A Dundee woman is using her passion for sewing and knitting to help de-stress thousands of people.
Sandra Cassidy of Broughty Ferry runs Sew Confident, the UK’s only tailoring franchise.
She runs numerous sewing, knitting and craft classes in Glasgow, Dundee and Chorley, Lancashire, both in person and online.
Over 10,000 people across the UK have joined their tight-knit community that has relaxation, connection and sustainability at its heart.
Sandra and her team welcome clients of all levels.
As well as learning new skills – from knitting chunky crochet blankets and crochet Easter gifts, to making clothes and lampshades – Sandra’s mission is to persuade people to disconnect from their work and relax at the sewing sanctuary of Sew Confident Dundee.
What was once a hobby is now a thriving business that has seen her help her customers sew, knit and crochet their way to better mental health and a whole new social life in her workshop.
Speaking to Dundee Live, Sandra said: “So many clients have said how our classes have been a welcome relief and distraction for them from Covid and other stresses.
“We’ve had so many amazing feedback from our customers and find it so interesting that so many of them work for the NHS or care jobs.
“It’s been such a stressful time in the healthcare industry and I’m honored to have been able to help them through it in some way.”
Sandra’s love of crafts sparked after the birth of her first child when she made a quilt for the baby, then quickly moved on to creating gifts and homewares for family and friends. friends.
Sandra, who now has a team of seven employees, added: “My clients have also said how the courses have helped them deal with loneliness during the lockdowns and given many people the social solution they needed. so desperately needed.
“We held regular sewing workshops and live classes and created a community of supportive and ‘sewcial’ people.
“I’m desperate to convince more people in any industry that sewing is the way to relax and disconnect from the stresses of life.
“Sewing is such a leisurely activity. It’s almost like meditation, but in the end, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment for having created something that you can wear, use, or give to someone.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to take time for themselves and sewing is, in my opinion, the ultimate in self-care.”
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Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Sandra’s team offered customers DIY kits as well as online zoom courses.
Today, more than a quarter of Sew Confident’s clientele work in the NHS and other healthcare positions. The hobby proves to be the ultimate de-stressor for those who are highly stressed and caring.
One of those helped is Tayside GP, Georgie Levison, 33.
She told us: “I have always been very interested in enrolling in the sewing beginners course, but the courses last 12-15 hours over a few days and unfortunately, due to my job and my young family, I just didn’t have the time.
“It wasn’t until the time of lockdown, when the Sew Confident team took online classes, that I was able to enroll, and I never looked back!
“It was such a horrible time in the industry, and like so many others, I just knew I had to do something to distract myself.
“Sew Confident was a lifesaver for me. I’ve participated in classes, live sewing workshops, even entered (and won!) one of their design challenges on Facebook. »
And the doctor adds: “I call it the secret world of couture and I talk about it to anyone who wants to hear about it. It’s so easy to get carried away because it’s the perfect balance between mindfulness and creativity.”
More information about Sew Confident, including how to book lessons, can be found here.
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