Photo of someone sewing at a Phoenix Community Housing event
Phoenix Community Housing is offering its Sewing Surgery as a resident-led Pop-up Project to empower residents
Sandra Stephenson
Wednesday 5th February 2020 - 14:08

Sewing Success - meet our sewing surgery instructor

Someone with sewing skills can not only create new clothes, but fix old ones – saving money and reducing waste.

Our new sewing surgery, run by experienced sewer Sandra Stephenson, will help you learn new skills and relax with new friends.

We caught up with Sandra to discover why you should consider picking up a needle and thread.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve lived in Lewisham all my life and was a Phoenix tenant from the very beginning.

My mum taught me to sew when I was just four years old, I studied at the London College of Fashion, and throughout my life I’ve been sewing in my spare time.

When did you start running sewing classes for the community?

In 2012, I was volunteering at a homeless shelter. With donations of old clothes and materials, I worked with the people there to fix clothes and we were able to help them look nice.

The sewing workshops I run are like coffee mornings, where we sew together and just enjoy talking. For a while, no matter what your problems are, you’re just focusing on sewing and the people you’re with.

What benefits are there in sewing?

It’s relaxing and it feels good when I see someone wearing clothes I’ve made. I want to help others feel like this too.

It’s a forgotten art. But it’s so useful: buying new clothes can be expensive, while creating new ones and fixing things helps you learn patience.

It’s great Phoenix is running these. It gives back to the community while helping residents learn new skills.