Residents at Mandale House Care Home, in Thornaby, near Middlesbrough, have been getting to grips with hand cranked Singer Sewing Machines to create personalised bags.
The machines were brought to the home by Rosie Thornton, an associate of Newcastle-based charity Equal Arts, which aims improve the lives of older people.
Residents picked their favourite patterned material and, after a little practice stitching, turned them into bags with zips.
Resident Joyce Gibson, who uses her bag for her glasses, said: “I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to work the machine but, when I tried, I was impressed by how easy it was.”
Brenda Turner, who keeps her make-up in her bag, said: “I told my family about how much fun I had with the sewing machine.”
Resident Valerie McHale added: “My mum would have loved this. She would have been so proud of me doing the sewing.”
Sarah Robinson, activities coordinator at Mandale House Care Home, said: “Using the Singer Sewing Machines and turning the handle on the wheel meant residents were in control of the sewing rather than the machine running away with them.
“So it was no surprise everyone got used to it really quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the task.
“Our next project is to make aprons and then screen print them. We will also be making twiddle blankets for fellow residents who have dementia.”