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Sew it, don't throw it 
Workshops Open for booking!

To go straight to workshop bookings please scroll to the bottom of this page.

We’ve all got clothes that we don’t wear – maybe because they need repairing, they don’t fit well or we’re just a bit fed up with them. Fast fashion means that more people are buying more clothes but wearing them less – leaving many garments languishing in cupboards and drawers, being thrown away, or donated to charity shops. We’re excited to launch a new St Helen’s eco-project, helping our local community to reduce the number of unworn garments and the amount of textiles going into landfill.

We want to start to change the view that clothing is ‘disposable’ and encourage people to repair and alter so that items can be worn for longer and not add to household waste, to encourage people to reuse what they already have, and to recycle garments into something else.

This project has been made possible by funding from Leicestershire County Council through the Shires Environmental Grant Scheme which will enable us to buy the equipment needed so that everyone can take part. It will initially run through the spring, summer and autumn of this year and will be delivered by three retired textile tutors. They will be running a series of workshops including using a sewing machine, different types of mending, decorative repairs, alterations, refashioning garments, repurposing garments, making home furnishings and gifts, and making fabrics from scraps - in fact just about anything that can be done with unwanted fabric.

People can attend one, a few, or all of the sessions and they are free. A variety of skills and techniques will be taught that can be taken away to reuse and recycle garments in the future. 

There'll be lots of things going on in addition to the workshops - events, talks and school holiday activities for families.  The sessions will be fun and social and participants will become peer support networks encouraging each other to put the learning into practice. We’re already aware of the wellbeing benefits of being creative so taking time out to make things and to be with others can be good for you, while making a commitment to reuse and recycle and to encourage others to do the same will be good for our communities and the planet.

So how can you get involved?

• Please do get involved in the activities and workshops that are coming up – they are for everyone so tell your friends and neighbours too
• If there is a sewing skill you would like to learn then let us know
• Tell us about any unwanted textiles or sundries that you have – we might be able to use them
• Sign up to be a volunteer – we will need people to help with the workshops (setting up and clearing away the equipment, and supporting the workshop leader)
• Help to promote the project
• Help us to gather feedback and comments

After our fabulous launch day on Saturday 11th March, the first workshops are now open for booking. Keep an eye on our website, as booking will be made available on future workshops about a month before they are due to take place.


Some photos from our Open Day.

To book onto the workshops, please follow the links below. Please note that booking for some workshops is not available immediately.

List of Workshops

Saturday 25th March     Introduction to a sewing machine
Tuesday 4th April          Make a carrier bag dispenser using basic sewing machine skills
Saturday 15th April        Mending and repair
Tuesday 25th April         Know Your Sewing Machine
Tuesday 9th May           Introduction to sewing, dressmaking & simple alterations
Saturday 20th May       Clothing alterations
Tuesday 13th June          Glasses or phone case
Saturday 17th June         Crazy patchwork
Saturday 24th June        Make an apron
Tuesday 27th June         Zipped bag for toiletries or for cable & chargers
Saturday 22nd July        The no zip cushion cover

List of Talks

Saturday 1st July            Clothing and Sustainability

More workshops and talks will be added later.