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AFG’s Sew Great Detroit Teaches Profitable Skills

May. 4 2016 | Tags: , , ,

Sew Great Detroit has recruited four new women to participate in the weekly commercial sewing employment training program, headed by volunteers and support staff. Last September, four women from the first class of Sew Great Detroit graduated from the program. Since their graduation, all have continued sewing and some have earned income from their new skills!

The classes focus on teaching women valuable sewing skills, like machine sewing and hand finishing techniques, understanding characteristics of fabric, fabric cutting techniques, and beginning design concepts. The women earn a stipend based upon their time sewing, which is supported through contracted projects.

Sew Great Detroit hired to create baby items for special initiative

Their newest project is for Robbi Lindeman, owner of Salt Lab of Detroit, a Detroit-area work studio creating small-batch, map-inspired home products. Robbi has hired Sew Great Detroit to sew bibs and burp cloths, which will be used as incentive gifts for those who donate to Rotary International’s Construction Training Program for local villagers in Nepal. The program will teach villagers the skills they need to participate in rebuilding their village, which was devastated by earthquakes one year ago.

Through contracting Sew Great Detroit to create these gifts, Robbi hopes to support skilled training for people in both Detroit and Nepal. The stipend the women in Sew Great Detroit receive will make a big impact for them and their families and they are so happy to be helping with this important project!

Since the new class started in the beginning of March, the women have made a very fast start on the project. Some of the women had never used a sewing machine before, yet, they have already completed 50 burp cloths and are hard at work to complete 50 bibs in early May! “I knew how to sew by hand, but I didn’t know how to use the machine. But I learned pretty quickly!” Naisha, a former resident in AFG’s Shelter, says.

Donated sewing machines allow for creativity and practice 

Thanks to AFG’s generous supporters who have donated used sewing machines, each member is able to receive their own reconditioned sewing machine because of their exemplary attendance and sustained focus on their work. So far, all four women have received their very own sewing machines for their home! This allows Naisha and the other three Sew Great Detroit members to work on their own projects, sewing things for themselves, family, and friends.

Do you have a sewing machine you would like to donate? Don’t let the age of the machine stop you! We love machines that were built in the 1970s and 1980s because they are both reliable and well made. Contact Niki Grabowski, Development Coordinator, at 313-361-4000 x273 or to find out how to donate!