Clothesmaking mavens

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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

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So where did summer go?

The fact that this post is called that should tell you all you need to know about my current level of organization.

Suddenly I looked out the window at Nova Scotia today and guess what? It was snowing. Big, wet flakes of the stuff we had everywhere around here this time last year. Great weather for tea drinking, internet surfing, and sewing - inside. The kind of weather that makes you want to call work and say "I will see you in four months". The kind of weather that no one but the dog wants to go out into, and which leads to long discussions about whose turn it is to walk the dog.

Last time I looked it was August.

So what happened?

Well we had a wedding at the end of September, and for those of us who teach, an October spent catching up for the fact that our minds were not on job-related planning all September, and then pants fitting, and now it's mid November. Practically Christmas and another one that I will not do all the wonderful things I resolved last December 26th to get done this year. Make a beautiful, meaningful gift a month all year for example.

And I feel like sewing. However I have things to do in the next month, and major sewing projects will not be one of them. So here's what's up:

1. Three pull on elastic waist skirts for my mother from black, grey and purple rayon/poly crepe. When I visited her in Winnipeg last spring I made my mom three simple skirts like this from cotton. Like most other 80 year olds she is finding it impossible to buy clothes that are comfortable and not made of 100% polyester. In a sewer's world there is nothing easier to make that a two-piece elastic waist skirt and I felt terrible when I realized how thrilled she was with them. Worse still when she called me (we talk every day so I heard this a lot) that all her friends and the ladies in church wanted to know where she got those great skirts. So those are my mom's present this year.
2. Alterations. I know this is the dreaded sewer's "A" word and most of us would rather make a fully lined winter coat than say sew on a button or, worst of all,replace the zipper in jeans but, facing the fact that the next few weeks are just going to be too busy to start anything major, I realize that there are so many items in my closet that really could be moved from gathering-dust-on-the-hanger to wearable status if I just got moving and used my skills to update/alter/refurbish. I am thinking of great blouses that I should add darts or tucks to, to give them shape, skirt waists that need taking in, long sleeves that should be 3/4-ed. 

I think I will start the list. And the best thing about all of this, is once it is done I won't have to do it again. The holiday dishes will be done and I can get back to real sewing.


Anonymous said...


So glad to find your blog and keep up with the details of your sewing life. It has been a pleasure to read your posts in SG.


Barbara said...

Karendee thanks so much for the comment. Sometimes I think, who would be interested in this, but sewing is both a solitary and an exciting activity and it is nice to share. Both the mistakes and the successes. I know I have learned a lot from other sewer's blogs.

a little sewing said...

Barbara, you are so right about the alterations. We hate to do them, but during busy times it's a good way to pluck the low-hanging fruit.
The good thing about alterations is sitting next to a good lamp, with a cup of tea and the seam ripper. I find it as soothing as I suppose knitters enjoy their craft. I love the pic of your dog. Must read more of your blog to see if you have posted any doggie details :)

Barbara said...

Robin not to worry there will be more pictures of Rascal over the next few weeks as he and I get ready for the holidays and mark 100 exams and 100 term papers and attack our overdue pile of alterations. Must be the economic mood but I am thinking more and more these days of what I can fix up and salvage, and you are right this is a way to do a little sewing when there isn't the time or energy for launching anything major.