SEWING on a button or darning a hole in an old jumper can be far more satisfying than going out and buying a new one.

With a bit of inspiration from our historic 'make do and mend' culture, knitting yourself a pair of socks and reupholstering an old cushion can give you a sense of great satisfaction once you know how.

One East Lancashire woman has even opened her own sewing cafe to meet the demands of those wanting to learn how to up-cycle their garments and items of furniture durning these tough times.

With groups forming across the county for social as well as practical purposes, women — and even men — are re-inventing their wardrobes.

Tansy Dier owns Cheeky Sew and Sew, in Rochdale Road, Todmorden, the only Lancashire-based sewing cafe that’s not in a city.

“Women and even men are buying online or from charity shops because it’s much cheaper to buy a quality garment and alter it," she said. "If the shape or style of a dress doesn’t fit then it can me made into style that suits. Or if somebody wants to make their own, a basic skirt is just two triangles sewn together. If you come and learn how to knit it can save you so much money in the long run once you know how to do it,” she said.

Cheeky Sew and Sew has a range of sewing machines that you can drop in and use while enjoying a coffee and learning new skills at the same time.

Tansy, who makes a lot of her own clothes, says that there has been a rise in the number of people wanting to learn how to upcycle their garments with their make do and mend courses.

She said: “Throwaway fashion isn’t for everybody. I see more people who have spent a bit more money on things to alter them to fit perfectly. It’s an easy and good skill once you know how.”

Amanda Chinery wanted to learn how to knit and has launched her own Stitch and Bitch classes at Shadsworth’s Health and Well Being Centre, in Blackburn.

Since July last year she has had females joining from age seven to 78, looking to take on a new skill and wanting to make clothes.

“People come from all over to learn how to knit. I think people are looking to save money and learn how to knit stuff, make use of a sewing machine and have some fun. Women like to learn a new skill while hav-ing a natt-er,” said Amanda.

Both Tansy and Amanda have found that young people want to learn how to make do and mend and believe that schools should offer more practical lessons.

Tansy said: “There are a few more young people popping in and enrolling on the courses. Even though they may do textiles at school, there are usually two or three people to a machine and it’s not conducive. But they realise it’s a good skill to have. We current-y have a 14-year-old boy enrolled who wants to be a fashion designer.”