Silk Tie Flowers

Create wearable art with silk tie flowers

Silk Tie Flowers with Gretchen Keelty

Join local artist Gretchen Keelty on Facebook on Wednesday 19 August at 10am to learn how to transform an old necktie into a beautiful rose that can be used as a brooch, on a hair pin, hair tie, headband and hat or used as a decoration.

Most neck ties languish in the back of the wardrobe, only being worn to weddings, funerals and job interviews. These beautiful garments, often made from luxurious fabrics such as silk, usually go to waste. The magic of ties is not only the quality of fabric used, but the surprise of the inside/ wrong side of the fabric. If the design has been woven into the fabric, often the flip side is quite different.

If you have several ties of a similar colour palette, have a go at the second part of the workshop, making a necklace from your silk tie roses.

To make a silk rose:

  • a tie (or several).
  • a quick unpick.
  • a needle and thread in a similar colour to your ties.
  • scissors or thread cutters.
  • a flat space to work.

To make the necklace:

  • several tie roses.
  • two pieces of felt approximately 15 x 25cm in a colour that goes with your ties.
  • interfacing/vilene (stiff is best) 15 x 25cm.
  • ribbon, cord, or chain to create the back of the necklace.
  • needle and thread.


  • sewing machine (zigzag or straight stitch).
  • other adornments such as buttons, beads and sequins of using less roses.

Gretchen Keelty is a local artist who has lived, studied and worked in various parts of Australia and the world. She has completed a Masters of Fine Art Production in Valencia, Spain, and her most recent works have been in collaboration with biologists and agro-ecologists, examining ecosystems and biodiversity. Her latest adventures involve joining the Sunshine Coast's Reef Clean Team, helping to keep our local coral reefs safe and healthy. Follow Gretchen’s adventures on Instagram @gretchenkeeltyartist.

Supported by Sunshine Coast Council Living Smart program for fabric – Slow Fashion, Artful Living Program. The program celebrates the extraordinary talents of the region's artists, designers and change-makers. Sunshine Coast Council shines a light on ethically focussed practice, inspired design and resourcefulness. 

Sunshine Coast Libraries members have loaned sustainable fashion titles 512 times! On the move? Check out the range of titles on eBooks and eMagazines available through Libraries. Free access 24/7 with your library card or to get the full wearable art experience head to the library catalogue to reserve these little reading champions.


Reserve these titles and collect from your local library:

View the help guide for reserving items. Libraries will alert you when an item is ready for collection. If you are not member, join online.


Libraries love these sustainable fashion eBooks:

Borrow up to 30 eBooks on your device. To get started, download the ePlatform by Wheelers, RBDigital and Libby apps. Select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password. Need help setting up your device for eBooks? Watch this video tutorial.


Libraries love this sustainable fashion eAudiobook:

  • Fashionopolis: the price of fast fashion and the future of clothes by Dana Thomas. Today, the clothing industry churns out 80 billion garments a year and employs every sixth person on Earth. Bestselling journalist Dana Thomas has travelled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion. An investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry – and the grassroots, high tech, international movement fighting to reform it.

You can borrow up to 30 eAudiobooks on your device. To get started, download the BorrowBox, Libby, and RBDigital apps, select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password. Need help setting up your device for eAudiobooks? Watch this video tutorial.


Get inspired by these with these eMagazines:

  • American Craft
  • Mollie Makes
  • Peppermint
  • Australian Homespun
  • Frankie
  • Pip Permaculture
  • Green
  • Green Living Guide

To get started using free eMagazines download the RBDigital app, select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password.


Listen on the go with these sustainable fashion podcasts:

  • Conscious Chatter: a podcast about how "what we wear matters", is hosted by US-based Kestrel Jenkins who uses her audio space to talk about the garment industry, the social and environmental issues and how to spark change.
  • Wardrobe Crisis: hosted by Clare Press, journalist, ethical fashion advocate and author. Clare invites guests from the fashion industry, from researchers through to designers, and together they tackle real issues that surround the fashion industry but concentrate more on ethical matters, sustainability and environmental concerns.
  • Fashion Revolution: Tamsin Blanchard investigates the issues behind fast fashion. Speaking to garment workers, supply chain experts, activists and politicians, she chews over the hidden facts behind fashion production and the rag trade.
  • Pre-Loved: hosted by Emily Stochl is a podcast for lovers of preloved fashion. For each weekly podcast show, Emily invites guests – vintage store owners, stylists and other preloved style revolutionaries – to talk about their love for thrift, vintage and DIY fashion, how they began their fashion revolution journey and why second-hand clothes are their first choice.

All podcasts are free and available to listen on: Android - Google Play, Procast, Downcast, Pocket Casts, Player FM and AntennaPod. iOS - Apple Podcasts app, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Podbean and Stitcher. You can also stream podcasts from Spotify. 


Stream these free slow fashion documentaries Kanopy:

  • Sweatshop: the hunt for a living wage. In 2014, three young fashion bloggers come to Phnom Pehn, to spend a month and live the life of a Cambodian garment worker. They were horrified to learn about the conditions at the factories which sparked controversy around the world. In this sequel, four Scandinavian blogger return to Cambodia as activists.

First time customer: select "Add Library Card" and enter your member number and password. Create a Kanopy account, then verify your email address.

fabric – Slow Fashion, Artful Living

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