Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Sarah Lancaster/ Sew Love Tea Do
Can you tell us a bit about Sew Love Tea Do? 
Well the name itself is all about learning to SEW and LOVEing the earth, over a cuppa TEA we can DO good. (and Sew Love for short).  Ive essentially combined all my loves: making, sharing, mother earth and drinking tea, and I want others to join in on this fun. I've been taking sewing machines to the people, popping up in communities to provide resources and inspiration for people to re-think and re-make textiles in their homes and wardrobes and local op shops.
It has been so exciting to see people overcome fears, sew for the first time, make friends creating and sharing alongside others. Wardrobes have been rescued, and fast fashion mall shoppers converted to op shops. Heirloom items have been reworked to celebrate history, and plenty of favourite comfy jeans have been patched for a longer life. I always stop and think YES this is the reason I am here!

What is your background? 
I grew up spending most of my time in the outdoors in the sea, bush adventures, so I have an ingrained love for our environment. Mum taught me to sew when I was little and I have continued through school and have since gained qualifications in garment construction and pattern making. I wasn't always into sewing though, I studied English and theatre at uni, and my working life has so far been in admin and retail. I have been pretty inspired by social enterprises around the world, and people having an idea and saying hey I want to change the world for the better! but they don't just talk about it, they actually do something. 

What does a day in the life of Sarah Lancaster look like? 
Four Weetbix and peaches start me off every day before I walk or ride my bike to the lounge which is a snazzy 2km away. I look forward to the surprise of projects and people coming in store with their mending, & re-working projects. I spend the quiet times doing Sew Love admin or sewing products for the shop & examples for our classes. If we don't have an evening workshop booked I will head out for a run (I signed up to the Auckland Half in Nov eek!) and following a fast and fresh dinner some more laptop admin time in bed till I go to sleep. I am trying my darndest to switch off and opt for a book, or my knitting instead! Our knitting tutor, Jo, is changing me :)

What advice would you give to a novice sewer looking to get started?

 Definitely come and say hello at Sew Love :) Renting time on a sewing machine is ideal for starters because you don't have to invest in your own machine until you know its something you really are going to use a lot of. & we are always here to help with questions. Starting with simple projects is best, quick rewards from finished projects is the perfect motivation to continue, so start with a tote bag, not a frilly frock. Also have a look in your wardrobe and see if anything needs a shoosh up. By unpicking and re-working you often learn a lot about construction.

You have a busy summer ahead of you.  Where will people be able to find you?
Yes its going to be all go in the sewing lounge up until Christmas and we have some great festive season workshops. Christmas time is the time for handmade I reckon - decorations, gifts, table favours, special frocks for the races, its wedding season too and we are hosting some crafty hens parties in the lounge which will be fun. I'm realising how important life/work balance is and I hope to take some hammock time in early Jan, so we can fly into 2015 with energy to expand Sew Love and share our pop up space further afield....stay tuned NZ!

To find out more visit:
Sew Love Tea Do

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