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The Southeast Sewing Club, back by popular demand

October 4, 2011
Peggy Dunn-Ha’apai sews Tongan skirt for her grandchild at the Southeast Sewing Club. - Photo: April Elkjer
San Francisco – The highly popular sewing class offered at the Southeast Community Facility, or “Sewing Club” as most locals refer to the class, is back by popular demand. “As we talked to the community about what resources were important to have at the Southeast Facility, the Sewing Club was one of the top priorities,” says Juliet Ellis, assistant general manager of external affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).

“We now have capacity for 30 students to learn this valuable skill right here in Bayview Hunters Point,” she said. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and City College of San Francisco are obligated to provide educational, workforce and economic opportunities at the Southeast Community Facility as part of its Community Benefits Program.

“The partnership between City College and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission allows increased educational opportunities at the Southeast Campus to better prepare the community to become productive and fulfilled citizens,” says Jorge Bell, vice-chancellor for campuses and enrollment services at City College of San Francisco.

Monique Boone makes pillow cases at the Southeast Sewing Club. - Photo: April Elkjer
Gladys Moffet, a resident of Bayview Hunters Point, was among the first to register for class at the Southeast Community Facility. “I’m happy (the class) is being offered again,” said Gladys as she signed in for her first day of class. “I’ve learned how to sew all types of clothing. Now everyone in my family comes to me when they need something sewed!”

Students of all ages, backgrounds and sewing skills are able to attend the class once again. “This is the only class that I know of in San Francisco that provides the students with access to free sewing machinery,” says Kamille Hitz, the current class instructor. “This is truly a wonderful resource for all.”

Space is still available and residents are encouraged to drop in for the class. There are no requirements but to show up; however, if you have a project you would like help with – even a simple hem – bring it to the class.

The sewing class is offered every Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. now until Dec. 20 at the Southeast Community Facility, 1800 Oakdale Ave., San Francisco. You can register for the class during class hours.

Learn about your vintage Singer sewing machine and share Singer stories

To help commemorate their 160th anniversary, Singer invites people to learn historic information about their vintage or antique sewing machines and share their own stories about Singer and sewing. The story sharing is available at

Leilani Randolph makes a dress at the Southeast Sewing Club. - Photo: April Elkjer
“Since the introduction of the world’s first practical sewing machine 160 years ago, the Singer brand has brought the craft of sewing to millions of people across the globe,” said Katrina Helmkamp, CEO of SVP Worldwide, producer of the Singer products. “People are deeply attached to their machines and the memories they evoke. Through the mySINGERstory website, we are sharing information about each unique machine while learning more about those for whom sewing is part of a family legacy.”

Through December, each person who submits a story on will have a chance to win one of the first commemorative edition sewing machines to hit the market in January 2012. This technologically advanced machine will boast innovative features, yet its design and appearance will harken back to the iconic Singer machines of years past.


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