Making, Mending And Lending A Hand

Last month we held our latest Sew It Forward event, this time in South London. The evening was both a celebration of our first year and a collaboration with writer and The School of Life teacher John-Paul Flintoff (pictured above with The Good Wardrobe founder Zoe Robinson). We had not only invited guests to bring along garments that they needed help to repair, but we had also asked them to come ready to chat to John-Paul on the subject of who made your clothes?

John-Paul Flintoff interviewing Wendy Gilley at Sew It Forward: "Who Made Your Clothes?"

Willing guests were interviewed by John-Paul who was keen to hear the story behind what they were wearing. Did they know who made their clothes? Was it important for them to know - if so why? We filmed a series of interviews on the evening which we will be posting these in the coming months.

Alice Wilby, stylist and founder of Future Frock, learning to darn at Sew It Forward in The Railway pub, Streatham

Many guests were happiest sitting, chatting, drinking and mending. Lots of clothes were ‘saved’ at the event thanks to the skill sharing of those in attendance, and people went home satisfied that they had given their garments a new lease of life. Everyone who told us they had gained a new skill said they plan to use it in future and some have promised to pass on what they learnt.

Tom van Deijnen aka Tom of Holland sharing his darning skills with guest Pauline Milligan

We’re very grateful to Shane and everyone at The Railway pub who housed us for the evening; to Divine Chocolate who sent us some of their delicious Fairtrade chocolate to enjoy; to Wendy Gilley, Monica Milligan, Ben Spencer and Emily Hundt who supported the event by volunteering their time; and to everyone else who came along to learn and share their skills on the evening.

Divine Fairtrade Chocolate with needles from Rowan and naturally dyed wool from Greenfibres at Sew It Forward in The Railway Pub, Streatham

A huge thank you to our good friend the artist and photographer Tim Ridley, who captured the evening beautifully with his photos – see more below. Finally we’re very chuffed to have worked with John-Paul - thanks so much for teaming up with us for this event and for supporting the endeavour with such enthusiasm, warmth, good humour and wardrobe wisdom.

The Sew It Forward banner at The Railway, Streatham

Emily Hundt sharing her sewing skills at Sew It Forward

Guests sharing sewing, knitting and mending skills at Sew It Forward at The Railway in Streatham

A guest re-working a leather jacket at Sew It Forward

Guests sharing darning skills at Sew It Forward at The Railway in Streatham

Knitting in action at Sew It Forward in The Railway pub, Streatham

Photo credits: Tim Ridley

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