For the time being I have put down my scissors and covered my sewing machine while I concentrate on grandmother duty and running the Beacon.
I started sewing again after a break of about 20 years; I took up my scissors and dusted off the machine because I love making, rather than rekindling any connection to fashion. I don't understand fashion!!
Three years ago an exhibition entitled Relative Heroines' was put on here at the Beacon, of work by me, my daughter, my sister, and her daughter (my neice). My heroine was American designer Claire McCardell who was active in the 1930s, '40s and 50's, being one of the first truly American designers by not taking her lead from Paris due to the war. She designed clothes using workwear fabrics – denim, cottons, knits – often simple garments and often modelled on the stand. My kind of designer.
Clothesline evolved with Belinda Cockburn joining me, producing wearable clothes for real women in our studio on the ground floor of the Beacon. Everything designed and sewn here, by us.
Photos by Andrew Parkinson