Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

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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, October 2, 2010

Very Weird Vintage pattern give-away

Here we go. This lot of oddball patterns will go to the first person who emails me with your address. Please send me your address with your message. I feel bad when I get dozens of emails asking for my patterns but with no address to send them. Know too that I delete all emails with this information as soon as the patterns are sent.

UFOs and pattern give-away

This has been a busy school week, articulating why I gave up working with adults to work with kids. "Sorry I missed that test but I had a medical emergency ... jewelry allergy." The thing about people in their very early twenties is that they take the small issues in life so seriously and don't take the big issues seriously at all.

The kind of stuff that drives you crazy when you are a parent but gives you lots of laughs, and helps you keep your own perspective, when you work with them.

On the sewing front I have decided to finish off the last of outstanding UFOs - a wool crepe sheath that I am planning on also using as a sort of jumper, and a shell and one of those drapey cozy things that I cut out last year and need to finish since this winter is probably the last one that they will be in style. I have already cut a lot of length off it because I decided having those long pointy things hanging out from under my winter coat wouldn't be an entirely cool look.

I have also decided to race through my pattern give-aways. Sending them out one at a time is going to take me a while, and as far as postage goes, putting more than one pattern in the envelope is efficient.

So I have decided to group my patterns with descriptive names and post them for give-aways, starting later today.

Now mind you I will not be insulted if you look at some of these and say "what was she thinking" in fact I may have a group called just that. And I know that there may be some in each group you don't like, and some you may wonder why I ever picked them up at the yard sale.

The point is that every pattern I can send out is one that I no longer feel I should be making use of and having that off my to-do list (and onto yours) is quite freeing.

I also really like the woman at my local Canada Post office and excursions to see is never time wasted.

So later today "Very weird vintage"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

On "age appropriate"dressing

My friend Robin from A little sewing on the side asked me a good question a few days ago, and all through this busy week I have been considering it.

Robin asked if I would wear a long tunic with tights and boots. At the heart of responding to that question is the larger one of do you ever decide you are too old for a certain look?

Well Robin I will certainly wear a tunic with tights if I decides it suits me.

The rule I have made for myself is not to dress as if I was 25, but not to wear anything now that I wouldn't be caught dead in at 25. This, making sure you don't dress too old, is far, far more important in my opinion than dressing too young.

You see when I was 25 I had my eyes opened while living in Montreal. If you really want to see how ordinary North American women, on ordinary incomes, at any age, look stylish, go to Montreal. I read recently too that Tim Gunn calls Montreal his favourite city for style. Just being on the street gives you ideas.

The things you notice are accessories - things any woman can do. One visit I was impressed by all the huge shawls wrapped over every winter coat on visit in February, in Montreal I first saw brooches pinned up high nearly at the shoulder. I once saw a woman in Montreal walking her dog in boots with a fur trim that perfectly matched her dog. What you see are outfits put together not just clothes, you see thought and effort as much as cash or fashion. They take their chances with accessories more than clothes.

I am thinking about this today as yesterday our wonderful, stylish Governor-General Michaelle Jean retired to become the Canadian ambassador to Haiti, the country where she was born. Look at these pictures of her and you can see, I hope, what women from Montreal look like in their middle age, at my age:

In Montreal you see women who are every bit as interested in fashion at 85 as 25.

Which makes me wonder why in many areas of North America we seem to have some idea that there is an age where you retire from fashion, when you move to the "classics." I see a lot of that around here, where I live now in Nova Scotia (think Maine if you are in the US) as if, once you have a family, or for sure grandchildren, that it is inappropriate to care what you wear.

I didn't wear too short, too tight, or too sparkly, when I was 25 so I don't worry too much about that but I also didn't wear old lady clothes either and so I am not going to start that now.

Look I am a person who worried I was too young to wear a black dress and a single strand of pearls when I was 50 so I didn't.

That's the only time I remember thinking about age when I dress, and that's going to be the last time. It is enough work thinking about fit, about what suits me, about what new styles are going to give me a lift.

What about you? What do you wear or not wear these days? And what are your own rules for age appropriate dressing?