Front Lounge

Sewing their Way out of Lockdown: Young Mums Praised for COVID Endeavours

Young Dundee mums are fighting their lockdown blues by sewing.

The group, all students on the Kindred Clothing course, have been creating clothes for themselves and their children during one-to-one sewing sessions with Dundee charity Front Lounge, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.


L-R Hannah Watson, Amy Yancouskie and Chelsie Bruce, all students on Kindred Clothing Course. Credit – Kathryn Rattray Photographer.

As part of International Women’s Day and kicking off the anniversary celebrations, the mums will also take part in a Front Lounge livestream event on  Monday 8 March 2021.  ‘Women in Leadership’ will feature short films and stories from the students themselves and some local businesswomen, a reflection on how far we have come (and what more we need to do) to become an equal society, as well as music from Ashley Ross, wife, mother, sister, daughter, primary school teacher, musician and Front Lounge board member.

The event will be live-streamed from the Front Lounge Facebook page from 6-7pm.

Chika Inatimi, Project Leader, Front Lounge said, “2020 and the early months of 2021 have been exceptionally tough for this group, and thousands of other young people across the country. Despite the challenges they’ve been facing and continue to face, they’re shown real resilience and strength of character. Just having these sessions to focus on, to keep going with their sewing, has really helped them get through some of the toughest weeks and months they’ve ever experienced.  Some people might think International Women’s Day is only about high-profile women who have broken new ground in their careers but it’s just as much about everyday women who are making something of their lives against a very challenging backdrop, so we applaud them for what they’re doing for both themselves and their children.”


Leila Collins showing off her mum’s creation! Credit – Kathryn Rattray Photographer.

One of the mums who has been creating everything from jumpsuits and dresses to t-shirts is Cerrys Duke (21).

Cerrys, who has a four-year-old daughter said, “Kindred Clothing has helped me a lot over lockdown. Just having that focus to your day is really important as it’s easy to get worn down when so much of our lives are on hold.  It’s also brilliant to be part of a community of other young parents, all experiencing the same thing and the same challenges.  Even if we can’t meet up, we’re always in touch and that friendship and support has been an important factor in getting through this last year. I like to think we’re setting a great example to our kids too – they’re going to grow up to face their own challenges and seeing their mums actually doing something with their lives will hopefully have a positive impact on them and drive them to do their best.”

Cerrys Duke with daughter Layla Edwards. Credit – Kathryn Rattray Photographer.

Meanwhile, Hannah Watson, 21-year-old mum to four-year-old Grace added, “’It’s been really difficult for me during lockdown but being able to come into the studio and do this project has helped a lot.  I was beginning to struggle quite a bit but as soon as I was able to come in and do some sewing I just felt like – “I love this, this is my happy place!”


Hannah Watson with daughter Grace McDonald. Credit – Kathryn Rattray Photographer.

Kindred Clothing, run by Front Lounge, takes students through the key stages of the garment production process while teaching practical fashion photography skills and techniques to present themselves, their stories and their clothes.  Currently awaiting official SQA accreditation, each element of the course is delivered by an experienced maker, with students presenting a portfolio of their work at the end of the course.

Longer-term, as the project evolves and more businesses get involved, Front Lounge hopes to provide students with access to an even broader range of opportunities, from training and work experience to employment.  What makes Kindred Clothing unique is that it has childcare built into every aspect of it, allowing parents with young children to get involved.

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