Recycling clothes can be sew simple

September 24 2019

Lorraine Joseph is reviving the life skill of sewing at her classes

Recycling clothes can be sew simple

A KINGSWOOD-based dressmaker is encouraging people to take up sewing, saying it is kind to the environment as it helps reduce waste.

Lorraine Joseph teaches classes every Wednesday at Kingswood Community Centre and sees many of her students alter garments to fit instead of throwing them out.

She calls sewing a life skill and would love to attract more members so she can share her expertise and encourage others to recycle their clothing.

Lorraine said: “One lady bought a lovely Chanel-style jacket in a charity shop. It was a little big so she altered it and changed to buttons. Now she has a unique jacket which fits her perfectly. It's been recycled and she'll probably never get fed up of it.

“People often keep buying clothes when they already have so much in their wardrobes. Sometimes, a small adjustment can bring something back to life. It will help you save money as well as making you feel good because you have recycled something rather than thrown it out.”

As well as alterations, Lorraine also helps class members make clothes from scratch.

“When you make something yourself, you're never going to throw it out because of all the hard work that has gone into making it. You've picked or made the pattern yourself and chose the fabric so it's exactly what you want. That's the beauty of making something yourself; you have something unique that you won't see on anyone else.”

Lorraine, who has been dressmaking since the late 1980s, previously delivered classes at Orchard Studios in Britannia Road, Kingswood but has recently moved to the community centre.

She also teaches in adult education settings in central Bristol and Stoke Lodge as well as running 'as and when' community classes.

When Lorraine isn't teaching, she designs and makes bridal and special occasion wear.

“Not everyone wants to make clothes so my classes also cover bag making and soft furnishings like cushions.

“It's a real advantage to learn the basics of sewing as it's a valuable life skill.”

If you would like to come along to Lorraine's class, pop along to the community centre on Wednesdays from 10am-12pm (term time only) or to find out more call her on 0117 955 9766 or 07713 364989.