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I am a mother, a new 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 first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

School work

Rascal is waiting for a long walk and so this has to be efficient.

As you know the lines between my life and my sewing are pretty blurred. Often what I do in one area seems to help me understand another.

Take cultural audits. I teach a management class and one of the things students do is conduct an audit of an organizational culture. There are three things they look for:

Artifacts (the stuff - how people answer to phone, right down to the training manuals)
Values (what the organization says about itself - Our customers/patients/clients come first)
Assumptions (what lies below the conscious talk but powerfully determines behaviour, in the past things like women would always quit work to have a family and therefore were not worth promoting, and one that is my favourite this year from an African-Canadian student "there will never be a Black president of the United States in my lifetime" .... Well assumptions are pretty hard to change and people will cling to them even when it is not productive, even when it cuts them off from talent and progress).

So how does this apply to sewing?

OK here is my list:

Artifacts: Pfaff 7570, 4862 serger, 4 other older machines - 8 boxes of fabric, a lifetime supply of random notions, about 30 active patterns, 40 sewing books.

Values- I sew to achieve a better quality wardrobe that fits and is original.

Assumptions - it is possible for me to sew all my own clothes, to have them all be beautiful, flattering and fit. I have time to sew to the limits of my ability on every garment. I can make better than I can buy. The list goes on and examining whether or not my assumptions are enabling or hindering my enjoyment of sewing and my product are something Rascal and I are going to discuss on our walk.

What is your sewing culture?


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a post. Very thought provoking. I agree with you about how life and sewing are blurred and impact each other, at least for me too. I will have to think on this some more, especially as I do battle with chiffon tonight.

a little sewing on the side said...

goodness, my sewing culture is a whole lot like yours!! I really do believe I have what I need to sew all of my own clothes. Amazingly - it has come to pass.

And (lol) I might have enough fabric to last the rest of my life, just to be safe, you know.

goodworks1 said...

So...what have you decided about your assumptions?

I finally last year started buying fabric for basics. Yes, it's boring to make them, but I really do like wearing them. Do I need to prove to myself that I can make a warm enough parka? I made one for my dd about 25 years ago; I don't have much desire to repeat that....

I am very much appreciating your posts.