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. That house, that little room with the chalkboard from the old school house down the lane where my sister and I used to play, and my maternal grandparents, were some of the beautiful memories of my turbulent childhood. The house has since been torn down, the memories have not.
Anyway, that’s where I get it – my love of fabric, textures, colours, fashion – Nannie.
Throughout my life, I have always had a box or two or five of fabric. A few years ago, when I packed only what would fit into my car, and moved east, among those few things that I did bring was a box of fabric and my sewing machine.
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 – the coolest T-shirt in the world.. says so, right there on my business card.
My cotillion, so to speak, was at Marlin Orchard’s annual fundraising arts and crafts sale. I had no idea what to expect the morning of, but when they sold out by the end of day, I knew that my life was going to change. Indeed it did.
Since then, I have travelled from Cornwall to St. John’s and back, now happily enjoying a residency at the famed ByWard Market, in Ottawa.
After a few false starts in the past months, I am delighted to announce the very special grand re-opening of Ragged Ts, in a sweet little sidewalk shop, on the corner of Willam and George Streets, starting June 11.
The past year, and some, has been difficult for all of us. I am forever grateful for your love, support and fanship, without which, I wouldn’t have been able to continue with this dream.
Today, there are over 40 different designs worn all around the world… Ragged Ts!, You’ve come a long way, baby!
Visit www.raggedts.com to view the entire collection.