Recently a friend asked if I could find a way to use a selection of her husband’s ties to make him a very personal gift that would evoke his years as a headteacher. I dismantled twelve ties, cut the fabric into rectangles, pieced, sliced and reassembled to cover the front of a waistcoat in a mosaic of colour. This created what he called his “technicoloured memory coat”. Since then I have continued to explore how to use silk ties and patchwork techniques to create different patterns. Bias cut silk is a slippery medium, but the colours are both vivid and subtle and the finshed article can be vibrant or subdued.
I have always enjoyed sewing and indulged a passion for fabrics. I think I could probably remember every piece I made throughout my school years: starting about 7 with a pinny for my mother with red embroidery on grey checks! Later, I completed a course at the Tailor and Cutter Academy in London which extended my skills considerably. Many years have gone by with more mending than creating – and now at last I am able to find the time to explore new possibilities