the makery house

The Maker's House

What was your project and why did you apply for funding?

We are running the Make Do and Mend project, helping people learn basic skills in sewing and cookery to help people reduce, reuse and recycle more easily. We spent a lot of time talking to people at The Makers House craft hub and realised how many people were unable to do basic sewing repairs or simple recipes – they may not have learnt in school and often relied on older parents to do essential repairs, or threw clothing away rather than replacing buttons!

We also know how many crafters hold onto materials and tools that they no longer need, it can be easy to throw away scraps and off cuts, as well as materials from mixed packs that are never going to be used. Craft materials aren’t easily recycled, especially if already used or open, and take up valuable space. By having a craft hub in the centre of Fareham we are ideally placed to hold swap and destash events to reduce wastage and share the love!

Please briefly describe how you set up the project

We are working with a couple of local people who are talented with sewing and cookery skills and offer classes and sessions at The Makers House based on what people are struggling with. By being able to make the sessions more affordable we are making them more appealing and attracting more people to help them change their behaviours. The Makers House is popular with people of all ages and backgrounds so we have been able to work with children and adults which has worked really well.

Through our destash events we have collected an amazing amount of materials and equipment, much of which has been offered out for the community to take what they need but it has also enabled us to start developing a Lending Library of equipment so people can try before they buy or just borrow a tool they may only need to use once. This is up and running informally but will be advertised more widely in the near future.

What have been your successes?

Our destash events have been hugely popular with crafters – there can be a lot of left over materials and wastage from crafting projects but very often this is all useable for other projects – one mans trash really is another mans treasure! Fabric scraps and left overs have been saved from the bin, older people who are now longer able to do detailed craft are grateful to have somewhere to pass on their materials for more people to enjoy and kids craft materials which are usually bought in excess or given as gifts can be used rather than sat in cupboards.

Our most popular sewing sessions have been our reusable face pads – people attending have been over the moon with how they no longer need to use wipes and cotton wool and many have been making more at home for friends and family.

“My fussy daughter absolutely loved the pads, she said they were even better than some more expensive ones she had bought and she has asked me to make her some more!”

What lessons have you learnt which might be useful to other groups/organisations?

Planning, advertising, promoting and evaluating always takes longer than you expect, especially when you are busy with other projects too so make sure you leave enough time. Word of mouth is so useful for spreading the word.

Contact the Makers House

[email protected]