Stitch in Time


As part of the ‘Stitch in Time’ project a dozen outfits have been prepared through local taloirs and seamstresses.

The aim of the project is to produce outfits to reflect the female fashions of the early 1970s from those arriving to the local communities from South Asian. The professionals have taken inspiration from images and articles collected by the girls group run by One Voice, West End Girls (WEGs).

An expected fashion show will not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, a fashion shoot will take place inm early 2021 with the final items being exhibited on social media throughout the year.


A teenager interested in fashion is leading a South Asian heritage project for a local charity. One Voice Blackburn has received a National Lottery grant for an exciting heritage project, A Stitch in Time.

Alisha Iftikhar is leading the project for One Voice Blackburn

Alisha Iftikhar, 17, a local student who is a member of One Voice Blackburn will lead a team of 40 volunteers who will be working on the project.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on engaging young people in the history of South Asian fashion worn by ladies arriving in East Lancashire in the early 1970s. The project will be delivered by various groups of One Voice Blackburn.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project will enable local young people to record the oral histories of the time, help with the design of the clothes, and purchase the materials.

Members of the group have collected images, interviewed designers and fashion houses, and are in the process of designing the outfits that were worn in the 1970s.

One Voice will organise local seamstresses to produce the items before they are displayed in local settings, as well as having a fashion shoot and fashion show.

One Voice is an organisation that aspires to create an inclusive, cohesive and vibrant community in Blackburn with Darwen and will help young participants from across the town to get involved in this project.

Working with heritage and fashion professionals from the local South Asian community One Voice participants will gain a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of their history, as well as teaching them valuable new communication skills to use as they develop their careers.

Alisha Iftikhar said,

“I am really honoured to be leading this project. As someone who is relatively young I did not have any idea of the clothing items that our mothers and grandmothers wore in the 1960s and 1970s when they came to Blackburn and surrounding areas. This is a fun project, but it is also a huge learning exercise of our history.”

Zaffer Khan, Chief Executive of One Voice Blackburn, said,

“We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will support young people to be active participants in their shared history. Despite the COVID-19 lockdown we have been able to progress the project with a few minor adjustments.”