Upsewing Taranaki is a programme developed by Taranaki Timebank to rescue clothing and fabric destined for landfills. Repurposing and mending skills are taught and creativity at all stages of life encouraged. Starting as Stitch It Don't Ditch It online sessions during Covid lockdowns in 2021, in- person events under the Upsewing Taranaki banner launched in September 2022.
Activities have included monthly sewing sessions on the second Tuesday morning and the third Wednesday night that are helmed by a core group of very experienced sewers. Mentors earn timebank hours for programme planning, setting up events and mentoring sewing newbies. Two taiohi (youth) holiday workshops were held in October, one facilitated primarily in te reo Māori to foster normalisation of te reo in the wider community. Workshops for adults included Sashiko-inspired mending and T-shirt yarn crochet basket making with New Plymouth artist, Marita Green. The Upsewers have made pet blankets for New Plymouth charity Taranaki Animal Protection and are currently making reusable gift bags to raise funds for the Upsewing programme costs. There will be more workshops in January and school uniform repair/tailoring session on offer.