulfil project delivery admin requirements, meeting with Haringey team and NIACE research team, currently monitoring a database which is being shaped and filled by tutors independently responsible covering: media/blog, learner’s data, learner’s achievements, resource allocation

What is Your Dream?

SEW is working towards a Dream and Vision and with the help and support from the Skills Funding Agency, The Adult and Community Learning Fund (ACLF) and NIACE we aim to achieve 5 things that make this dream come true:

1.  A “Green Route” to map out unused potential in Tottenham, to get resources and display home-grown creations

2.  “Lasting Success”: after 2 years testing ideas and methodology, we are pleased to have a chance to pass on the learning opportunity to bigger groups with our blog and a website www.stst.org.uk to come live soon

3. “A Friendly Hand”… to all groups who wish to develop their designs breaking stereotypes that sewing and designing are just for girls or women

4.   “Innovative Cohesion”: ladies from various backgrounds can work the magic of sewing machines and computers while fulfilling their Esol (English Speakers of Other Languages) requirements… “Fashion in the Kitchen” hats and aprons will be available soon to support a healthy growing cottage industry

5.  “Remote Company”: our biggest dream is to offer the same learning creative opportunity to all those who do not have the chance to share the SEW class experience

NOW tell us about YOUR DREAM …

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