“Let me back up a half a century…

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by a sewing machine. I couldn’t have been more than three or four when I first remember seeing my grandmother sew on a treadle machine, rocking the foot pedal back and forth, giving it a boost with the hand wheel. Grandma Nettie loved fabric. She had boxes and boxes and boxes of fabric, in a little room upstairs in my grandfather’s old, log farmhouse, in North Glengarry. Anyway, that’s where I get it – my love of fabric, textures, colours, fashion – Nannie.

I started sewing at a very young age. My dear mother taught me. It is a skill that has served a practical and artistic use many, many times over, in my life, from mending my family’s clothing, to sewing large, industrial backdrops for a touring company that I performed with during my theatre years. In the summer of 2015, I started making what would eventually become my Ragged Ts. Only the coolest T-shirt in the world (says so on my business card), Ragged Ts are certainly one of a kind, wearable art! The traditional reverse-applique technique creates a vintage, “raggedy” flavour to the pieces . . . Hence the name, “Ragged Ts.” Drawing inspiration from another of my life-long passions, my first designs were musical in nature (guitar, musical staff, drums…) As with all my art, my line gradually grew from other influences – my love of animals, nature and visual art, among others – and I’m certain will continue to evolve. Today, there are over 20 designs, and are worn around the world.  Ragged Ts is now enjoying a residency at the ByWard Market, in Ottawa.

 

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