Our youth sewing group at Dareton Youth and Community Centre started with two Indigenous sisters. It now includes both Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids from Mildura and Dareton who are growing up with challenges in their lives, and who just wander into the centre. Quite often a kid takes a slow walk past the sewing group, with a BIG look over the shoulder to see what is being done. A friendly “Would you like to have a go? I’ll show you how”, and the enthusiastic confirmation from the kids already doing something, gets the new kids involved. This ‘watching’, allows them time to make up their mind, if they will have a go…or not. Many kids in the group didn’t think they could sew, until they tried! One of the first girls learning to sew in the group has now started on her own quilt for her bed! The other sister is making a baby quilt for a new arrival.
We also invite adults to the centre to learn sewing. The women who come on a Monday have developed the habit of saying “clip clop”. We have a sign on the wall that says, “If you can’t see the mistakes while galloping past on a horse, then don’t worry about it.” When the women say “clip clop”, then we know they have made a mistake. We help each other to remedy it and laugh with each other. Our conversations while sewing are rocked by explosions of laughter and wit. Young kids, along with their older creators, need the encouragement of a comment. It is probably their first attempt at sewing something. While looking interesting, it was scary to give it a go. I post photos of our achievements on the Dareton Youth and Community Centre Facebook page. We request comments to read to the creators, rather than just pushing the ‘like’ button. The expression on their faces while the comments are read to them is wonderful!
I thank God for my creativity and skill with fabric that was passed on to me watching my mum sew when I was a kid. I now enjoy seeing the looks of wonder on youth and adult faces when they see what they have created. Our underlying attitude in the sewing groups is to show God’s love. His creations are alive with colour and wonder, and so are our sewing groups.