It is the household memory of many; running to your granny with a button that has broken free from your favourite cardigan.

She would have fixed it in seconds, and the garment you thought was lost now has a new lease of life.

But one Scots design firm says the skill of sewing and creating clothes from scratch is being lost in a world of fast fashion - and they've launched a new course to help revive the trade in Scotland's young people.

Kids are being invited to learn the art of slow fashion and clothes creation with Edinburgh-based design studio Arkdefo and keep their hands occupied during the double whammy of lockdown and school holidays.

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Founded by husband and wife, Andrew and Elizaveta Bennett, the studio is offering a 40-lesson course which they hope will 'inspire the next Vivienne Westwood'.

"It's so important to have these skills in your life, whether it's just making a scrunchie or a full-blown dress," creative director Elizaveta explained. "I feel it's getting forgotten.

"It used to be a family activity, people used to make clothes together all the time.

"I want this course to let kids step back and make things themselves."

The foundations for the course were laid at the beginning of June, when Elizaveta, originally from Moscow, launched an online shop with slow fashion collections and scrunchies from the offcuts.

When a friend of the family mentioned their kids would love to learn the trade, she pitched it to an Edinburgh community group, and within hours, her feed had exploded with notifications.

“It was the first hour, there was just so much traction,” she explained. “The selling point was that mum’s can get a bit of a break, and their kids can learn something that will stick with them.

“It’s proved really popular, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Since then, she has spent her time filming and editing her course videos, which will be rolled out to customers on July 27.


“I want to inspire them, and teach them not to be afraid of mistakes,” she said. “Schools are often trying to make you ‘perfect, perfect, perfect’ - but to me, you learn by doing.

“For me, this is like I’m embracing my inner child. I remember how it felt to make something for myself the first time, and I remember what I’d like to have had when I was younger.”

The course explores the basics of sewing, before teaching children how to make scrunchies, gym and tote bags, and then finishing with dresses and jumpers.

Entirely online, the five-module lesson pack will encourage purchases from local independent suppliers in Edinburgh, and promises a bonding experience for parents and their kids - while also acting as 'an online babysitter'.

"The skills you're getting here are skills for life," Elizaveta said. "There is, of course, an expense, but the benefits that come from this, not just physically, but mentally, are just amazing."

Elizaveta has not owned anything that she has not made herself for the last year, and says that the feeling of creating something yourself is something that she wants to pass on to the next generation.

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"I don't have kids of my own," she explained. "When you don’t have children of your own, you don’t think 'I should do something for children'.

"It’s just not on your radar.

"But when I'm filming these lessons and videos, I know I'm doing the right thing."

Andrew and Elizaveta hope that, in teaching the basics and perhaps inspiring some budding designers, they can help kids understand the amount of work that goes into the art, and deter from 'fast-fashion'.

"It’s not bombarding kids with the political stuff of the world – but it’s giving them the creativity, something where they can find an art in clothes and fashion and a life skill that they can pass onto their own children," Andrew said. "There’s a lot to be had in this skill.


"We want kids to be able to be inspired to design and work on their own identity and personality within their own family."

Elizaveta says that making things by hand creates a solid appreciation for the hard work of designers across the world, and why it is important to be sustainable.

“I started sewing more and realised that this is so much work,” she said. “Every fine detail with every stitch and cut - backaches, the pain in your joints and hands.

“You immediately start questioning how people can make so much, and it makes an understanding within you.”

The course is due to go live on July 27, and parents can register their interest at