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, June 18, 2011

Sewing for the sun

If you are like me you didn't take sun care of your skin when you were younger. Anyone else remember those home-made sun reflectors made of cardboard and tin foil? 

Well this year I had about five spots taken off my face by a dermatologist, those early change things. So in Florida I wore hats and swam with a made-by-me rash guard and tried to be sensible. With hair like mine too a hat is not a bad idea.

Anyway I was interested in this article this morning and made me think that this was something worth thinking about. Definitely something sewers can do so much more easily than other folks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Strange and interesting times in the sewing room


What would you say if your husband announced that you could do fun things together tonight and that meant that he had installed the Wii in your sewing room (because it has most space and a good TV) so you could play competitive Wii Golf in your sewing room together on the condition he gets to be Tiger Woods?

You see my situation.

I happen to have a nice pair of hopefully fitting pants laid out next to my machine with all the seams pinned up. Pretend swings at pretend water traps was not on this sewer's particular agenda for this evening. I will be a good sport. 


On another note today Miss Scarlett and I enjoyed an afternoon without cold and rain and went down to the swimming club we belong to, The Waegwoltic, Waeg for short. It has sailing, tennis and three salt water pools and a great big sand pile. I went there all the time in the summer with my kids and it is nice to be taking her down there now. Here is what it looks like in the summer:

I should add that this is Nova Scotia, so although the facilities are nice and it is minutes away from where I live, it really isn't an exclusive type place. I suspect it costs more to belong to the Y in most places. There are some advantages in being off the beaten track.

Anyway Miss Scarlett had a great time and mastered the art of turning on the taps at the sand pile and of course got really wet and cold and I had to change her.

This got me thinking that I really should make her some kind of terry towel coverup with a hood to keep her warm when she gets out of the water.

Then I remembered these strange things we made when we were teenagers. You used a large bath towel one for the front and one for the back and two hand towels for the sleeves, meeting at centre front. Sort of a giant kimono that went to the ground.

These things were all the rage, everyone made them and felt very clever. Of course you looked just like a person wearing two bath towels and two hand towels and I remember they weighed a ton. You sort of staggered around under the weight of it with your giant rollers on your head.

I picked up two nice towels (I don't think I need much more she isn't even two until September) and am going to think about the pattern.

Remembering this and my teenage years reminds me to thank those of you who said my hair looks nice recently.

I have what is generally considered the worst hair in the world. It is thin, thin, thin since I had half my thryroid out, kinky and frizzy. I have in my life gone to a hairdresser once and sat in the chair and had him say "I wish there was something I could do for you" and send me home as is. Last time I got my hair done in Florida they tried to interest me in a wig.

I think you get the picture.

My current hairdresser who has unfortunately done all the thick beautiful hair of my sisters has had me on a regime of products and straighteners and flat irons etc. to try to fight the hair I have been given.

Anyway recently I decided to go natural, frizzy, thin and just what it is. I actually like it better myself.

The way I figure it every single person has something about their outward appearance that is not what they wish it was. 

Well the way I figure it forget about that one thing.

Just forget about it.

I make lots of nice clothes and actually think what I am making I like more and more. I am tall so I actually look thinner than I really am. A lot. I have nice hands and I am cheerful. And I always wear lipstick.

You can't have everything, but actually you weren't supposed to have everything. If you did might stop bothering and that would be no good.

Now off to practice my swing. I can't decide if I should be Anika Sorrenson or Sara Brown.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

McCalls 6241 in last iteration, plus life shots

Here is my version of 6241 with a faced neckline, sorry that the red is so red, I really did try to tone it down. In the end I think the clear elastic was the best idea - although it is fine I think that the facing drags the drape down a bit. I think I have done enough with this one pattern now, but it has been a learning experience and I think I am better prepared for the next draped neckline - I like them.

Last night also I went out to the local sewing guild's end of season meeting. Folks showed off interesting projects and I took a few shots - they give you a good idea I think of the diversity of the group.

Here is the guild's new president Cindy in a corset she made (she had a T shirt on for most of the meeting in case you are wondering):

A truly unbelievably complicated undertaking IMO.

And here is my friend Sheila in Vogue 8634 which I am now going to be making because it looked so nice on her (she also made the pants):

And finally here is Anita in a hat she threw together for a tea party on the Royal Wedding day - she was working at her cottage and was supply short - I thought her use of spray insulation foam was quite creative:

We are a small province here in Nova Scotia, but quite an original one.

Finally when I got home my husband, much maligned in the last post, had this waiting for me, ham and scalloped potatoes, proving once a again that yes he is a very good cook.

Now off to work on some pant fitting.

Monday, June 13, 2011

McCalls 6241, Canada post and scenes of marital discord

First off I finished my mother's skirts and boxed them up for the mail.

Of course Canada Post is on a rotating strike, mail is only being delivered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and not all cities are in operation at all times which means the mail is sort of getting through sometimes, maybe. 

As a tactic of industrial action I am not sure if this is as effective as it is confusing but being a natural optimist and near a post office today, and knowing too that as late as these skirts arrive it will probably still be ahead of summer, I mailed them anyway. 

When I showed up at the post office though the postal lady had a good old laugh so maybe my optimism is not entirely warranted.

The other sewing thing I did today was to revisit McCalls 6241, reviewed earlier. I like Dinah's suggestion, left in a comment, to apply some clear elastic to the front of the neckline to keep the neckline hem from rolling out. I wanted to try that on one version. Thank you Dinah it worked very well.

These photos show I think a much nicer neck on this top than on my earlier, hand-stitched rescue version.

I still need to work on my photographer a bit though. 

Here is me giving a lecture on the fact that most of my shots, IMO, are focused way too much on my belly and that I did not want a fat-stomach-small-head shot in this nice new top:

This is the next shot where I actually, and rarely, closed my mouth. My last words to the photographer was "How does my hair look?" To which he answered "Your hair looks just great."

You know he is a very good cook.

Tomorrow, if I manage to shirk all responsibilities, I am going to try this top once more with faced neckline.