Welwyn schoolboy's a little sew-and-sew

PUBLISHED: 13:04 30 May 2009 | UPDATED: 22:05 26 October 2009

George Stuart, with Jenny Stilwell, getting to work on the sewing machine

George Stuart, with Jenny Stilwell, getting to work on the sewing machine

HANDCRAFT techniques such as patchwork, knitting and cross stitch are often considered hobbies of the past. However, as George Stuart found out, in this current economic climate the make-do-and-mend attitude is something certainly coming back into fashion

HANDCRAFT techniques such as patchwork, knitting and cross stitch are often considered hobbies of the past.

However, as George Stuart found out, in this current economic climate the make-do-and-mend attitude is something certainly coming back into fashion.

The 15-year-old, who has been on work experience with the WHT, took part in the first Rowan workshop - a sewing course - held at John Lewis, in WGC.

Designed for beginners, the day-long lesson covered the basics of sewing and aimed to give participants the confidence to take their newly learnt techniques home.

And George, with the help of Jenny Stilwell, who works for Rowan, certainly learnt many techniques.

Not only did the Sherrardswood School pupil find out the basics, within an hour he almost made his very own small tote bag.

To start off with George was introduced to the Amy Butler patterned materials, which he had to cut out, to form the basis of the bag.

Next he had to create the handles, using a sewing machine, which then led on to the making of the main panels, again using the device he had only just being introduced to.

However, time then run out for George, but Jenny told the WHT he did extremely well to get as far as he did.

George said: "It was a new experience for me, which gave me a new outlook on sewing in general.

"I thoroughly enjoyed it.

"It has changed my perspective of something just a certain section of society can do, to something anyone can do."

And asked whether his new handbag, when finished, would become an essential accessory, he laughed: "Although I have been ordered to complete the bag and I will; you won't be seeing me using it anytime soon!"

Jenny also taught the rest of the group how to read a pattern, hand sew a hem and top stitch.

She said: "After the day the feedback was really good.

"Everyone said they wanted to do it again and that they really enjoyed it and so did I.

"All of the participants went away with a finished bag and considering they were beginners, it was quite some achievement."

* Topical events coming up at the Bridge Road department store include Welwyn Wednesday Craft Club on June 10, where crafters can meet for informal craft and natter.

An event to mark Worldwide Knit in Public Day will take place on June 13 from 10am to 4pm.

For more information call Jenny on 01707 323456.


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