The Regent Park Sewing Circle is dedicated to providing the “4 S’s” to its participants:
Sewing Skills — Learning how to plan a project, sketch and pin the plan, operate a sewing machine, hand-stitch, and solve any problems along the way.
A Social Network — To build a community and sense of belonging through a mutual hobby and passion as well as grow possible entrepreneurial opportunities.
Support — A safe space for members to chat and seek resources about any personal and professional problems as well as providing a space for reconfirmation by community members.
And Self-Confidence — Build and increase one’s self-confidence through learning new skill sets, teaching valuable skills, and practicing one’s English. Furthermore, it recognizes that community members already withhold valuable skills and knowledge.
Threading together people of the community, the Regent Park Sewing Circle is a collective of men and women of all ages and cultures, who join together to create sewing projects. The group gathers every Friday, from 10am to 12pm and from 1pm to 3pm, at the TD Centre of Learning (540 Dundas St. E). From intricate sewing techniques to how to thread and operate the machine, the circle allows participants to teach and learn from each other. Now, the space has allowed for the growing network of creativity and passion to come up with new project ideas as well as sell their creations.
Starting with a request for sewing lessons at the Centre for Community Learning and Development (CCL&D), two community leaders brought in their personal sewing machines and started teaching other community members how to sew. With just 2 sewing machines in 2015, the Circle has grown to provide 10 new sewing machines with a grant provided by Daniels Spectrum. Since the beginning, the circle has relied on donated fabric. Any funds made from the sold merchandise go back to sustaining the Sewing Circle and helping it become self-sufficient.
Our vision is for the Sewing Circle to become self-sufficient. Moreover, we would like for the members to gain the 4 S’s through participating in the group’s sessions.
Centre for Community Learning and Development
Centre for Community Learning & Development (CCL&D), formerly known as East End Literacy, has been an active member of Regent Park since 1979, and in 2010, cemented our commitment to the community with the opening of the TD Centre of Learning ‐ a 2,200 square foot storefront hub ‐ on Dundas Street East.
Since the doors opened in 2010, the TD Centre of Learning has seen approximately 20,000 residents come through the doors each year to meet, learn and connect with neighbours. Program participants, from Regent Park, Moss Park, and St. James Town, face different challenges, but all come with a desire to feel a greater sense of belonging. The TD Centre of Learning helps them grow, and gain the tools they need to fulfill their potential.
The Regent Park Sewing Circle is one of our social enterprise incubators. We facilitate growth through providing space, sewing machines and supplies, staff support, marketing, coordination for fabric donation, and organization for entrepreneurial opportunities.