Subversive Stitching

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

Discover what’s on

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 wellbeing of our visitors and staff. For more information, see our visiting guidance.

  • If you or anyone that you have recently been in contact with is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend your workshop. If you are unable to attend your workshop for reasons related to COVID-19, please get in touch and we will be happy to reschedule your ticket(s).
  • During the workshop, we strongly encourage that you wear your face covering when you are not at your workstation and when you are conversing with the tutor.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are in place throughout the Museum. Please use them as directed throughout your workshop, including when entering and exiting the space.
  • Gloves will be available for use throughout your workshop.
  • Additional cleaning of our galleries and toilets remains in place, as well as door handles, handrails, and other key areas, including our workshops spaces.
  • All Museum staff, including our workshop tutors, have received thorough training in the above new measures and are committed to following them diligently.

Now on

150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework: Crown to Catwalk

A retrospective exploring the often-surprising history of one of the UK’s oldest and most revered applied arts organisations.

Info & tickets All exhibitions What else is on?

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