lost glove

Here’s some work I’ve been playing with in between my projects. I’m always a bit wistful in winter as I gradually find lost gloves around the place – the height of the ‘lost glove season’ is usually February – being the coldest I suppose. I come across the odd stray glove on the pavement usually but better is when they’ve been picked up and left hanging (almost waving) on a fence, wall or gate post , waiting to be reunited with their other half, so they can be of use and comfort again. Both gloves are ‘lost’ and there’s only the faintest chance of them being used again. I love the way a leather glove has its own memory of its wearer creased in its skin – a textile DNA almost and the gloves will never really fit a new wearer as their hands (even if the same size) dont have the same lines, curves and wrinkles. Stories of recent lost gloves would be...

peg bag

I’ve completed a peg bag. The peg bag holds special memories for me because as a child this was the first piece I’d sewn and completed with my Grandmother teaching me. The bag is made by taking a length of fabric, folded twice and sewn up the sides and inserting a hanger with its hook coming out of a small hole in the top. I recently made my Mum a new bag but used fabrics found in my Grandmother’s attic as the house was being cleared after she had died. Although the bag is a pretty mundane object it actually holds a lot of significance as sewing and doing the washing seem to be a major part of my life in amongst everything else. So I took this idea of ‘can you remember a peg bag in your household’ and opened it up for wider discussion, memories and stories. I didn’t really expect much on this seemingly dull idea but I was overwhelmed by the response I got back. Lots of stories about the peg bag being the first ever sewing project at home with their mother or grandmother teaching or undertaken as a school project. Many still recall the details of the stitching, the fabric used and even some lettering spelling out phrases such as ‘I Hate Wash Days’ and ‘MY PEG BAG’ etc. So I constructed a new bag but included lots of the stories that were sent in as the text on the inner and outer fabric. I also found a book “The Household Book of Hints and Wrinkles” that explained how to launder and dry...

child’s strait jacket

A memory of a most hated garment was sent to me. This person was placed in care as a child and whenever he or another child was naughty or caught fighting or even just if he was crying, he was made to wear a strait jacket until he had calmed down. They recall that a lesser punishment was being locked in the laundry cupboard with the light off. Images that follow are samples from my sketch book and the finished jacket. Handmade with excerpts of the memory screenprinted onto the fabric. Other parts of the text are secreted in the lining and stitiching of the...

welcome from Julia O’Connell

Hi and thanks for dropping in. My area of practice is in textiles, I’m interested in deconstructing and reconstructing garments, like old or found clothes. I’ve included some photos of my early work. These pieces were made after I’d emailed people to ask them about their most favourite or hated garments from their past. From the recollections I received, I then reinterpreted the stories into new textile artefacts, using hand and machine stitch. Its facinating to hear about someone’s favourite dress or their mother’s old leather gloves etc. I also love the way in which they recount the memory and the choice of words used. I’m always on the look out for new projects so if you have a memory of a particular garment whether it belonged to you or another then I’d love it if you would share that here. Try and describe the piece, the colour and texture if you can and things like the smell even! I always remember the inside of my Mum’s bag, it smelled of her favourite perfume Intimate, by Yardley I think, and it’s scent had infused the lining of the bag. Tell me why you liked/or hated the garment, perhaps there was something that happened when you wore it, or a particular event etc. Whatever memory you have I look forward to your stories. And if you just want to comment on my work, then please leave me a...