Regina residents eager to improve their handiness skills gathered at the main branch of the Regina Public Library Saturday for its first "repair cafe".

People with broken items were invited to bring them to the event, where local experts were on hand to teach them how to repair them. 

'Just by taking care of it, it won't end up in the garbage can.' - Alan Sales, bike repair expert

The philosophy behind the event is to reduce the number of items that are discarded in what has been described as a "throwaway society." 

Alan Sales was at the cafe helping people repair bicycles. 

"Most of this stuff will last forever if you take good maintenance care of it," Sales said. "Just by taking care of it, it won't end up in the garbage can."

Sales noted, however, that some newer bikes aren't built to last and that encourages people to get used to throwing things away.

Simple bike models, he said, are the easiest to maintain.

"Bikes are still pretty basic," he said. "As long as you stay in the simple bikes you can find parts, flip parts in and out. For your average person, you can do it."

Basic sewing an important skill

REPAIR CAFE REGINA PUBLIC LIBRARY march 19 2016

People were encouraged to bring in clothing and fabrics in need of repair. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Sasha Himsl, an experienced seamstress, was at the event too, helping people repair cushions and clothing. 

She said basic sewing knowledge should be one of those skills that everyone has.

"Just like it's important to know how to change a car tire," Himsl said. "[It's] just kind of — in my opinion — life skills. You have to know how to take care of yourself." 

The cafe, a free event, ran until 4 p.m. Saturday.