Seamstress is quaint boutique store which started out in Thrissur, Kerala by Vimala Viswambharan & Rasmi Poduval. The core philosophy of Seamstress is that the beauty of the garment lies in the textile & its construct - the cut, fit & finish. Hand weaving is becoming an increasingly rare and dying art form. We at Seamstress prefer to work with with handwoven fabrics, reviving and recreating ancient weaves.
Vimala hand-stitched her first garment at the age of 11. What at first was a hobby turned into serious work and she now has more than 30 years of experience with bespoke tailoring. She started her first unit from Kochi in the 80's called Ideal Cholis and went on to have units in Udupi, Trivandrum and now in Thrissur. A seamstress , Vimala’s expertise lies in the superior cut and perfect finish of each garment. All work men are personally trained by her.
Rasmi after graduating from the IIM-Bangalore worked with Coca-Cola & Saregama. Over the years helping Vimala (her mother-in-law) made her want to learn more about weaving & pattern-making. She works with weavers & craftsmen all over the country reviving ancient weaves & crafts. She is currently working with weavers across Kerala, designing & adapting age old weaving techniques to create new textile forms.
The Kaithari Project
( Kaithari meaning handwoven in Malayalam. Kai<Malayalam>=Hand and Thari<Malayalam>=Weave )
Since 2014, we have been hard at work on a project very close to our heart - working with the handloom weavers of Kerala. We've travelled the length of Kerala visiting weaving co-operatives and mapping unique weaving techniques to each region. We have come up with textile designs that bring out the unique weaving tradition specific to each geographical region. While one is accustomed to associating Kerala handlooms with the kora (white) and gold, our attempt has been to infuse a riot of colours, inspired by the lush vibrance of Kerala. A little design intervention, a play of colours & textures, a slight tweak to the original.
For us, The Kaithari Project is a richly rewarding journey of discovery & learning - we have taken away much more than we have contributed. This is our ode to the rich weaving heritage of Kerala.
In 2015, we celebrated Vimala having completed 30 years a seamstress (its actually more, but impossible to count accurately for someone who stitched clothes for herself before she turned 10). We had a surprise celebration of sorts – friends, family, well-wishers, the Seamstress team – all poured into the Thrissur store for a day of nostalgia. Friends from all over the world sent letters rich with memories of sunny days spent together at Vimalas. We (Vimala’s son Vineeth & I) put together a video of our memories & read out the nostalgia filled letters. Hope you enjoy watching these videos as much as we did making them.
The Anatomy of A Shoot
A little peek into our crazy world. There’s lights, camera, action of course but theres also hair, accessories, shoes, pins, draping, styling, ironing, cups of tea, aching legs and kids underfoot, until it all comes together in a beautiful creative explosion.