Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

Sewing with less stress back cover

Sewing with less stress back cover
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About me

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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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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sewing time

I am taking today to sew myself something easy and useful. I need the break in the action and so do the people around me. Time for Mom to recharge. I have all my end of term marking coming up, plus some new semi-online courses for next semester to develop, the pre-Christmas move of the little family to help with, Christmas and a houseful of company, including a 10 year old niece who loves to sew. This is a funny kid. Her mom, my youngest sister, is deaf and this little girl got herself signed up for sewing classes this summer by email. She will appreciate my new sewing room and enjoy my stash, I am looking forward to sharing this with her.

Before I talk about sewing things, I want to say a few words of things I am grateful for this morning, still in bed with my laptop and coffee after my 7:30 a.m. wake-up call to watch Sewing with Nancy:

1. My granddaughter. Seeing the look on my daughter's face with her is amazing, as I can see that my child now feels the way about some little person as I do about her. The beginning of a lifelong connection.
2. That my son is alive. Not everyone makes it through a fall through a stairwell down onto a concrete floor. The ER folks made that pretty clear.
3. My family. Both my son from D.C. and my sister from Ottawa flew in for weekends after the baby was born to stand in the kitchen and make innumerable freezer meals for the new family. They are both awesome cooks and I am proud to be part of such a practical family. Yes it all gets a bit intense sometimes living as a group but they always come through, always.
4. My 82 year old mother for also visiting me and for giving me a good example of active aging - I should know so much about current events at her age.
5. My husband for being a sport, such a sport and for treating my children, who he didn't even meet until he was 48, exactly like his own. For serving my mom gourmet meals, lobster et al., every night she was here (and for my Prairie mom of the add a can of mushroom soup culture acting like she was used to such fancy treatment), for doing all the work to get DD's house to sell, and for all the times he says to me "don't worry about it, it will all work out" and for being right about that.
6. For my son-in-law. He knows me and so often he looks across the room at me and I know he just gets it. For explaining young men to me when I find being the mother of young men confusing being one of four girls myself.
7. For the dogs. Josie, Rascal and Birdie, mine, my son's and my daughter's. Often when things are busy I do the dogs and dogs always seem to me to have their priorities right. Lift your nose to the air and sniff, love a sunny day, rest when times are slow and always be ready for a fun time when it presents itself. 
8. For Birdie in particular. One of the incredible things about the place I live in is its generosity. Near me is one of those very old, establishment golf courses and when the season is over they open a hole in the fence for the neighourhood to use the course for dog walking. I did that yesterday and when I went back to the car realized that somewhere my car key had fallen out of my pocket. My DH was out of town with the other key so we walked the 18 again looking for the key - a pretty hopeless task but I told Birdie to find the key (he is a border collie and a good listener, the other two just major in random behaviour and fooling around). He ran around bringing me any stick he could find and but eventually after 36 holes turned up the key in a pile of leaves. What are the odds? A good dog, a very good dog.

Now onto sewing.

Today I need some instant sewing. I am going to make myself a velour knit dress for practical around the house holiday wear. A tights and Clark mules outfit for what will really be going on around here. Usually my Christmas outfit is for my husband's company's party which has always been a very dressed up and formal affair, long dresses and the whole bit, but for some reason they are doing a hayride thing at a farm, how hopeless is that, and we aren't going.

A comment on one of the things I have missed most during my sewing absence - something new to wear. Usually I have a new garment every week or two and having something new is a lift isn't it? I really missed that and have been forced en route to other things lately to go into the stores. With money in my pocket I have bought nothing and have come away feeling that I just can't dress myself at all unless I sew it myself. Here are the reasons:

1. Fabric quality. I am amazed at how chintzy the fabric is in even fairly pricey clothes. Polyester in everything - if I wouldn't invest in this fabric on the bolt why would I pay so much to have something made up in it? We don't in Nova Scotia have those outlet centres like they do every 10 miles on the US highways so maybe my choice is limited but is there nothing being made these days in quality fabric? My only purchases this year have been online from Landsend and if anyone has any other ideas for quality simple clothes I would be interested.
2. Too much decoration. I am facing the fact that the only clothes I really am comfortable in long term are pretty simple in nice fabrics.
3. Too much money for too little. OK there may be good reasons to spend $200 on a cotton blouse but I can't think of them. Not when it is $8 a meter fabric at the most and nothing special.
4. Fit. A jacket that is tight across the bust, too short and has a baggy neck and sloppy sleeves. No Ms. Sales lady it doesn't look great on me. I need a size small neck, a tall length, and a FBA and medium to large waist. What rack is that on?

OK that's it. Off to the sewing room.

Friday, November 20, 2009

So what happened to me?

There has been a lot going on in my life between me and this blog lately. Here is a short list in no particular order:

1. Grandbaby- I work full-time and my sewing time has recently be transferred into being part of the baby support unit. Very gratifying.
2. A son on the DL- my youngest is a student working part-time as a carpenter while he is at school. He was involved in a workplace accident that could have easily been very, very bad however he walked away with only a smashed shoulder and other less serious injuries. He is back at home with Birdie his dog and has needed some attention.
3. DD mother of new baby and her husband had a chance to buy a much bigger house in their area which required a 10 day window to repaint and totally redo their place to sell. Both the buying and selling missions are accomplished thanks largely to my husband who did nothing but paint his heart out for a full week straight. She will be moving in to her new place one week before Christmas.... part two of the saga.
4. Visitors - my family likes to go through everything together and so the sheets from the spare room have been in and out of that washing machine non-stop. Good to see people but no time to SWAP.
5. Oh yes the job, for some reason my career has gone into overdrive. Anyone free to help me mark the 110 term papers that will hit my desk Monday?

For the first time in probably 30 years it has been about 2 months since I have sewn anything. It is a crazy feeling.

Thanks though for Ruthie who put me on to earring making. I have been able to hide out in the basement for a minute here and there and have been churning them out, one at a time, and without this minor release valve on my creativity I probably would have exploded all over the walls. Thanks Ruthie, from me and from my family.

However I have thought many deep sewing thoughts in the interim and will be posting those as soon as I can. I am on my way back I hope.