There is a small shop opposite the wonderful pre-loved emporium in Via Vittorio Emanuele in Ponte a Serraglio. For a small donation you are welcome to have small sewing jobs done, or get some help with your own sewing projects.
The very experienced Latifa is on hand with help and advice and there are sewing machines available for use.
When clothing items are donated to the Auser group some are past being wearable. In some cases the cloth is able to be used along with buttons and zips. The wonderful volunteers collect the usable pieces and put them to use to make new items.
They are making carry bags, other small items. There are also Christmas decorations available right now. Latifa is in the shop on Tuesday and Saturday to tell you all about what is on offer.
I was invited recently to visit a sewing group in Casabasciana. My friend Erica belongs to the group. Members meet roughly once a week to sew together. Luciana leads the group. She has had many years experience as a professional seamstress with tailors who worked for high end brands and later with a dance company making exquisite costumes. How wonderful that she loves to share her knowledge and experience!
Luciana is the one in the pretty floral dress. The group is fluid, people come and go.
I was fascinated to see an old Pfaff sewing machine. I thought it must be about the same vintage as my beloved Bernina that I have been sewing on for almost 60 years.
I was proved to be correct when the original docket was produced from the purchase…1962.
Each person works on their own items on various machines and help each other with their work. I think this is an excellent idea, those with experience can help people learning to sew and it is nice to work in a friendly group. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the company of others doing something you enjoy.
Luciana has an interesting way of cutting out a garment. The paper pattern is secured in place with an old iron and chalk is used to outline the pattern, then the garment is cut.
She showed me some of the costumes she has made over the years. She has quite a collection.
The group has a few pretty skirts to sell to a dance or school group who might need some costumes. If anyone is interested they can call Luciana on 348 3627426
Thank you for inviting me to see the sewing group. Perhaps it will inspire others to form a group of their own.
Not everyone will have an amazing view from their sewing room like this one in Casabasciana.
Sarah moved to Bagni di Lucca a few years ago after finding a gorgeous house in Pieve di Monti di Villa. She has made a new life for herself in the village.
In her previous life she was a teacher, but always had a love of sewing. She learned from her mother and it was an enjoyable hobby. Now she has taken the big step of setting up her own business, making and selling children’s clothing.
Her label is Lulu and Bertie and she makes colourful clothes in whimsical prints for boys and girls. She is also working on some beautiful patchwork quilts for cots.
I went to her workroom on one level of her house to see her in action and to show you some of her work.
At the Casino in Ponte a Serraglio there is an art exhibition to celebrate women. As well as a chance to see the beautifully restored interior of this historic building, you can see and exhibition of painting, sculpture and photography.
A large crowd gathered for the opening event.
For me the most interesting part of the exhibition is a display of craft, beautiful pieces of handwork done mostly by women. Some of these talents are being lost in these busy times and it is wonderful to see such a lovingly collected items of sewing, weaving, spinning, embroidery and lace work.
I can imagine busy hands creating these things for families and friends in any spare moment. Many of these skills are being lost forever. Thank you Gemma Fazzi and her team for showing us this lovely collection.
The exhibition continues until Friday 15th March and is open in the evenings from 5pm until 8pm. On Friday evening there will be a fashion parade followed by refreshments.