Sewn from 60 ties, unique piece of fashion created for Princeton woman
PRINCETON — Loretta Volker of Princeton will be sporting a unique piece of fashion in the near future.
She just finished sewing together a skirt made from her husband’s treasured necktie collection.
Dick Volker built a successful career in sales management with the Coca-Cola Company for more than 40 years. While working in the Chicago Loop in the 1960s and ‘70s, he was a frequent shopper at department stores that displayed new fashion ties.
Over the years, his collection of ties grew and grew, filling boxes and drawers. The ties vary from all shapes and sizes — some solid colors, others fun designs, many with Coca-Cola logos and others of his favorite sporting teams.
Wondering what to do with all the ties now being retired from Coca-Cola, Volker and his wife began asking around about having them turned into a quilt. They soon got acquainted with seamstress Laura Partipilo of Cherry, who has a strong background in sewing and fabric.
After examining the ties, Partipilo concluded it would be difficult to turn the fabric into a quilt. Instead, she suggested a skirt. So, over the course of several weeks, she and Loretta got sewing on a skirt pattern made from 60 ties.
While the design looks simple, Loretta said it would have been a difficult job for someone who doesn’t know fabric. She was grateful for Partipilo’s help with the project.
The finished skirt was finally tried on for the first time last week, and the fit could not have been more perfect.
“Her skills are so very good,” Loretta said.
Partipilo has been sewing since she was a kid. Like this project for the Volkers, she offers custom alterations. She also restores vintage dolls, makes quilts from T-shirts or sporting shirts, and mittens out of wool sweaters.
She urges people to donate old clothing to second-hand shops, which is where she purchases much of the fabric she uses for her projects.