I had the very privileged opportunity to spend an inspirational (virtual online) day with the wonderful women of Raas Leela Textiles based in Gujurat, India, learning hand stitch garment construction.
The all women artisan team there create 100% hand stitched products, with zero waste, using raw unprocessed cotton fabrics. They celebrate irregularities and individualism and celebrate and empower the makers they support.
I absolutely loved learning from these makers and how they have created this beautiful business based on their core values.
I absolutely love my finished hand constructed tee. It might be an ongoing work in progress to embellish it as the women at Raas Leela do...
My skill set is in hand stitch, and up to this point I hadn't dipped into machine stitch, but thought this would provide an opportunity to learn a bit about machine construction too so I could manage the production of one-off pieces in my studio if I wanted.
So I got a pattern, a how to machine sew book, and gave it a go!
With many thanks to Aberdeen City Council's Creative Learning Team and Creative Scotland who enabled this project happen through the Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award programme.
The Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards (VACMA) are a programme of small grants schemes delivered with a range of local authorities and art agencies across Scotland to support Scotland-based visual artists and craft makers in their creative development.
Established by Creative Scotland, these partnerships give support at a local level and work with local panels to offer funds to support practitioners at all stages of their career who have demonstrated a commitment to their work and in developing their practice through new work, new skills or new opportunities.