Over the last weekend we were fortunate enough to have a fabulous seamstress, Jane Laburn, run a sewing workshop for all the crafters at Londolozi.
The Londolozi crafting team is a big one that contains many women and quite a few men too who hold very different skill sets. There are a few who make wonderful bead work, a skill that has been carried over traditionally from mother to daughter and results in the most amazing creations! Others make beautiful woodwork as well as wire pots. The craft that has been highlighted as a favourite over the last little while has been sewing, more specifically a new form of sewing, quilting. Seemingly just when we really needed it, we received a wonderful fortune in the form of Jane Laburn. She has run a few workshops for us in the past and was here last weekend to teach us even more of the ins and outs of how to perfect this skill.
In the week preceding Jane’s arrival the sewing centre was a very busy place with everybody cutting up strips of beautiful shwe shwe fabric (a local fabric of beautiful prints), making sure there was enough batting and getting rulers, markers and pins ready. The weekend started with lots of hustle and bustle around our sewing centre. The sewing team was bursting with excitement to hear and learn about new ideas. When Jane arrived she immediately put everyone to work having shown them the beautiful place mats we would be working at producing.
There was a constant whirr of sewing machines and laughter throughout the day and we were joined by guest, Pheobe Harrel who also has a brilliant sewing background and taught everyone to make aprons. She has very kindly donated some beautiful embroidery materials and books to learn from. Pheobe and Jane, thank you for your time and enthusiasm around the sewing team, there is no question your infectious energy was felt by all.
The outcome of the 2-day workshop has been spectacular. Not only did we learn a huge amount about quality and how important keeping standards up is, we learnt all about a new skill and how you can use something, like old bits of material, to make something beautiful.