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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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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Been busy sewing

When I opened my blog this morning I couldn't believe how long it has been since I posted. I also realized that the last time I wrote anything also marked the day that my summer company started arriving, closely followed by the week of prep and week of sewing of the Wardrobe in a week competition at Stitchers Guild.

I am posting the suit, blouse and skirt (you had to make four items in a week that you had cut out and marked the week before) I completed for that one. I have also been busy with baby sewing for my daughter, bedskirt for the crib, valance, receiving blankets, wet bags for transporting the diapers, and knitting more diaper covers/soakers. It has been an intense sewing time for me and I can feel I am entering into one of those phases.

I also reconnected with an old friend I haven't seen in a long time and we had a good sewing Saturday together. She was in a bad accident and still in recovery and it was poignant to see her slowly start to sew again and how nice it was for her to see something come together.

Oh yes and I have been super busy at work getting a new program launched and a new course online. Neither are really my thing, what I love to to do is teach and it was useful to struggle with administration (all those meetings how do people stand it?) this summer to remind myself that the classroom is where I belong.

First off let me tell you what Wardrobe in a Week sewing has taught me.

I am a real sewing contest failure. I tried SWAP a couple of times and ended up with things that fit the rules but I didn't want to wear. WiaW has limited garments, four, and a tight time frame so the emphasis is on sewing not planning (see comments about aptitude for the classroom versus the meeting room) and I do better at that. WiaW, invented by the way by the brilliant Ruthie, the sewing contest champ, also has built in to it a whole week in advance where you are not allowed to sew, only get organized. I thought in the past getting a pattern and fabric was as organized as I needed to be before I started sewing but I was wrong. Held back from actually stitching I had nothing better to do than fit, cut, fuse and go and get in the buttons, thread and zippers, wind bobbins and put it into bags (BTW those plastic bags with zippers new blankets come in are great for WiaW prep). This is not my usual procedure and I can tell you if you get everything ready in advance your sewing just flies by. This reminds me of my change in my baking when I decided to pre-measure all my ingredients just like a cooking show (and put all the other stuff away) before I made anything, as opposed to the old way where I would walk back and forth to the pantry as I went ... one teaspoon of baking powder, where did I put that etc.

Makes the whole process enjoyable. So I have decided to prep and bag all my fall projects, the other thing I have been doing, and plan on treating all my sewing if I can like a WiaW.


Shannon said...

All your WiaW garments are gorgeous!

Renee said...

I love that suit and blouse! Wow!

Brenda said...

Absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to get started on this suit!! Love it!!!

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Wow! Can I just say that the suit is beautiful and inspiring me to pull my pattern out and make this up! I see that you HK finished the seams. Is that the way the pattern is suppose to be made? Why did I think it was lined? Can you tell I'm excited!!! *LOL* Love, love, love your version!!

Barbara said...

Thanks everyone, Carolyn yes the pattern called for HK finishes and for once I enjoyed not lining. The tweed has body and unlined it is as comfortable as a sweater. One caution though the Vogue instructions are a bit heavy duty. They suggested that the edges on the bias be turned under on each side and basted in place. Since it was bias I just stitched it down, right sides together, flipped it to the back and ditch stitched it down. I also bound the edges before I started construction - results were just as nice and so much faster.

Marie-Noƫlle said...

I love Hong Kong finish
I loved that pattern the 1st time I saw it
It's even better on you

Nancy K said...

A great accomplishment with beautiful clothing to show for it! Your fabric choices are terrific and really work well together. It's amazing what you can sew in a week when you've done all the prep work ahead of time. Brava!