It’s been ten years since the Bellingen Stitched Up girl’s sewing and craft group began with a group of six women and six girls stitching around a single table in the Uniting Church Hall.
Since 2008, over 400 girls have come along to the free weekly group to create their own hand-made fashion, craft and textile art. Every Monday in school terms, the hall is filled with sewing machines and crafting tables for the 25 or so schoolgirls working on their latest creation.
The magic behind the group’s success is a team of volunteer mentors. Each week eight local women give their time to work side-by-side with the girls, sharing many years’ of wisdom in sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and crafting.
Over the years girls have created an array of projects – from quilts to ballet outfits to up-cycled op-shop clothes for formal events.
“It is wonderful to see how excited the girls are to show their ‘grandmothers’ how they look in these outfits, and to see the pride on our ladies faces,” group coordinator Michelle Stockton said.
A Stitch in Time: the Ten Year Anniversary Celebration will showcase the achievements and creative journeys of current and previous Stitched Up girls, as well as recognising the mentors who have given so much to young people of our community.
The celebration will be held from 1pm to 4pm on September 1 at the Bellingen Uniting Church Hall.
The community is invited to come and enjoy a display of stitched creations from both girls and mentors, with a catwalk parade of dresses and garments at 2pm. A high tea, with scones, cakes and delicious goodies will be on sale from 3pm.
Stitched Up is also seeking to invite any previous girls or mentors to the celebration, to reunite with their sewing sisters.
For those now out of the area, they’re asking families or friends in Bellingen to pass on this invitation. Those who can’t attend may want to get in touch share a message about what their time with the group meant to them, and share their stories and creative journeys after Stitched Up.
For more information on the event, or to find out more about Stitched Up, call group coordinator Michelle Stockton on 0403011597, visit their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org