A pile of glass beads.

A love of tiny things: the joy of creative repairs

Love Your Clothes invited people to bring some clothing that needed love to an embellishment workshop in London last week.

Titled Bring New Life to your Clothes, the free event offered lessons in creative darning, patching and appliqué, as well as a haberdashery sale.

Ali Moore, communications manager for Love Your Clothes in London, was there to join in the creativity.

Haberdashery is, if I’m honest, a bit of an addiction.

All those lovely little things, reels of shiny cotton, iridescent buttons, two-toned trim and ribbon, and knitting needles… ah, knitting needles.  My favourites are those plastic coloured ones with the grey or black heads, like the ones that my grandmother-in-law gave me when her rheumatism got too bad to keep making jumpers for my sons.

Last night was a bit of a roll in the mud in that respect: sustainable designers Grace Clark and Anna Crawley, from Everything in Colour, opened up the FARA Workshop in Islington to host a night of embellishment and creative repairs, supported by Love Your Clothes.

And there was SO MUCH haberdashery on sale – zips, buttons, lace, sewing patterns by the boxload, pins, threads, trimming and much, much more was laid out across one end of the shop, while at the other end we learned how to patch jeans and make a beautiful darn.

I got: one reel of shiny gold metallic thread; a bundle of green and blue double-pointed needles (around 3mm?); a set of tiny metal sock needles, the finest I’ve seen in ages; a card of pale grey silk repair yarn and some darker grey reinforcing thread (for socks!).  Happy shopper.

We were a small but select group so everyone got a chance to get hands-on, learn something new or repair whatever they brought along.  Grace and Anna were charming hosts, and the FARA Workshop staff who helped out by teaching us all fine needle skills were brilliant – thank you everyone!

We wish Grace and Anna all the best for their new venture, Everything in Colour, as they’ll be keeping up their sustainable credentials by taking fabrics and clothes donated to Oxfam, the Salvation Army and others and turning them into their unique and highly wearable designs.

Check our events listings to find out about future events from Love Your Clothes and other like-minded organisations.

Attendees at the workshop.