Sarah B – Treadled Textiles.

I am a Textile Artist with a focus on environmentally sympathetic practice. My flat-pack mannequins are a long term and permanent project and now, adjacent with the business of my flat-pack figures, I use eco and repurposed fabrics to make clothing, items and art pieces that are presented on FlatMannies whenever possible.

I have practised in art and design with a sensibility towards sustainability for years. A piece from my recycling work is archived in the Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP) in Poole, England and is a piece that formed part of a collection that won me the Best Newcomer Prize at the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey in 2004. Since then one of my early embroidery designs has been used as a visual, on screen, in Season 2 of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee.

I often embellish cloth with printed, appliqued or embroidery designs or with a combination of construction techniques. I have always had an affinity towards surface pattern and playing with colour and shape ever since the days of graduating from Brighton with a Fashion-Textiles degree and gaining a place at Texprint, London in the same year.

‘Maggie Bird’ designed in Autumn 2019 and block printed for zero-carbon shirts in January 2020. First shown at the Member’s Showcase exhibition at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, March 2020.
The block for ‘Maggie Bird’.

(On 15th July 2021 the Devon Guild of Craftsmen announced via their newsletter to members that it has a new name… MAKE Southwest.)

My georgeous vintage machines (undergoing some modifications here)… supported by an even more vintage treadle-table.
Treadling a Free-Machine-Embroidered Motif.


The sun shone briefly on this November day when two totes in gorgeously bright recycled cloth were finished. Their making marked a breakthrough in honing construction.

On a bright December day all the woollen jumpers (that have been collected over some time) got sorted into a colour-system. Ideas are coming together for what can be done with this resource….

Egg Cosies …… The first items treadle-made from the jumpers. (January 2021.)
I experimented with treadled-stitched structure recently… (March 2021) …It worked out…
April ’21 … Other ideas for what I’m currently calling ‘Standing (treadled) Stitches’ are coming together…
Early May ’21 … What I’ve decided to call the ‘Woolly Rouleaus’ project starts to make better sense now with the addition of a tea-cosy to the (so far) small collection.
Mid May ’21 – Discovered that Buildings can work in ‘standing stitches’ opening up a whole new realm of possibilities… This piece is called ‘A Falmouth Terrace’.
Standing Stitches in the Devon Guild’s Spring Show at Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey this year. This amazing show on the edge of Dartmoor is open from 29th May until 10th July 2021.
Batch production today (late June ’21) fortunately including wonderful colours, lovely rouleaus, soft linen and stitched drawings. And soon to literally include dried English lavender from Kent.