Sew GORGEOUS is a volunteer-based community project, aimed at passing on the knowledge and techniques of sewing to local migrant students in Beijing. Set up by a group of parents in the Shunyi District, the aim of the project is to give these students a vocation in sewing and tailoring. Designed to inspire the student’s creativity, introduce them to business and production management, and provide them with important skills which they can use to create a better future for themselves.
Marianne Dransfield and Charlotte Beckett, both from the UK and with children at the British School of Beijing, initiated the project. They are currently working with a local migrant school called Love and Hope, to set up a classroom of sewing machines and equipment for the students to use. Love and Hope Center of Beijing is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, providing vocational training for underprivileged youth, in order to broaden their opportunities for future work.
To be able to buy the equipment and fabric for the project, Sew GORGEOUS is making and selling beautiful children’s clothing, kitchen, and home ware items, all sewn by parent volunteers. Marianne heads up the sewing team, and one afternoon a week, the volunteers teach the migrant students the techniques of sewing. Charlotte manages the charity liaison, running between Love and Hope, the fabric market, and many other places besides.
100% of the profit made on the sale of all items goes straight back into the project, to help purchase sewing machines, equipment, and fabric so the students can keep on learning and creating. Eventually, it is hoped the students will take on the sewing and be able to do it themselves.
I went along to the project’s first-ever Open House sale on September 24. The sale attracted a large number of people from the expat community, and items on sale included table cloths and mats, art storage bags, bunting, and a wonderful range of children’s clothing. Items can be ordered in different colors and patterns, perfect if you’re looking for unique gifts for friends and family.
There are a number of ways in which to support the project:
– subscribe to their regular email newsletter
– like and share their Facebook page
– attend sales events
– buy their products
– if you have an old sewing machine that you would be willing to donate
For more information and to subscribe to their newsletter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/sewgorgeousproject
For more information on Love and Hope contact (186 0006 3292, 134 2628 8676, email@example.com) www.aisee.org
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: courtesy of Sew GORGEOUS, Sally Wilson