Sewing is a skill that I’m glad I took the time to learn. It wasn’t always that way. I simply detested sewing at school and actually failed the mandatory subject in Grade 8. It wasn’t until my Father offered to pay half the cost of a sewing machine if I learnt to sew that I became interested. Figuring the amount I could afford and doubling it, my father’s share, I was able to purchase my first ever machine. At 18 years old I learnt to sew.
Today, learning to sew is not always an option offered to students yet there is an increasing demand to learn. Kirstin Burrowes, an Architect by profession, a mother of three, and a lover of textiles, design and the modern designer craft movement has stepped in to fill the void with the opening of her sewing school, Small Things Made.
Having learnt her needlecraft skills in high school Kirstin recognised the gap in the market place and opened Small Things Made, “I had a very good textiles teacher who taught us how to make clothes, hand smock, knit, crochet, and exposed us to lots of different embroidery styles from Spanish Blackwork to Hardangar,” recalls Kirstin. “Many schools today do not offer Textiles as part of their curriculum and many parents don't have the resources or knowledge to pass these skills to their children. I believe it is really important to learn and pass on these skills”. Kirstin has a hands-on approach to teaching, encouraging her students to get straight on the machine, or threading a needle. Kirstin designs simple items that they can make in class and wear home or take home finished. Kirstin believes that sewing is a great creative outlet for young people who don’t see themselves as ‘creative”. “Sewing is quite structured. It often involves following a pattern and using repetitive techniques to create a finished item that is often useful. You don't necessarily have to be creative to achieve good results with sewing. This is why it is a great skill to teach to young people,” believes Kirstin.
Kirstin hopes that Small Things Made is the start of a sewing community in Brisbane where sewing is taught, new projects are started, and ideas, knowledge and creativity are shared in a relaxed environment. A variety of exciting and creative beginner sewing classes for kids 6+ through to teen are offered. All classes are held in the Ithaca Hall, Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill. For more information visit Kirstin’s blog at www.smallthingsmade.blogspot.com