Better Than Netflix: Why Take an Eco Equitable Sewing Class
You never truly appreciate something until you’ve made it yourself.
This is what I learned as I sat at a sewing machine at Eco Equitable, during the final moments of my sewing class. My teacher, Meghan, sat patiently waiting – I was the last to finish, everyone else had gone home – ready with the stitch-ripper to dismantle my most-likely to be wonky stitches.
In the end, my leggings turned out well (in my opinion) – ie; totally wearable in public. They’re a simple, black winter legging made with a deliciously warm fuzzy lining and a handy pocket on each thigh. I was flabbergasted that I had actually made something WEARABLE.
Eco Equitable’s mission is to provide a bridge to social and economic integration for people in need, especially immigrant women, while greening our community. What does this mean exactly? Eco Equitable takes used and new textiles, and makes cool things out of them, all while providing a safe working environment for women in need. Their unique line, Flagbarer, turns the provincial flags that fly along the confederation route in Ottawa into yoga bags, duffels, and more. As if they weren’t already doing enough awesomeness, they offer sewing classes for the masses. There is a class for every level of expertise, and a great description of basic skills required is indicated before you sign up.
This is where I come in. As a mostly novice sewer (I own a sewing machine but rarely use it), I was apprehensive and surprised that Anouk Bertner (the Executive Director at Eco Equitable) suggested I take this class. I am far from proficient.
Anouk didn’t seem worried and signed me up anyway. I totally get why.
Eco Equitable sewing classes are made to be EASY and FUN.
Even Busy People Can Take This Class
All you have to do is show up. There’s no need to bring a sewing kit, a machine, find a pattern, or even fabric. It’s all sourced for you and ready to go when you arrive. There are enough sewing machines (that are already threaded) to go around, and the small class size makes it easy for the instructor to answer all questions and work closely with all levels of expertise.
The other reason why these classes are so awesome? The time commitment is a no-brainer. While each class varies in duration, none are longer than two months, and some – like sewing machine maintenance and weighted blanket construction – are offered as one time workshops.
I loved this format because it gave me just the right amount of familiarity I needed to be not so afraid of my own machine.
The No Stress Environment Beats a Night of Netflix
I’ve taken sewing classes before, and they’re not like this.
Working with machinery always makes me nervous, but our angel instructor Meghan was so patient. There was support and encouragement from the veteran sewers, and even the simplest question was answered with enthusiasm and a smile. My kind of learning.
I walked out of each evening feeling a sense of accomplishment and a liberating satisfaction that I was doing something slightly out of my comfort zone, and creative. The first class was dedicated to a quick chat about the type of fabric we were using, choosing our fabric, measuring ourselves and cutting out patterns and fabric.
The second class was dedicated to sewing. The machines at Eco Equitable are all new and very easy to use. Our classroom had a big drafting table and all the equipment we could ever need. I don’t have enough space in my tiny condo for a dedicated creative area (my sewing machine is in our basement storage locker because of limited space) so it was such a treat to have a room full of materials at my disposal.
The End Result
Every time I put my leggings on, I feel a little sense of pride. It’s amazing how much more appreciation I gained from creating my own garment. I won’t be sewing all my clothes anytime soon, but this class is definitely another tool in my kit to help me make better, smarter shopping choices when I’m looking to add something to my closet, and to reinforce my slow fashion values.
Big thanks to Anouk for encouraging me to take this class, to my angel instructor Meghan for being so patient, and Eco Equitable for offering such a fun way to learn to sew!
There are a new set of classes on offer now, ranging from sewing machine maintenance to an intro quilting class. Find them here.
I’m excited to sign up for my next one (waiting for fashion illustration to come back!), and am excited to gift a class to someone I love. I think this is a fun activity that is best shared!
Find Eco Equitable on social here:
Do give them a follow for inspiring posts – they’re always up to something fun.
As always, thanks for reading. xo