Saving the planet one stitch at a time!
Offering crafts, like sewing, has always been important at St Luke’s, giving local people valuable life skills they might not be able to access elsewhere. With the realisation over the past few years of the damage caused by the fast fashion industry and the current cost of living crisis, sewing has taken on an added significance, as a life skill that can save you money and help save the planet. We caught up with our wonderful sewing tutor, Mfon, and chatted about her work at the Centre and living in Islington. Mfon has run our weekly sewing classes since 2014 and has been involved in initiatives including Relish Embellish at the Centre. She is also a member of our Women’s Multicultural Group.
Mfon remembers going along with her mum to sewing classes when she was little and her mum making clothes, but it was not something she ever took an interest in back then. Years later, when she had a family, Mfon enrolled on a design and sewing class at Woodberry Down, where they had a creche, and she could learn a new skill as a new mum.
As a local, in 2010 she noticed St Luke’s were offering advice on starting up small businesses, so she went along and became aware of what was on offer at the Centre. A couple of years later Mfon was asked to take over the sewing classes from the previous lady who was retiring, and the rest is history!
At the beginning the classes centred around dressmaking but evolved into a more flexible class for all aspects of sewing. This has encompassed a recent environmentally-friendly trend to make and mend clothes, with growing awareness of what we consume and throw away. The class is full of people making, altering and fixing clothes (and other fabric items!) with guidance and advice from Mfon while chatting over a cuppa.
Mfon loves living in Islington and is a regular at the Centre. She finds it welcoming and friendly, which is what she wants people to take from her sewing classes. As Mfon says: “I don’t want it to feel like school! I want people to feel relaxed, and to enjoy sewing as much as I do.”
Mfon runs a weekly ‘Sewing for All’ class on a Wednesday 10.30am-12.30pm in our Art Room on the second floor of the Centre, which is kitted out with several sewing machines, an ironing board and everything you need to upcycle, fix and create. There is also an upcycling sewing class every Saturday from 12-2pm. If you would like to sign up for the free classes for members, please contact reception.
Interview by Lisa Burrell