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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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Midnight express

I am sitting up most nights doing Christmas knitting. Last night I finished this hat for my nephew in Winnipeg. It's a pattern used by knitting volunteers for soldiers in the Israeli army and is fun and easy to do. Of course if you aren't watching TV movies at the same time your stitches would be neater. 

On that subject though, what's up with Jennifer Aniston? I swear I have watched three movies of hers in the last couple of weeks and that girl hasn't cracked a smile once. How do you make so much money just from looking crabby?

Maybe she should knit. Or sew.

Well I think there is a point

I am getting through my last week of classes and getting the kids ready for exams. Despite all the angst every November over late assignments and "why are my friends getting better marks than I am" (well kiddo they are working harder), there isn't a day that I don't say to myself thank you, thank you for getting me out of corporate, government, political life and into this classroom. Students are sooo funny. They really are so engaged. Their days just fascinate them.

Maybe, thinking of my crazy father-in-law who continues to do well despite bouts of trying to check himself out of ICU because he has too many things to do, that's the secret - keeping engaged.

I ran into a woman I have known for a long time in the fabric store last night. Well-known local sewing person and former sewing teacher - been in the middle of everything. She was surprised that I was sewing for our girl, she has lots of grandchildren now but all out of province "what's the point of sewing for them? I don't see them in what I make." She also said that some days she realizes she has put on one black and one blue sock but thinks that at a certain stage "What's the point? no one will see it."

And I thought of some of my female students who get up early on exam day to straighten their hair. 

It's about showing up ready to go. Being alive is worth that.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A great collar tutorial

Fellow sewer Lisa has put together a great Flicker tutorial on making a collar with a stand.

As she doesn't blog but is sewing along with us I thought I would post the link here 

Lisa this is so helpful, thank you so much for going to the trouble to do this.

You would have to be a sewer to understand this

My son-in-law doesn't.

In addition to related time on the phone and visiting my father-in-law, I made my granddaughter a snow suit, got the jacket done this weekend.  Lined, insulated, zipper guard, hood, the works. 

It was a MacPhee pattern I had used a years ago for my kids and for the nieces, so I put this thing together quickly without reading the instructions.

I must say I did a beautiful job, the top-stitching was great.

So where is the picture?

The trouble was that when we put it on our girl it was so tight at the neckline and shoulders it wouldn't do up (and yes I measured).  The hood was tiny for her brainy head. It was obvious to me that I was looking at one very well-made wadder. I mean clothes from Grandma aren't supposed to make you cry because you can't move.

So off it came and I went home to regroup. Seems in my haste I forgot the hood insert piece which accounted for the tiny hood and also that I under-estimated the effect of a layer of polar fleece and two layers of needlepunch ( don't want the baby to get cold) in the shoulder fit of what I remember now was a pattern that tended to be a little tight in the shoulder.

So out it went. My poor son-in-law is shocked that I am not going to rip it apart and try to fix it - and why I am just going to learn my lessons, try the roomier Jalie pattern, and just make a new one. He doesn't get that this is actually easier on my nerves (and I have the fabric to do this) than to fiddle around and take out that top stitching and probably still not be happy with the result, which would undoubtedly still be not quite right.

One step forward, two back.

But I think another sewer would understand. 

We after all are the folks who invented the term "wearable muslin" which translates to "I was expecting a wadder but think I can wear this around the house." Every once in a while you get a throw-away and its sort of a price you pay for being in this game.

Comes with the territory, just like the nice surprises that turn out better than expected, just like I am sure the next version of the winter jacket will be.

What happened to the weekend

First here is a shot of my first shirt finished except for the buttonholes. Hope to get those and a picture on me taken this week. I really love the shape and find the sleeves nice but not too fussy.

There was a delay in production with the new Friday that my almost 84 year old father-in-law had a heart attack and was in a hospital in a town about an hour away. He is doing fine, amazingly in fact.

He spent last week in the woods by himself, got a deer, butchered it, distributed all the meat to “old people” picked and bottled 25 pounds of apples for pies and then went to bed and had a heart attack. 

He wants to be out of the hospital by next weekend to install a sump pump and says he has to rebuild the landing on the back door of his house (the one he built last year) because as they were wheeling him out he noticed that it was not well-designed for emergency workers and stretchers – says it should be an easy job.

He is in ICU and when I first went in to see him he was chatting away, calling all the nurses Florence Nightingale and telling them he was getting the best care in the world but it was time he went home because he really doesn't have the time to "take a week off."

It actually was a bit of a lift to sit and talk with him. We can't do a thing with him of course, but maybe that's not a bad thing.