News & Blog

Photo by Broadmead resident Erroll Hay

Sew & So has a new home

By Willy Sydnor

When most everything else was closed down on the Broadmead campus due to the pandemic, one thing that continued was Sew & So, one of the oldest resident organizations at Broadmead. Although the volunteer group wasn’t in full swing, one could still get hems taken up or let down, or seams repaired. The primary seamstress during the shutdown was Gwyn Sirota, who managed to make over $300 for the BRA.

Broadmead opened in 1980 and Sew & So began operations that September with 30 volunteers working five days a week. Their first tasks were making hospital gowns and bibs for the residents in Hallowell. Now, the group meets once a week. Currently, there are seven or eight volunteers but more are welcome.

In addition to the usual tasks, they have been asked to fix Halloween costumes and repair linens torn apart by the owner’s pet dog. Once, they were asked to fix the bindings on a pair of boxing gloves, which the owner says were done just right. They’ve done mending for employees as well as residents. All work is done on a donation basis, but there is a list of suggested prices, with the money going to the BRA. If the items for repair are employee uniforms, the work is done for free.

There is a cubicle with mirrors for trying on clothing to make sure the fit is correct. As Karen Seybold, the chairperson of Sew & So pointed out, as people get older, they may become shorter, and long pants can become a tripping hazard. Much of the equipment is donated when residents move in and no longer need to keep the sewing machines in their homes. There are boxes and more boxes of snaps, zippers, buttons, thread, and knitting needles, along with yarn. The committee has donated lots of red and green buttons to the staff in Taylor and Hallowell, who are making holiday decorations.

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