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And sew it ends … after 36 hours

Heather Bannister, centre, and her army of volunteers, more than 27 hours into their sew-athon. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

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After 36 hours, Come Sew with Me’s first sew-athon came to a close on Sunday afternoon, much to the relief of programme co-ordinator Heather Bannister.

“The place is an absolute mess, but it’s been really lovely seeing everyone come together,” she said.

From 10am on Saturday until 4pm on Sunday, more than 30 people gathered in Rose Cottage, where she houses her collection of more than 200 vintage sewing machines and runs community classes.

The sew-athon was part of efforts to help raise funds to cover rent currently owed to Masterton District Council.

Bannister said it had been a “full on” few days.

“All the working machines have been going most of the time.”

She made sure there was always someone sewing, even through the night, her son Jason filling in when she needed to rest.

“There was always someone sewing or finishing off other people’s things.

“It’s helping us but also helping others,” she said.

The two dozen or so bassinette quilts and baby wraps made as part of the sew-athon will be donated to the Wairarapa Hospital paediatric and maternity ward.

She said she was extremely grateful to those who had supported the group since learning about her difficulty finding funding to cover the $1000-a-month rent.

“This whole month has just been such a big push.

“I think the main thing for us is the community outreach and we are getting a huge amount of support.

“People have been bringing in fabric and food, or just popping in to say ‘hi’ and offer encouragement.”

Bannister said she was still waiting to hear back about a proposal given to the Masterton District Council about the group remaining at Rose Cottage, but at a reduced cost.

She remained hopeful though.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re on the right path.”

A Givealittle page had raised more than $1000 since reopening this year.

Donations can be made through givealittle by searching ‘Come sew with me’.

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