DURING lockdown home crafts became a popular pastime as people discovered a creative outlet, were looking to learn a new skill and to find a mindful pastime.

Leonie Pratt, owner of The Sewing Shed in Ilkley, discovered that during lockdown their social media following increased by 20 per cent as people were wanting inspiration, support and advice to learn sewing skills at home online. Leonie said: “During this time when we were not able to welcome students to our classes in person we posted free on-line tutorials to encourage home sewers to use what they had at home around them. Our videos of hand patchwork proved very popular gaining followers from across the country.

“Indeed the other day I was even stopped in the street by a lady who thanked me for inspiring her to take up a new hobby - that of patchwork and she is now addicted!”

During lockdown The Sewing Shed studio has been given a lick of paint and furniture has been rearranged in readiness to welcome students back in a Covid-19 safe environment.

Leonie added: “We are fortunate to have our own self contained studio that is 60 square metres under the lofty beams of The North Chapel, and as we designed the space ourselves it is a very flexible allowing us to rearrange the furniture to welcome students back to sew and craft observing the 2m social distancing advice within their own crafting zone.

“We re-opened our doors in early July offering sewing tuition to adults and children from across the region and are fully booked until the end of the month.”

The Sewing Shed has just launched its Autumn class schedule for classes starting in September and have responded to demand by increasing their class offering to include Beginners Sewing Classes, Embroidery Classes and Papercraft Classes.

“It has been super to welcome students back into our studio to give them the guidance and support that they need, but also lovely to get a group of like minded crafters together so that they can share their makes that they created during lockdown,” Leonie said.

For more information on the classes on offer at The Sewing Shed see their website for more information www.thesewingshed.co.uk