sartoria in circolo
Manifattura Tabacchi SOCIAL DISTRICT
A new meeting place for the residents and business that make up the micro-entrepreneurial fabric around Manifattura Tabacchi, where they can get to know each other and begin a new form of socialising.
Sartoria in Circolo is a school for sewing, tailoring and garment design, set up in Florence in 2017 by Gloria Migliorini.
Situated in the Circolo Mario Bencini in Via Mercadente 58, near Piazza Puccini, Sartoria in Circolo is a creative and dynamic provider of training courses catering for all abilities, and it has successfully been able to reinvent itself during this time of ‘enforced closure’ by organising online sewing lessons.
Founder Gloria Migliorini, after having participated in the training programme as part of the Manifattura Tabacchi project Social District, speaks about how her own project came about and on the rediscovery of traditional artisan sewing techniques.
Sartoria in Circolo
Sartoria In Circolo is a cultural and tailoring project born from the decades of experience that Gloria, founder and teacher of the courses, has brought to the initiative.
The aim of the initiative is to bring back a basic knowledge of sewing, so as to regenerate interest in the sartorial arts amongst young people and, ask a consequence, increase appreciation for the value of handmade products. With this in mind, our courses aren’t just aimed at teaching sewing but also at giving a more holistic form of training, through looking at related and complementary fields of study.
At the same time, these objectives sit alongside the intention that I had right from the start of creating a meeting point and a form of socialising for people who share a passion for this fascinating sector (regardless of whether they are amateurs or professionals).
Sartoria in Circolo is currently based at the Circolo Mario Bencini in Via Mercadente 58, a historic community centre near Piazza Puccini, the area where it carries out most of its activities. During lesson time, we have a large space available to us where we set up the numerous sewing machines and other equipment that is necessary for an artisan tailoring workshop.
We offer courses on sewing and tailoring at different levels and put on events based around fashion, recycling, socialising and sharing.
ABC Sewing Techniques
Entry-level sewing course, for those who would like to learn sewing but have never picked up a needle and don’t know where to start, or for those who have taught themselves a little and would like to improve their techniques.
A complete and well-structured course that guides participants step by step towards self-sufficiency, understanding how to deal with the daily requirements of tailoring, and onto their first sewing projects and creations. The course is aimed at putting the theory into practice, learning all of the techniques for sewing by hand and machine, the most common tailoring repairs, and where we do sewing projects based on the topics that are covered in the programme.
Garment Design and Tailoring
A technical course which teaches the basics of garment design, starting with how to take correct measurements, before moving onto the cutting and sewing, with particular attention on how to make corrections and adjustments, as well as finish the garments in a professional manner. A great deal of time is given over to the practical side with the class working directly on the clothes.
Suitable for those who already know a bit about sewing but who are still novices with regards to garment design and tailoring. The course is artisan in nature and uses methods that have been tried and tested for almost a century, using simple technical drawing techniques to design paper models.
Workshop or mini course on the creative side of sewing, technical lessons on specific areas to be used when required.
The emergence of the Coronavirus has obviously stopped all of the activities usually hosted at our centre, and so we have taken the opportunity to reinvent what we do. It all started with the purchase of an external webcam: an unexpectedly difficult endeavour when the shops started to close in March and people started buying up all the tech products, even Amazon showed signs of buckling! There followed intense days of trying to understand the vagaries of live streaming and studying all the various platforms that were suddenly available.
We got there though, and we launched Live-Streamed Sewing! Initially it was a way of giving some continuity to the students of ongoing courses. Then we started to offering our Practical Sewing Creative Lessons and Technical Perfection Lessons (called Sewing Pills).
The first live-streamed lessons went down really well and we were really happy to able to continue with our work, albeit from remote. Thanks to technology we’ve been able to reach people in their houses and show them up close (much closer in fact than when we’re there in person) all of the techniques they need for their various different projects, and we’ve been able to follow and guide them as we sew together.
What’s great about these lessons is that they’re not simply online lessons like you find on YouTube, they’re live streams, and this means you can interact with the teacher and the other participants, you can ask questions, or share ideas and advice.
At the moment we are offering a programme of live-streamed lessons on a wide-range of areas and at varying levels (Sewing Pills and Creative Workshops), from beginners to those who already know a little but want to refine their skills.
Our aim is to develop these online sewing courses and to continue to offer them even after we are out of quarantine, to run alongside in-person classes.
My name is Gloria and I create bespoke womenswear garments.
After university I was introduced to the world of artisan crafts through the conservation and restoration of antique clothing and textiles, and I was able to continue studying textiles and their history thanks to numerous and important professional commissions from businesses in the private sector in Tuscany, from the Soprintendenza dei Beni Culturali for the Galleria del Costume at Palazzo Pitti, and from other higher-education institutions.
The passion and curiosity I have for this sector has pushed me to deepen my knowledge of the current world of fashion, studying garment design and the fashion system itself, as a way of complimenting my existing training. Necessity and opportunity gave me the chance to work in high-fashion ateliers and with noted clothing brands, both as a tailor-designer and within the styling department. My desire to impart everything that I had studied, experimented with and created throughout these years culminated in this grand project that started in 2017, Sartoria in Circolo, which brings together all of my experience and passion for this sector. I really believe in the strength of human relationships and how they can create a network which is the perfect platform to convey my professionalism and everything I have learned about my craft, and which satisfies this need for creativity and the warmth of these relationships.
For this reason, right from the beginning I wanted to combine both the educational and social aspects. I didn’t want this to be a school which just taught techniques, I wanted it to be a meeting point which welcomes in people with common interests, makes them fall in love with this artform, and then guides them and prepares them for the professional world, if that’s what their aim is.
After 3 years in the teacher’s seat at Sartoria in Circolo, I have to say that I am really satisfied with the passion and commitment shown by the students and by the followers on our social channels.