Sue Keyes, the featured speaker, told the group about her introduction to sewing at age 5, illustrating her talk with a slide presentation.
“My mother lived through the Depression and her motto was ‘waste not, want not,’” Keye said. “She wore a lot of repurposed things because she had to make do, and I learned from her. I’d watch her sew, and when I was 5 years old I started sewing things myself. It was mostly doll clothes in the beginning.”
Keyes has three sewing machines and makes her own patterns from brown paper – the kind used for packaging material. Not much is thrown away in her house. When something is “worn out,” she repurposes it. She also redesigns clothes from items found in thrift stores into fashionable “new” pieces.
As she explained her methods of repurposing, models walked through the audience wearing the garments. Several pieces in her “Tie One On” collection had old neckties worked into the design.
Keye is a registered nurse, but her passion for clothing design inspired her to pursue a degree in fine arts. She also designs fleece coats for dogs.