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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, December 5, 2010

Sewing like a survivor

The last two weeks have been strictly W.T.B. (way too busy) with frequent moments of S.O.C. (spinning out of control).

Well Christmas is coming up. See midnight knitting post.

I also have a full-time day job. End of Term means lots of marking, explaining to students that the last week of classes is getting kind of late to figure out how to make up marks, and of course getting all that stuff organized for next term.

I have also been cooking for Mr. Rascal. 

He is now on a diet the vet gave me which involves making casseroles of low-fat chicken rice and vegetables and trying to freeze some so I am not cooking for a dog for two hours every other night - except for those nights when I have realized I should have left more head room in the mason jars which all exploded inside the freezer.

When I caught myself driving through my own dinner at MacDonalds last week, because I had spent so much time cooking for the dog I didn't have time to shop or cook for myself, I thought to myself well this is just so S.O.C.

Thing is Mr. Rascal is doing so amazingly well on this new diet and so is my son's dog Birdie. In fact they have been springing out of bed extra early to stare in anticipation at their bowls.

All I can say at this point is that when the time comes to sit judgement on my life well I sure hope there are some dogs on that committee.

Which brings me to sewing.

In the background of all of this I have been attempting version 2.3 of our baby's winter jacket. 

First version had a pin head sized hood and that got ditched.

Not wanting to make that mistake again I cut a larger size for version 2.0 but that turned out to be something she could wear in junior high.

I much reduced that by huge amounts at all seams and made it shorter too.

Version 2.2 was small enough in the body but big enough in the hood, which was good, but a couple of inches too short. I over did it, surprisingly.

No point in a polar fleece lined, insulation interlined bomber jacket for a 15 month old.

At this point I have to admit that I was in a seriously pride-involved state. I mean I am proud of my sewing. This is my first grandchild. I have made a whole series of great winter coats for kids over the years without any problems. Why was this one taking a bad turn at every turn? Why was I being tested? Why was this happening to me when I was both W.T.B. and S.O.C.?

It then occurred to me that because this was a project with high emotional/vanity stakes for me it had become one of those projects that just sets out to break you.

Well forget that.

I am a survivor of more sewing rescued disasters than anyone I know. In fact you could almost say I am in training for this - and if fixing up mistakes were an Olympic event, well let's just say Canada would be looking at a gold. I have had so much practice.

So I sewed on an insulted extension at the bottom to make it long enough (when I was supposed to be finishing my marking today) and then stitched a line below the join seam so it looked like a casing and put in some elastic cord and added some cord locks (it's great to have a sewing room that is a repository of 20 years of random purchases) and I think it looks just fine. Almost like it was intended.

Take that you jacket.