Step back in time at sewing workshops

Stitching and repurposing workshops part of council's Fashion in the City programme

Publish Date : 27 Aug 2019
Step back in time at sewing workshops
Gracie Matthews proudly works on a 1954 Singer sewing machine which her mother was gifted for her 21st birthday.

A series of free workshops at the Auckland Central City Library is giving people the opportunity to create items using vintage hand-cranked sewing machines.

The workshops are running until Friday in conjunction with New Zealand Fashion Week and as part of the Auckland Council’s Fashion in the City programme.

Librarian Marela Glavaš says the workshops aim to teach people the “basics of sewing on a selection of vintage machines”.

“The fun workshops are designed so people can drop in and have a go at mending their own items or learn to make something with the help and advice from Gracie,” Marela says.

"Some of the Singer machines are hand cranked, giving an insight into the past."

Step back in time at sewing workshops (1)
People can use vintage sewing machines at the Central City Library during free workshops.

Coordinated by Clevedon Costumes and Vintage Apparel owner Gracie Matthews, the Make, Do, Mend programme is centered around the Japanese concept of Mottaini (a striving to minimize wastefulness in both action and thought).

As well as teaching people basic sewing skills, Gracie is working on a Mottaini-inspired period costume project.

“Participants can have a go at making a tote bag from re-purposed materials or bring in their own items to upcycle.”

There will also be a Japanese Boro/Sashiko demonstration.

“Embracing the concept of 'wabi sabi’, learn how to repurpose disused items and learn a new skill, while finding the beauty in an object's impermanence and imperfection.”

For a list of events visit

Workshop times:

  • Wednesday 28 August, 10am-2pm
  • Wednesday 28 August, 4pm-8pm
  • Thursday 29 August, 10am-2pm
  • Friday 30 August, 10am-2pm

Where: Central City Library, 44-46 Lorne Street, Auckland City Centre

Find more information on OurAuckland

For tickets and to find out more about what’s on offer across New Zealand Fashion Week and Fashion Weekend visit

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