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New Zealand's First Refugees: Pahiatua's Polish Children

Sewing room

Sewing room

It will be noted that of a staff of 14 seamstresses, 10 are learners, and from the future employment aspect this is most desirable. The work carried out in this section covers the manufacture of garments not only for children in the camp but also for those attending New Zealand schools.

Secondhand clothing, ex-army, navy, air force and other sources is unpicked and remade into children's clothing in addition to clothes being made from new materials. In addition to manufacture, repairs are carried out and the following figures are a typical month's output from the sewing room:

Boys 89 pieces
Girls 107 pieces
Clothing store 108 pieces
Boys 35 pairs trousers
85 shirts
22 suits pyjamas
1 pyjama jacket
Girls 1 dressing gown
2suits pyjamas
3 skirts
1 blouse
6 dresses
Girls 66 pieces
page 310

A good deal of buttonholing is necessary and it is suggested that a buttonhole machine be provided. The National Employment Service has declared such a machine surplus to the War Assets Realisation Board and enquiries could be made as to the possibility of acquiring it. The committee was also satisfied that the sewing room was not overstaffed.