Sew Your Own
Recently, Birmingham city council announced that they are going to cut arts spending by ?2m with there being a clear reduction in creative outlets in the last few months. With most of these outlets being in the most deprived areas, this may result in a society that lacks creative confidence a prevalent issue that we discovered during primary research.
Having distributed a survey through school networks we found that the majority of those asked didnt have basic sewing skills and thought that if they did their efforts would look bad. In an attempt to lessen this mindset, we ran a set of Sew Your Own workshops – teaching young people how to get from their concept to construction and providing them with the skills to do so.
Despite the interest being large we made several observations. One of which being participants being unable to travel to our fairly central location - evident through emails such as, "I will be unable to attend as the cost and travel time to get XXXX is too much for me and I would really like to get involved, if you run any workshops in XXXX please let me know." This is typical of the position of many people that want to get involved but cant due to finance.
This shows a disadvantaged community in terms of finance and lack of confidence, and to some extent emotional well-being.
To eliminate the problem expressed above, we began to capture some of the excellent information being relayed using camera phones in order to share new skills and tips with those that were unable to attend. Using digital media such as the web, as well as film, to share these tutorials, our method enabled anyone, anywhere to benefit from our volunteers help.
With there being a lack of free media training in the disadvantaged community, Sew Your Own also provides a platform to be mentored and trained by volunteers who have the relevant film/media experience, giving them a chance to learn production skills by helping to film the tutorials – empowering especially for those who are unemployed or not in education.
With the ?500 funding we hope to capitalise on this new way of working and expand our scope with professional editing software and equipment.
Our work enhances the financial and emotional well being of individuals by providing them with a tangible skill set. Also a means of empowerment, these tutorials dispel the negative perception that their creative efforts “would look bad” in turn providing them with self-worth and confidence, which is easily lost and difficult to build.
By educating others on the importance of sustainability and showing them the skills that can be used to achieve it, we use digital media to show people an alternate angle to something that they are presented with, in mass media, on a daily basis. The ‘thing’ being trends and fast fashion, we show that you don’t have to conform and can save money by being creative.
We capitalise on the skills of our volunteers to provide an inspiring voice to those who lack creative confidence and practical skill.