Subversive Stitching

Join The Subversive Stitcher, AKA Holly Searle for a fun and thought-provoking stitching workshop.

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Throughout history, stitching has long been used as a medium for protest and rebellion, taking everyday implements like needle and thread to convey humour, slogans, and poignant messages. In this 2-hour workshop, Holly will be encouraging you to explore an idea or theme that has personal significance to you as a starting point for your project.

Working on vintage tea towels, Holly will take you through the processes of selection and customisation to help you effectively communicate your ideas. Using simple hand stitching and applique techniques, participants will add text to their designs as Holly speaks about her own design practice and her ongoing project, The Subverted Vintage Tea Towel Series.

About the tutor

Holly SearleAKA The Subversive Stitcher – is a textile artist whose work focuses on issues prevalent in today’s society. She has been an avid maker since childhood but a chance encounter with a Victorian needlework sampler reignited her creativity. Influenced by the sampler’s maker, inmate Mary Frances Heaton, Holly seeks to use her voice as an artist in the same way, to draw her audience’s attention to matters of social injustice and to empower women. Holly’s work has been widely exhibited in both solo and group shows around the UK.


The Fashion and Textile Museum operates in line with all government guidance in relation to COVID-19. We regularly review our procedures and practices in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our visitors and staff. If you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive, please do not visit.

Confirmation email: Once you have made a booking, you will receive a confirmation email detailing all the information you will need prior to your workshop. You will also receive a reminder email one week prior to your workshop.

Registration: Please check your confirmation email for the registration time of your workshop. If the registration time for your workshop is before 11am, please ring the intercom on arrival. For health and safety reasons, it is not possible to admit participants earlier than the registration time.

On arrival: Upon entry, please present your ticket(s) on your device or a note of your booking reference number.

Eating and drinking: No food or drink is permitted in the Museum, other than bottled water. The Fashion and Textile Museum is located in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Street, surrounded by award-winning restaurants, cafes and pubs. So if you would like to enjoy a meal or a drink before or after your session, check out what’s on offer.

For more information, check out our plan your visit page or our FAQs.

Now on

The Fabric of Democracy: Propaganda Textiles from the French Revolution to Brexit

This exhibition explores printed propaganda textiles over more than two centuries, from the French Revolution to Brexit.

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