Unique ‘Stitch-School’ dress handmade by young mums goes on display at V&A...

Unique ‘Stitch-School’ dress handmade by young mums goes on display at V&A Dundee


A one-of-a-kind handmade dress created by a group of young mums from Dundee has been unveiled at the V&A museum.

The Stitch-School dress, which was created by a team of students from Kindred Clothing, a sewing and textiles group run by youth arts charity Front Lounge, took six weeks to make before being revealed on Friday as part of the museum’s Sewing Box for the Future exhibition.

The team working behind the scenes.

The Kindred Clothing project teaches young parents to make their own clothes, or clothes for their children, taking learners through the key stages of the garment production process.

Students, who are currently working towards the Kindred Clothing SQA customised award qualification, have spent the last few weeks learning sewing and embroidery skills to create the 1960s-style sustainable dress.

The hand-embroidered dress was created by Kayleigh Mitchell, Cerrys Duke, Chelsea French, Hannah Watson and Chelsie Bruce, with contributions from Jacqueline Goodall and Kayleigh Innes and Sarah Allan and Gary Inglis.

Kayleigh Mitchell wearing the dress.

Cerrys, said: “I started Kindred Clothing because I wanted to sew clothes for myself and my daughter but I didn’t realise it could take me this far.

“The V&A Dundee experience really has been fantastic. It was particularly good just using our imagination with colours, fabrics and embellishments, rather than following set rules.

“I never thought we’d get to make a dress that would go on public display within V&A Dundee and I can’t wait to see where it all takes me – I just want to gain even more experience and enjoy what happens next.”

Camilla Plekker, chairwoman of Front Lounge, said: “This collaboration with V&A Dundee is a prime example of what can be achieved by taking part in the Kindred Clothing course.

“The learners, many of whom had never sewn on a button before, deserve huge praise for their dedication and resilience. Seeing their dress come together and now form part of such a prestigious exhibition makes me extremely proud. They’ve essentially created a living part of Dundee’s history in just a few weeks.

© Mhairi Edwards
Picture shows; l to r, Cerrys Duke, 21, Kayleigh Mitchell with son Ryder Lafferty, 12 weeks, V&A Learning Team Textile Designer Syrah Jay and Hannah Watson, 21.

“As Kindred Clothing evolves, we hope to provide our learners with access to an even broader range of opportunities, from training and work experience to employment.

“By capturing and cultivating this fresh, young talent, right here on our doorstep, we can also provide a ready-made labour force to local designers, meeting their needs and contributing to the local economy.”

Sewing Box for the Future is a free exhibition which highlights how teaching care, repair and customisation skills can help address the crisis of waste in the fashion industry.

The exhibition accompanies Mary Quant, the first international retrospective on the iconic British designer, which runs until January 17 2021.

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