Stitching together new connections…
Posted by sebastianbrown on March 2, 2011
This morning 13 Long Branch ladies met for the third Wednesday in a row at the Carroll Avenue YMCA Community Center to support each other and to practice machine sewing. Unfortunately, Edelsa, a fellow community member and professionally trained tailor who has been running the weekly workshops couldn’t make the session. So, as has already happened once before, like clockwork the ladies jumped in to fill in in Edelsa’s absence, mostly under the guidance of Emilia.
To start things off, the women took a half hour to share in mutual support followed by a quick stretching and relaxation exercise. The ladies then sifted through a huge pile of leftover scraps of fabric and cloth donated from Edelsa’s Langley park tailoring shop. With a simple purse that Edelsa had made the previous week in about 10 minutes as inspiration, the ladies chose their fabric and tried their hand at making purses, but also pillow covers, napkins and even a needle cushion–Nathalie made the cushion after seeing Alicia holding a needle in her mouth
With only two machines between the 13 women, at any time several women would just be standing around and begin to chat with one another. At one point, a couple ladies even wandered into the computer lab portion of the community center and asked the others if they could use the computers to practice navigating the internet and other basic functions. Emye mentioned that back in Ethiopia she led a group of women through a course on self-empowerment through technology training. With the help of Victoria and Nathalie’s translation skills, she’s promised to give a basic computer primer to whoever is waiting their turn to use the sewing machine next session.