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Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in Andy blogs, Bow Ties, Bowties, Conversions, Neck Ties, sewing |

Springmaid and Scenes from ‘Bourbon and Bow Ties’


The only thing better than an evening in a bow tie?  An evening in a bow tie with a Bourbon in one hand.

The only thing better than an evening in a bow tie with a Bourbon? Why, an evening in a bow tie, with a Bourbon, enjoying blues, in a museum.

The only thing better than all of the above?

If you come wearing a necktie, and while you’re sipping your Bourbon and enjoying your blues, said necktie is being deconstructed and converted into a bow tie right before your eyes.

That’s what Ellie and Dominique did for our friends at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia a fortnight back. And it was gobs of fun.


There were, in fact, four other Carolina bow tie makers set up for the event as well. The fellow next to us lives in our old neighborhood and named his bow tie company Titanic Alley after the long-gone section of our neighborhood that capitulated to a sprawling Cadillac dealership. It turns out that he got his inspiration from The Cordial Churchman after buying his first of many bow ties from us at a Columbia craft faire 2 years back.


I think that he and I were both a little intimidated by the velocity and grace with which Dominique and Ellie reconfigured neckties into bow ties, even while sipping Bourbon. They’re good, those Belles.


The event coincided and overlapped with an exhibit that first debuted in Winthrop University Galleries, Between the Springmaid Sheets. The Cordial Churchman was privileged to be asked to produce dozens of bow ties from archival Springmaid fabrics for both exhibitions.


It was only a little bit awkward watching my illustrator friend and Cordial Churchman branding designer Stephen Crotts gaze in awe at the framed Springmaids in their impeccably illustrated, high-flying skirts. Technique, he said. I believe him.

I’ll leave you with the top 2 most gratifying experiences of the evening for most attendees:

1. Experiencing the bow tie that was a necktie just a few minutes before.


2. Experiencing the largest bow tie made of turkey feathers ever worn by a woman. (Note: this was not a former necktie.)


A big thanks to Ken May, Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, and Paul Matheny, South Carolina State Museum Curator of Art, for being the kind of gentlemen that bring Bourbon and bow ties together and call it art. And especially to Paul who had the Belles do some performance art in his space among such fine people.

– Andy