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
What my new book is about

Clothesmaking mavens

Clothesmaking mavens
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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, May 21, 2011

Quick question for you

My son from DC came in last night and I don't expect to be sewing or blogging much for a few days. However I have and will be thinking about sewing in the background. That's what I do.

So here's a question. Is there a sewing task you just hate. Not that you can't do it. You just dislike it.

For me it's sewing darts. They are so boring, so repetitive, so accomplishment free. And often the little marks don't match.

I have a great TNT dress with 8 darts, I don't make it up as often as I should for that reason. How dumb is that?

How about you, what is your least favourite sewing job?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On better garment pictures

I got a nice email today from Mariano Pastor, a photographer who also blogs on how to take better product, craft shots.

His entry on photographing a garment on a dress form is really good. Here is the link here. It's all about lighting and my own experiences with work-related photo shoots has always been that it comes down to lighting.

Now my own shots can only get better, so I am going to be reading Mariano's blog and trying to upgrade my own photography.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A day at Disney world

This will be short because the Magic Kingdom has sort of done me in. Fun though, lots of fun. Here I am with my niece:

Cool dress and hat because it was hot. The dress is one of my favourites, Simplicity 3833. It is a great pattern and to reduce the bulk of the facings, which I find annoying in sleeveless dresses, I just put on binding. Apart from the usual FBA I made this one out of the box and am pleased with the fit.

One or the high points of the day for me was a quick look from one of those trolleys you sight-see with of the Disney costume department. Of course these shots are taken at speed through a window, but this is enough of a glimpse to make you droll, or at least it did me:

Now that's a place to go to work.

Yes it was a magical day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Isn't technology something?

I often think how technology has changed my life. 

Look at this blog. 

On my street no one sews but me, but in this blog, and all the others I read every day, I get to communicate with other sewers all around the world. What technology has done for isolation of many kinds is amazing.

Take my sister's life.

My sister Julie is deaf and in the old days (like a few years ago) when her daughter and mother travelled out of country, or out of her sight really, she would lose all contact with them. Just wait for them to come home, or maybe a letter. 

Remember letters?

Well last night we got on Gmail Chat and they all had a conversation:

Tomorrow wee are going to Disney world and in case you are wondering what the ASL (American Sign Language) short hand for Disney World is, well you can learn it here 

Now somewhat related, or not, I have found real evidence of the Hobby Gene gone wild. Enjoy:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thanks Sue!

And her own comment, which says it all:

My artwork has meaning and it may not be obvious to some, who only judge a book by the cover. But I am the author and it's MY book.

Read Sue's comment

We got to bed about 3:30 last night after picking my Mom and niece up at the airport.

I have just read Sue's comment on my earlier post on tattoos.


You made the most important point about tattoos for me and that is the whole idea of designing your own. When I come to think about it that, as a crafty person, is the main point. I think people who are having tattoos put on should think of their bodies in a design sense and it would seem to me to be very important to have an artist do it. Random placement of bad art is probably not a good idea.

Sue can you send me a shot to post here? I loved your comment.

And now I am thinking when I am 61 and far beyond I will be making my own bathing suits to wear. After all everyone here is involved in expressing their individuality in how they look.

Too old for what?

If you are one or two of the women who haven't seen this silly story, here it is. A list of things that women shouldn't wear after a certain age.

The one that gets me is no bathing suits after 61. 

Now I'm not 61 but I hope to be one day and what do you mean no bathing suits?! 

What is a girl, even an older girl, to be doing at the beach on a hot day? 

Staying back at the cottage cutting off the crusts on the sandwiches she's making for all the fun people who come back hungry after a grand old time in the surf? Writing names on little slips of paper to put under heirlooms so everyone knows who gets what (my own grandmother did this for about 30 years, moving around the names depending on how she was feeling about any of us -that teapot is yours? I don't think so not anymore it isn't). I mean at 61 you are not out of service.

If you want to get into the water get, into the water. I sure will.

But this has me thinking about the things that are absolutely not age appropriate, and I am wondering now about tattoos.

My beach walking has exposed me to a full range of tattoed bodies and I am not sure that all of them are going to wear well.

Not that I have anything against tattoos. 

One of my sons has the Nova Scotia coat of arms on one shoulder to show when he is surfing and the other one, the DC guy, has "Fortune favours the bold" in Latin on his arm. Appropriately. And my daughter and I talk time to time about getting matching tattoos but we can't agree on what of. Many tattoos are beautiful and touching and deeply meaningful. I certainly can't tell you I have a tattooless future.

And I have students with great tattoos. One girl who dances has "I live to dance" in French at the nape of her neck and another has that wonderful line from Dr. Seuss "Oh the places I'll go" around the top of her foot.

Of course another girl has "Mike" on her wrist, her forever love at the age 20, but I have met Mike, the boy from the old town, and I am not so sure ...

My best tattoo story is from a friend of mine who went to her friend's wedding. The bride was a Bob Marley fan (as am I actually) and happened to have a giant tattoo of Bob Marley all over her back. Unfortunately the wedding dress was backless and my friend said it creeped her right out to have old Bob staring right back at the congregation through the whole ceremony.

So before anyone decides who should and shouldn't wear a bathing suit they might want to think a bit about the life longedness (is that a word?) of tattoos.

I saw a beautiful girl on the beach with her whole back entirely covered with Disney characters. And I saw a sweet young girl with an American Eagle (nothing wrong with being patriotic) from right up under the bottom of her neck and the wings shoulder to shoulder - fully in the middle of any scoop neckline - for life.

You know when I was in my early 20s I wore a lot of stuff that I sure glad I don't have to wear today. Styles change and more importantly so do people.

To me to commit to a really aggressive tattoo at a young age in a prominent place would be sort of like having that mistake guy you went out with in high school standing in your kitchen for the rest of your life.

Think that one through.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Various news

First of all thank you all so much for telling me your hobby gene stories. 

These were so interesting. Aren't we lucky? 

Someone a long time ago said to me that she was often bored. Bored? Are you kidding? My backlog of projects is so large that I really hope there is such a thing as reincarnation. I am definitely going to need it.

On that note the pickle obsession continues. Bunny, I have some watermelon pickles started and soon as I finish writing this I am going to get up and finish them. Yesterday I made some banana and mango chutney:

I also finished my latest pair of more-ease-real-waistline-Project Runway-Simplicity pants. Adding the extra at the centre front as Kay suggested.

They are great! 

Just great. I have finally come up with a set of pants pattern alterations I think I can apply to any pattern, Simplicity at least, and make them fit me!

Well that was easy.

Only took me 35 years.

You might wonder where the picture is. 

Well once I decided that this pair, even though they are made in Kona cotton which is all I could find here, were good enough to wear, I put in an invisible zipper - which broke just after I had put it in. This is the first time that has ever happened to me.

So on the way to the golf course today (I am actually having a good time now we have applied the No Advice Rule and the promise that I can buy saddle shoes to golf in - I have been waiting since I was 8 for those to come back in) I am going to have to get a new zipper at Hobby Lobby.

It is going to be a bit of a rush because late tonight my mom and niece will be arriving. That will probably mean a transfer to knitting as we are going to have to do a catch-up on the whole family, that will be going on for days and will be round up only once we get to the all important question for each person, "who are they just like?" Once we have made a match for each personality characteristic and someone else in the family we will be done.

They are here for 10 days and we should have a good time. My mom needs a rest and we are going to be doing Disney World with my niece etc.

In the meantime for those of you who haven't been to this beautiful part of Florida here is a picture of the local neighbourhood:

Not Nova Scotia
And here is what got stuck under our back gate yesterday:

My husband opened the gate and let him get out. Mr. Rascal has of course been in this position for the last 24 hours, and is likely to stay like there for the next two weeks:

Now back to pickle-making.