School of Junk – ‘Sew Recycled’ Free Sewing Class

Despite the fact I have nearly 200 sewing projects pinned on Pinterest, I am absolutely useless when it comes to needles and thread. I had Textiles Technology lessons in school but, being quite honest, I always considered them to be a tremendous waste of time and I would have much rather spent the time doing homework in the library than pretend to know how to thread a bobbin. Wow, I’ve changed so much since age 13.

 Pinterest has opened me up to a whole world of crafting, and reading blog posts about making clothes has become somewhat of an addiction – I have no shame in admitting that I have spent over eight hours in the past week reading upcycling tutorials on ReFashionista!

Therefore, I decided it was time I sorted myself out and learnt how to sew. After having a stab at hand sewing a couple of bits, including a homemade ribbon headband using a scrap of tartan ribbon I bought from The Bead Shop in Affleck’s Palace for 10p (score!) and an elastic cage harness-type thing, I wanted to graduate onto more complex projects.

A few weeks ago, I read English Rose from Manchester’s blog post about things to do in Manchester this spring and I immediately texted my bestie Beth asking if she wanted to do a free sewing class with me, courtesy of Junk Shop and Recycle for Greater Manchester. She agreed, and we booked ourselves in for the class at The Met in Bury.

I wish I’d taken some photos, but I was too busy enjoying myself! In the three hour class we were taught the basics of using a sewing machine by two lovely instructors (I seem to have forgotten their names though, derp, sorry!) and went on to make tote bags from the recycled fabric they provided. Although I didn’t quite have enough time to finish my bag in the session, I finished it off at home and I’m really proud of it! I’ve used it a couple of times for shopping since and it seems to be holding up well, which is shocking to say the least considering I haven’t used a sewing machine in years.

Look what we made! Beth used a lovely combination of plain green cotton and green tartan, and I used the black and white flower print.

Look what we made! Beth used a lovely combination of plain green cotton and green tartan, and I used the black, white and gold flower print. The stitching might not be perfect, but all things considered I think we did a pretty good job. One small gripe though – these are the wrinkles after ironing the bags twice! This fabric must have received some serious abuse in a previous life…

I have been inspired to sew and upcycle all sorts as a result of the class, and since I was lucky enough to receive a sewing machine as an Easter present from my parents, keep your eyes peeled as hopefully I’ll soon be posting about my sewing endeavors!

I thoroughly recommend signing up to one of their classes if you live in the Manchester area, and even when the lessons aren’t sponsored by Recycle for Greater Manchester and are priced at their usual £27, it would still be excellent for any beginners wanting to learn how to use a sewing machine. You can see what classes are available here.

Until next time,

Poppy