A new Shepherds Bush sewing club is fighting fast fashion

The club is helping residents get creative, cut emissions and take charge of their closets.

A new Shepherds Bush sewing club is helping residents get creative, cut emissions and take charge of their closets.

Run at the Nubian Life Resource Centre in Ellerslie Road – which is financially supported by H&F Council – its two-and-a-half-hour sessions offer practical sewing tips. From threading a machine through to mending, stitching and seam finishes.

The club comes together every other Friday night, 7.30pm to 9pm, and always has an open spot for new members interested in learning to sew – regardless of age or ability.

West Kensington resident Adeola was among the first to join the new club: “I’ve tried to pick up sewing before, but then… life happened,” she explains while grabbing a sewing pattern from her oversized tote bag – handsewn, of course. “I’ve been meaning to get back into it. This is the perfect chance.”

A woman in the early stages of hand-sewing a blouse

Sewing club member Adeola laying out her dewing pattern pieces on fabric

Climate Action Together

A woman working on a sewing machine

Sewing club instructor Elisa at work

The club launched in January after the sewing machines – a generous donation from the Masbro community centre – were repaired with support from Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

“We’re all about sharing knowledge,” says instructor Elisa, who’s been with the centre for a year – first as a visitor, then as a volunteer before eventually being hired.

While Glenys, 50, who has lived in Shepherds Bush her whole life, says: “We need more community projects like this one; ones that bring the community together. You're never too old to learn or too young to teach.

“Just look around! We've got such a huge age range,” she says and points over to Ritaj, 11, the group’s youngest trainee. Born into a creative family, Ritaj has been sewing since she was four. “I just love textiles,” she says.

A woman and a girl operating sewing machines at a table while chatting to each other

Gladys (left) and Ritaj (right) at their first sewing club session

5 reasons to sew

Not sure if clothes-making is for you? Here are five reasons why sewing is a useful skill to learn:

1. Stand out from the crowd

Tired of being dressed like everyone else? Sewing your own clothes is giving you the ultimate power of your wardrobe. And did you know that choosing certain fabrics over others can help you lower carbon footprint?

2. Save money

Sewing can indeed give you the best of both worlds – saving money while giving fast fashion the boot. Or why not take it one step further – make some extra money by selling your home-sewn creations.

3. Make your clothes last longer

Mending your pre-loved items can help you save money while reducing the amount of textiles you send to landfill. A particularly creative way to take a stance against fast fashion.

4. Always find the right fit

Same size, different fit depending on which store you shop at. Sounds familiar? Leave those worries behind you by mastering the art of crafting bespoke pieces that are fully tailored to your or your loved ones’ needs – every single time.

5. Be part of a community

Take up a new hobby in good company. Join the Nubian Life sewing club to bond with your community and see how else you can get involved.

An instructor showing her trainees how to sew

The Nubian Life Centre's new sewing club members at work

Climate Action Microgrants

Got an idea to help improve your area, make our borough greener or encourage your neighbours to take Climate Action Together?

Whether for materials for a repair club, planters to grey the green or a new food composters for the community, H&F residents can claim £250 through H&F’s Climate Action Microgrants.

Find out more and apply for a microgrant.

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