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- I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Saturday, June 27, 2020
I am going to try and catch up some of my sewing projects with you. One of the things I have been doing this last week is to sew for my daughter. She needs something cool for work to wear under her lab coats.
She loved the shorter version of the Jalie 4017 skirt but I was stumped for a nice tank pattern that would hide her bra straps. I finally dug out my older Jalie 3246 maxi dress pattern and it was perfect shortened to a tank. I think that because this pattern has to open up for a bit more ease at the waist and hip, being a dress, it has just the right amount of skim in those areas but still is fitted around the neck and shoulders.
Katrina really liked this combination and if I ever get off the golf course this weekend I will be making her another top and skirt.
This will make it the fifth tank top I made for her this week. I had decided to conquer by coverhem binding process as part of this project. I had even bought a generic type binding attachment (my Juki 1500 doesn't have one from the manufacturer for this machine). However after struggling with that for most of a day I put that little unit where it belonged, in the bottom of the garbage can. I just couldn't get the right degree of stretch with the binding and my hands couldn't get in close enough for control.
I was disappointed with myself, since all of Facebook seems to get these binders to work. Then I remembered that the right way to do anything in sewing is your own way so I set out to figure out what worked for me.
Here is what I decided to do.
I did all my seams and attaching the first pass of binding on my serger. I used just a 3-thread and a long (4) stitch length to attach the strips of binding and shoulders to reduce bulk and switched to 4 threads for the side seams.
I used flat construction and hand tacked the seams to one side at one shoulder and the underarms to finish.
Here was the construction order:
1. Sew one shoulder seam, 3 thread serged.
2. Right side of 1" (2.5cm) binding to the wrong side of the neckline and along the armhole of the shoulder side that had been stitched. I just stretched the binding slightly by feel as I serged.
3. Fold the bindings to the right side and tuck the raw edge under. Pin and coverhem down, using the two left needles and keeping the edge of the binding nestled into the inner edge of the foot.
Here is what the binding looks like from the wrong side:
4. Sew the remaining shoulder seam, 3 thread serger, right up through the binding.
5. Apply the binding in two steps as above along the remaining armhole.
6. Serge the side seams, 4 threads, up through the binding.
7. Switch the coverhem to a wide hem, left and right needles the middle needle removed, and hem.
8. Tack the binding down to one side at the top of each side seam and along one shoulder seam. I threaded the serger tail back under the loopers of the seams before I did this. I was all surprisingly neat. Next one I should post a picture of that.
Not a bad little work outfit and fun to do.
Saturday, June 13, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020
Thursday, June 11, 2020
- Of the things I am grateful most for this pandemic season
- At the top of the list has to be the neighbourhood animals
- The two orange cats who run our street
- I think they have a schedule
- They take turns circling the houses
- Coming to the back doors and staring into the kitchen
- Confusing Daisy
- The white cat with three legs who doesn't move aside for anyone
- And Bailey
- The young Golden
- My dippy 89 year old neighbour bought for his wife after her twin spaniels died
- Nice thought but not if you need a walker
- So the neighbourhood is bring Bailey up
- A most walked dog anyway
- And the new puppy next door
- The cheerful conventions being held on that lawn
- Social distanced appreciation of that much joy
- Six people cheering when he pees outside
- Such a good boy
- I am also doing a lot of Greek cooking
- A lot
- Have planted the backyard with more herbs
- Going through a lot of mint, oregano, and dill
- I think plants like people move towards the light
- Need this kind of time to appreciate that
- Also appreciate my neighbour behind me
- She runs and she gardens
- All day she gardens
- After she runs
- She raised three successful boys
- While her husband worked 30 years of double shifts
- She didn't garden, or run, until that job was done
- I look out my kitchen window and enjoy the view
- And her enjoyment
- All her hard work gives me flowers to share
- I have to get silver polish
- I am letting the kids have tea out of my grandmother's teapot and in her teacups
- This must be what she was saving them for in her china cabinet
- Dusted and behind glass
- Now on my back deck
- I am assuming they still carry silver polish at the grocery store
- Haven't checked that since 1972
- My mother was big on polishing the silver
- When company was coming you had to either do that or clean the bathrooms
- I am old enough now to have had a father who used to say he didn't need a dishwasher because he had five
- Four daughters and a wife
- So happy to know that my kids would never believe he said things like that
- Don't remember him doing the silver either
- These weeks it seems to me to be a time that we clean out our cultural attics
- Just because you don't use something now doesn't mean it isn't being stored
- There should be a curbside pickup day for wrong assumptions
- And old crap you used to hear
- Yesterday the car stopped at the drugstore and I went in and took a box of semipermanent off the shelf
- The kids thought it was a great idea
- And after I was redder the oldest cut my hair on the deck
- She's 10 and knows what she is doing
- I was interested to hear all her opinions and views on hair cutting
- You learn a lot on the head of an American girl doll
- If you have been stressing about what to put on my eventual tombstone
- Can I suggest
- Anything for a laugh?
- I should add
- That the same father typed out my honours thesis on a tiny Royal typewriter
- With a return and ribbon
- Down in the basement late at night after work
- Undoubtedly there was no curbside pickup in his day
- Times were changing
- Even then