Happy National Volunteer Week!
We are super aware of the theme for this year: Te Hua o te Mahi Tahi - The benefit of working together. We wouldn't be able to do any of what we do without the awesome generosity of our volunteers!
As volunteers ourselves, we know how working together lightens the spirit and keeps us inspired to learn, grow and create.
Every week we have opportunities for anyone who is interested in the work we do, and this week we welcome back the regular Thursday morning time slot for working on community projects, such as Bags For Good or 4KT Elephants.
We also regularly have groups of volunteers from University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic as well as corporate 'team building' excersizes.
As volunteers, you can 'bank' your time with us or with Dunedin Timebank to exchange for services in kind, including use of our studio for your own projects, any of our great sewing classes and even items from our Swap Shop. It's all part of our idea of 'equal value exchange'. <3
Other benefits are knowing your skills and time are valued, and connecting with other caring, creative people.
If you would like to learn more about projects you could help with, or time banking in general, we would love to hear from you.
After over 5 years of gradually filling every nook and cranny in our studio with boxes of fabrics, and after a solid 6 months of searching, we are thrilled to say we have finally found a new studio location!
It’s been a tough search finding somewhere accessible, open plan and within budget!
The search is now happily over, and all going well, we will be able to open in our new space in late July, ready for term 3 classes.
The new space is in a great area with creative businesses all around, it has a distinct frontage and is easy to find, and has level street access!
We've been dreaming of our new setup and it's very exciting to see the jigsaw pieces come together to make this dream a reality. The new space will have lots of features which make sewing and working in classes easier and more enjoyable, with easier access, and more space to work.
If you’re interested in helping us in any way, we would love to hear from you. Send us a message and we will be packing, cleaning, painting, building fixtures and of course lugging boxes and relaxing in our new suroundings before we know it!
To officially open the new space, and mark our 5th Birthday, we will be holding a celebration in August, and we cannot wait! Your invitation will be on it’s way to you as soon as we’ve recovered from the shift :)
Our recent nation-wide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a great opportunity for some to take stock of their sewing stash, and set goals for the projects they really want to make time to sew up… and those projects which even if they had all the time in the world they’d never get around to, and could comfortably let go to another good home.
It was also a time when projects were dreamed of and couldn’t be created because something was missing from their supplies.
As we moved down levels and restrictions lifted, at Stitch Kitchen we looked for ways we could make it easier for people to access the amazing collection of haberdashery items that have been generously given to us to rehome. While not yet able to have a fully fledged online shop, our efforts to share our ‘Swap Shop’ has certainly went up a level; creating an easy form you can fill in to request items, and taking more time to share our finds on social media.
It’s hard to capture the extent of our amazing collection of patterns, fabrics, trims and notions in a few photos at a time, but it’s exciting to see the level of interest grow, and to hear about what projects people are working on!
Our fabrics have been posted away to sewists beyond Dunedin too, with people from throughout NZ, from Waihiki Island to Riverton loving the ability to access items beyond what local fabric shops and second hand stores have available.
Many requests came from people wanting to sew items for their community, from face masks to baby wear to pet beds for animal shelters.
Very soon our physical swap shop will soon go up another level, with better visibility and access - with less stuff hidden in boxes and more on display within easy reach :).
Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to transform items that might have once gone to waste into beautiful, useful items that haven’t cost the earth!
Our ‘swap shop’ concept makes it easy to access these resources, as you can swap what you would like to adopt for a cash donation (swapping items for money) - which helps to pay for the rent and time it takes to sort and manage the materials…
Or you can swap items from our collection with items from your own - which helps us keep up our excellent supply of fresh stock)…
Or you can swap your time - volunteering to help us sort donations (or help with other projects) which keeps everything ticking along.
We will be continuing to develop this new online request service, so if you’re not within easy reach of our studio, or would like to save time and have a selection of top picks put aside for you, you can easily get in touch.
During COVID-19 level 4 lockdown, while most of NZ was keen on bear hunts, we went on elephant adventures! To add some humour to our days, we had fun creating stories with our favourite 4KT elephants.
We have had a great response as we shared these on our social media, and many people telling us since how much they enjoyed seeing our regular updates.
Here are some of the highlights:
I enjoyed the added incentive to leave the house and go exploring, to see what interesting things I could find to photograph with my elephant, and then share with friends who follow us on social media. It was as if by taking my elephant with me, I was sharing the experience with those I couldn’t spend time with in person.
Did you have any adventures with an elephant in your household? Would love to hear about your experiences, and what you took comfort or encouragement from.
If you don't have an elephant, or would like to have one to give to a friend or loved one; you can download the pattern and sewing instructions from our website, or order a pre-cut elephant ready to sew and stuff. You can also custom order an elephant to be made for you, or someone you want to give a special gift to. Contact us for more info.
News, updates and things we find inspiring, from Dunedin's Stitch Kitchen