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In celebration of Black History Month, From February to May 2022

Sarah ran a creative embroidery group at the Loughborough Community Centre at Max Roach in Brixton. 

Sarah led YMSN’s creative groups for several years before leaving to embark on a PhD research degree in September 2021. Sarah’s research is looking at the role of collaboration in making embroidered textiles rich with meaning and memories. She is interested in comparing how women work creatively in groups today, with how women collaborated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

In her workshops at Max Roach, Sarah used examples of historical embroidery to teach stitches and patterns to the participants.

Each participant worked on their own piece of embroidery and developed this from initial design to finished piece of work. We also embarked on a joint, collaborative piece which everyone could join in sewing together.

In total, 10 women attended the group, with some just popping in and some attending most weeks. Sarah wanted the group to be relaxed and welcoming and for the mums attending, so that they could meet other mums and grow their creative confidence. The group provided a space where mums could chat and get to know each other, as well as learn new skills. Many of the participants carried on working on their embroidery at home between sessions!

All the mums who gave feedback said they felt more confident, more creative, happier, and more comfortable working in a group after the course. 

In particular, mums commented that the workshops ‘allowed you to be confident with making mistakes’, that it was ‘nice to meet new people and gain praise from others’ and that they enjoyed ‘having creative freedom and support with ideas.’

It was great having creche support from Melissa and Rana to keep children entertained while their mums enjoyed their sewing.

Sarah Capel