From education to employment

New upcycling course sews fabric of success

fabric and string

@BordersCollege Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation recently ran the Upcycle/Recycle (Garments and Fabrics) course, which was developed and delivered to candidates who were interested in upcycling/recycling clothing, fabrics, trims and curtains.

The eight-week course saw Course Tutor Eleanor Reynolds carry out different demonstrations of techniques, including quilting on Christmas fabric and how to bind around it. Eleanor also demonstrated applique, using patterns and how to adapt them, as well as new techniques each week – something different to expand the knowledge within the group.

Eleanor commented:

“What I enjoyed about the course was the variety of projects the students brought in and how they all chose to do different projects, but all looked and watched each other’s projects as well, so they learned from others’ projects too. It was also very enjoyable socially – the group gelled well and had a good laugh each week.”

One candidate with little experience in sewing who was nervous about using the equipment made an oodie and even went on to make other projects at home with the skills and techniques she had learned.

Though the course was titled Upcycle/recycle, participants chose what they wanted to do.  Some of the projects included an oodie, dolls clothes, teddies, and bags. One recycle/upcycle project was a jersey bought from a charity shop, which was upcycled by applying embroidery.

Comments from candidates included:

“I enjoyed time out with new friends and learning to make clothes I never thought I would be able to do. Now looking forward to how to do more quilting. Great teacher!”

“I really flew with confidence during this course. Not only did I learn how to sew a garment, I found the demonstrations really useful, and they helped me get more creative.”

“It was a great, small and friendly class. I liked that you could work on your own project with expert help on hand. I also liked that we were shown different techniques so we could use them at a later time if wanted. The tutor was friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable.”

Eleanor added:

“It was good to guide people who couldn’t sew and were nervous about using machines, to see them building confidence every week.”

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