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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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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Friday, May 27, 2011

Last day here

We head out of here tomorrow, at 5:00 a.m. the husband tells me.

Fabulous, fabulous time here. We will be back next year.

We put my mom and niece on the plane yesterday morning. 

Tell me what kind of travel agent books a 83 year old woman out on a flight that requires getting up at 2:30 a.m.? Although when I got up at 2:00 this elderly woman and her granddaughter were happy as clams up eating Coco Pops and chatting away.

My mother has amazed me. Of course her body is slowing down, she sometimes walks with a cane ("only to get better service") but her mind shows zero signs of aging. She says it's all the school projects that keep her sharp. Her schedule, she goes home to before school swim practices and 7:00 a.m. hair appointments, would wear me out. She tells me that her friends are jealous of her for being 
in the middle of things. In her words they "just sit". 

Something to remember (now there's an idea for a tattoo- "Don't just sit.)

I have mixed feelings about leaving. I want to see my family at home, but I want to take this place with me. And I want to get home to my fully equipped sewing room, but I wish I could order online and get the US shipping rates I have here.

I have of course all the resolutions everyone tries to bring 
back from a holiday. 

Take it easy, simplify, life's too short. How do you feel when you get back from vacation? Has time away ever changed you?

Now back to fabric.

We have been golfing nearly every day and that's gotten better once I realized that most people are not that great at golf either. Also it's nice to be with my husband outside. Chance to talk and chance to be reminded what a patient and kind person he is. I forget that sometimes in all the "did-you-get-milk? Can-you-take-the-dog-out-I-did-it-last-time" conversations.

However it has been really hot out there and I have taken to wearing long sleeved shirts for sun protection because sometimes all that sunscreen is just so clammy. I tried a white shirt (yes I am getting back to those when I get home) but that was too warm.

Then yesterday I remembered Sister Nils.

When I had my first child in Melbourne Australia years ago there was a wonderful infant care system in place. You had to take your baby to a public health nurse around the corner every week for the first year. A great way to keep up infant care and I wish this continent had something like that for all the young moms I see who might not have much support.

Anyway, my nurse was called Sister Nils. Most visits she just said things like "you're doing great" (which was worth the visit) and other times she listened to the weird obsessive worries about nothing that new mothers have. Being Canadian I had little experience with really hot weather for example. One of the things she told me was to put the baby down on plisse (sort of fine seersucker) sheets. She explained that the little bumps in the fabric allowed air to get through under the the baby's body and would keep her cooler.

It worked, my daughter slept so much better on those sheets. (Which of course I made myself).

So remembering Sister Nils I wore a seersucker shirt yesterday and it was amazing how cool it was. Here is the requisite bathroom shot of a person who has booked in a pit stop at Joann's to see if I can pick up more of this fabric on the way home:

Nothing beats a fabric classic.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simplicity 2477

I finished my second pair of pants muslins. I wanted to use the standard set of alterations, with Kay's help with the ab fit, in a new pattern with a fuller leg. 

There were a few technical challenges here - cotton broadcloth, which is totally the wrong fabric for pants and doesn't hang right, and an iron that is the functional equivalent of trying to press with a warm coffee cup.

That said I am pretty pleased with the fit. I made the full waistline and the "boot cut" leg although it really isn't all that shaped, view E. As in the earlier, slimmer pant, a couple of posts ago I shifted the centre front zipper to a side zipper and ran the zipper up through the contoured waistband to the top - something I see all of the time in RTW.

I think I got a little over enthused about adding more to the centre back for butt covering length and the extra 1/2" I added for this pair will not be added to another pair in good fabric.

I took Kay's suggestion and added a further 1/2" to centre front, flattening that curve. (For a complete list of  flat pattern alterations I made for my wide waisted, developed belly (neat description eh?) and rear end see earlier post).

Here are the pictures, with commentary.

Incapably ironed side shot illustrating why not to sew broadcloth pants but also showing that Kay knows how to fit, please contact her directly for her billable rate.
The promised butt shot, in the sun, clearly illustrating why you don't tuck in your T shirt.
Butt shot in the shade with dog being rude.
Black pants are hopeless to photograph, I can't decide which shot is worse - your choice. Also of interest is I always seem to stand at a tilt.

OK, now you have recovered from the shots, where do I go from here with these pants?

Well, in about a week, back to Nova Scotia. To a fully equipped sewing room and tons of fabric. I will probably make some of these in wool crepe for the winter, lined, and some kind of summer version. I am also going to transfer this nice waist high top to my earlier slimmer pants.

Note that I added to the waist and upper hip area only on these size 14 pants, despite the fact that my hip and waist measurements are 16 and 18 respectively. I actually think these pant legs are as full as I want them and certainly don't look as slim or as boot cut as the picture and illustrations suggest. Think of how wide a size 18 leg would look on me.

I think that this approach - matching the pattern to the smallest body dimension, in my case my legs, works pretty well and I am quite pleased with this.

I think I can just go ahead and start sewing real pants now.

A great weekend

My middle son, who now lives in DC, was here for the weekend. I love any chance to spend time with him and we had a wonderful weekend. He brought a new board game, Settlers of Catan, to play and here we are doing just that:

My mom smoked us in the first game and the next night my 12 year old niece did the same.

It's a great game and I had forgotten how ruthless my mom is, she's an old card shark from way back. At least all the action stopped my obsessive canning binge. I mean who else goes on vacation and does this:

You can take the girl out of the prairies but ...