Sewing bee creates a buzz

Sidmouth college textile students in the window at the Devon air ambulance shop with Debbie Collingw

Sidmouth college textile students in the window at the Devon air ambulance shop with Debbie Collingwood. Ref shs 1484-30-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Unwanted items in two charity shops were given a much-needed makeover as textiles students put their skills to the test.

In just two days of frantic customising and creating, the 12 Sidmouth College youngsters transformed shirts, shoes and cushions to create window displays in the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Hospiscare Sidmouth stores.

Their ‘great sewing bee challenge’ created a buzz in the businesses, with customers eager to take the up-cycled items home with them - but the students were too attached.

Technology technician Jessica Kielen said: “Their hard work over the three-day workshop has resulted in a wonderful display of their work.

“They are a huge credit to themselves and Sidmouth College and I am extremely proud of them.

“I would like to say a huge thank-you to all the businesses and staff involved – without them this wouldn’t have been possible.

“The experience has been a great end to the school year and I hope the students can now enjoy a well-earned summer break.”

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The students were given advice on how to display their items for maximum exposure, and enjoyed the attention from intrigued passers-by.

Devon Air Ambulance Trust shop manager Debbie Collingwood said: “We gave them shirts we couldn’t sell and they had three days to create something new.

“They are really nice items, I was quite amazed.”

The charity shop’s window is now dressed for FolkWeek and Debbie hopes to outdo their success of last year – when the festival saw it all but run out of stock.

Speaking last week, Debbie Leeds, from the Hospiscare shop, said: “The window is looking really good and we’ve had a lot of people saying how brilliant it is.

“We’re really pleased.”

To mark the end of term, the students had time off of their normal timetable for activity days in and around the town, that also saw them enjoy activities including sailing and survival skills.