RETRO: Sew simple for a stitch in time over the years

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Here’s some people who have certainly got the point: needle workers.

And the thread of their message is sew simple: a stitch or nine is a great way to spend time.

Studying a Victorian sewing machine are, from left, Darren Rogers, Carla Gibson and Nel Gregory, all aged eight.

Studying a Victorian sewing machine are, from left, Darren Rogers, Carla Gibson and Nel Gregory, all aged eight.

Today Tuesday Retro continues our A-Z of hobbies enjoyed in the region with N is for needlework.

Our images show everything from children set to start an art tapestry to make-do-and-mend-era matriarchs working on the family clothes (“it’s only belonged to your cousin and your brother before you – we can get another couple of years wear out of that,” one may or may not have just told an off-camera offspring).

“Needlework is something I’ve done since I was 14 and today... well, let’s just say I’m old enough for my free TV licence,” says Val Croxton, of Southey Green, a member of Maltby-based group Creative Stitching. “It’s so enjoyable.

“You start off with a few pieces of material and slowly build them into something like a quilt or a decoration which both looks good and has a function – there’s something very rewarding about doing that. When I was younger I’d make dresses and clothes for the family but now I do more decorative things.”

'Denise Shaw of Pear Tree Antiques,Sheffield with a Victorian Humpback hand driven sewing machine circa 1887 at the Antiques Fair at Thornbridge Hall

'Denise Shaw of Pear Tree Antiques,Sheffield with a Victorian Humpback hand driven sewing machine circa 1887 at the Antiques Fair at Thornbridge Hall

Some 20 people attend the group – which focuses on needle lace, embroidery and crochet – once a week at The Wesley Centre in Blyth Road. And, along with new TV shows like The Great British Sewing Bee and more and more youngsters taking on the philosophy of re-using clothing, this is a hobby that people show no signs of qui(l)ting.