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Upstyle Your Wardrobe

Izzy Te Rauna is here to help us with our pile…

You know the one? That slippery stack of sewing jobs. The dress that needs its hem adjusted. The bung zip. The top you found at the oppy that just needs a little sumthin’ to make it actually work for you. That pile of clothing that often sits growing, (taunting you) in a corner for months on end, waiting impatiently for you to find the time or motivation to attend to it.

That same pile that we may just end up giving up on and dropping off at the op shop to free ourselves from the guilt of never getting around to it…

Lucky then for Izzy and her Upstyle Your Wardrobe Night Classes at EIT.

These classes run for four evenings a week for four weeks, from 5 - 8:30pm and they provide the perfect opportunity for you to tend to your ‘pile.’

“I’ll help you figure out how to put it all together and how to pull it off”.

Izzy is on hand to help you with the technical side of things, she’ll help you navigate your planning and cutting processes and find your way around the sewing machines.

She is clearly in her element in EIT’s Design space. A Toihoukura graduate who got her post-graduate Diploma in teaching from Waikato University, she identifies her strongest suit as problem solving and loves these classes for the stuff that happens when people create together. “It’s more than I ever expected, I love it”.

After spending so much of her life in trackies and oversized hoodies, at this point in her life Izzy is all about “dressing the way I want to be treated”. She loves being creative and wearing clothes that make her feel good. “They’re a sort of armour” she muses and she acknowledges that she is prone to dressing as if she’s off to some fabulous cocktail event.

Many of the sewing projects brought to the classes involve adjustments to make garments feel more flattering or comfortable for the wearer. And while Izzy’s starting point will often be some fairly eclectic and out of the box suggestions, the problem solving process is often a collaborative one amongst all the students. “You never know what skills are going to be in the room” she notes, and there have been some fabulous outcomes.

These are ACE courses (Adult Community Education), which are all about people introducing new ideas to, and upskilling our community. The ACE coordinator Bridget French Hall says she is always on the lookout for facilitators amongst our community who are keen to share their knowledge and skills.

If you’d like to find out more about other ACE courses on offer, or chat about facilitating a class yourself, contact Bridget on

The next Upstyle Your Wardrobe course starts on May 1. It runs 5:30pm-8:30pm, four nights a week for four weeks. You pick which days you're able to attend! You can book here:

Photo by Tom Teutenberg Words Sarah Cleave


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