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Sewing with less stress Front
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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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Thursday, July 2, 2009

On my way home soon

I feel badly for neglecting this blog, which I enjoy, but a lot has been going on. First of all I have been away visiting my mom and two of my sisters and nieces and nephew in Winnipeg. It has been a very good visit but I had to leave when Rascal got really very sick, with pancreatitis it turned out, very bad and very scary. This has involved about six calls home a day to my dear spouse for extensive phone discussions about his bowel movements, refusal to walk, the vet, the IV etc. This may have been brought on by some garbage he got into who knows. He seems to be much better now with my DH up early every morning to make him a special breakfast and send me emails with subject line "our boy." We have a wonderful vet who tells us that this could be chronic and we are going to manage it with diet and care.

This is incredibly stressful and I have gone through several pet illnesses with various dogs and you maybe have to be a family that has always had animals to understand how this really is a family illness.

So that's part of it and the rest involves a bit more pressure to take a different promotion at work and the conflicting issues that brings.

With all this going on it has been nice to spend some time with my family and my mom. I have spent my adult life in different cities and sometimes countries than my family but we have been very close. I talk to my mother, all the distance apart, at least once a day, so you get the picture, and my mother is the model of a long distance grandmother to my kids who really could not be closer to her than if they had grown up on the next street. That is quite the achievement on her part.

My sewing has traveled with me.

One of my sisters here is incredibly creative and she is always doing things that I hadn't thought of. At the moment she is crocheting rugs, they are so beautiful, and she asked me to bring fabric scraps for her to add to her supplies.

If I had scraps.

Ha. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to let go of some fabric that was making me feel guilty - it didn't grab me any more but that didn't seem reason enough to throw it out - that would have been like throwing away cash - but by giving it to her I could let it go guilt free. Very liberating.

So I arrived with a huge suitcase of scraps which once I had moved them into her house, left me with an empty suitcase to fill with new fabric.

Which I did, but not with my usual garment fabric because I had been sent on a mission.

September First Grandchild arrives and my DD has decided to use cloth diapers (to eliminate the 4,000 that one small bottom can deposit into the landfills apparently) and diaper covers, either knitted "soakers" (my mom had a 1942 pattern waiting for me when I arrived, I will have to post pictures for laughs when I get home) or sewn diaper covers.

I have discovered that there are more hits for cloth diapers that for Michael Jackson on the internet I swear and it has taken us a while to digest it all. I actually used cloth diapers for both of my sons who seemed to get screaming red rashes if there was a disposable in the house but it's more complicate than that these days. We are doing "pre-folds" which, if you are as not up-to-date like I wasn't means they stitched with extra layers in the middle third between two layers and serged top and bottom. These are being sold around here for $3-$6  diaper with the ones they call "all-in-ones" a waterproof diaper cover with the diaper layers sewn in for $25 each and the diaper covers ( basically pants that wrap to the front and fasten with velcro or snaps) for $12 each.

If you are of my generation and sew this is outrageous. What sort of person would pay $25 a diaper? This IMO is nuts, and finally finally I can make my sewing pay, after decades of spending probably more to make my clothes than buy them.

So off to the local Winnipeg fabric outlet where, guess what I found? - diaper flannel for $1.80 a meter, waterproof fabric for the diaper covers, fleece to line the covers with (pictures, many pictures will follow once I get back home and into production) and amazingly I also found 100% wool fleece meant for hospital bed covers ( good for preventing bedsores actually and excellent for baby changing pads and mattress pads ( when I had my first in Australia I learned to appreciate the value of wool and sheepskin for babies) 150 cm. wide and $12.95 a meter. This was thrilling to me as we had seen some little changing pads made of the same stuff in an upscale baby shop for $35 for something the size of a turkey platter.

Of course afraid that I would never again in my life come across so much useful stuff, and banking on my daughter's apparent fertility, I bought 20 meters of flannel, enough supplies to make about 60 diaper covers and 3.5 meters of this fleece stuff.

Air Canada not being the sports they should be, I am now going to be massively over weight and what this will cost me to ship home, these bargains I have bought, is a piece of information I will keep to myself.

I will just leave you with the great fabric prices I snagged.

I don't know if any of you other sewers felt this when your kids were little, but I never was able to dress my kids as well as I wanted to. The precious designer duds were out of my price range and I didn't have the time, bringing the three of them up, even though I sewed constantly for my kids, to make all I wanted . I truly regret not being able to make more neat clothes for them when they were little, and too often stuck to the knits pants and tops I could put together while Mr. Rogers was on.

I think I have a second chance now, and it feels pretty good to be sewing useful again.