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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 25, 2011

Simplicity 2477 white pants

I wonder why I haven't made white pants in so long. Maybe because the commodore look hasn't been my look. Maybe because summer lasts 20 minutes around here. I don't know.

But I had some white cotton sateen and am working on my everyday pants so I decided why not. Of course there is some seam show through and of course if I were making more serious pants I would underline or line them, but these are plain old pants that will be hitting the laundry basket every time I wear them. I am pretty pleased with how they feel and think I will make one more pair of these before moving on. These will do fine for my not work days.

Thank you Carolyn

Sometimes I miss things. Sewing things, I hate that.

This morning however I had a look at Carolyn's blog and there was a fantastic suit pattern from Simplicity, I had missed their early fall release. 

I completely love the retro but classic pattern she writes about, and liked a jacket pattern too. I am going to try to bring my outerwear wardrobe up to speed too this fall. Here are the pictures of the patterns I like, although I am having trouble coping large enough shots, don't know why. Here are the links to the jacket and the suit for better views.

Also very exciting news for me.

It looks like my DC son is relocating to NYC over the summer.

Yes, that means garment district. I have never been there but there isn't a fabric store on the planet that doesn't make me feel at home. I can hardly wait. He will be working in Manhattan and the next thing I am going to have to do is figure where a person like me can stay and still maximize the fabric budget. Maybe outside the city and drive in. As you can tell the trip planning has already started.

I also made some white pants from what is appearing to be a developing TNT. As this is my first foray into white pants since 1981 I found these interesting.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Knit suit

I think I have never seen a public figure who dresses so often in clothes I would wear myself like Michelle Obama. Her clothes have the five things I aspire to most in my own clothes:

1. She is stylish
2. She is ladylike/classy 
3. She is comfortable
4. 2 & 3 do not cancel #1
5. Her clothes are very sewable

She also doesn't wear suits, not at least the kind of work suits I used to have to wear.

I was very impressed with the suit she wore to Soweto this week and it made me think of something that I hadn't thought of in a long time - the knit suit. Add this to my list of patterns I would like to see.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Early Fall McCalls

This is the only pattern that does not match something already in my collection and I might pick it up as a  statement of solidarity with the movement to bring back waists and real waistbands. 

I almost considered this next one, because I am thinking that I may have to revisit the jumper once I get back to those white shirts and I am intrigued by the fact the skirt looks like it has more hem ease than in the drawings.

I wonder though. Would I get sick of the front zipper? Do I have enough nerve/style to go with a pleather bodice. What do you think?

As to the rest of the McCalls patterns there was nothing else that I hadn't seen before.

On the home production front I am mass sewing two new pairs of pants and two skirts for work. I go back full-time in a week. Long story but it seems that the needs of the workplace are translating my part-time to full-time plus plus until Christmas and then a term off. This will seem like a good idea in January but a bad idea in November.

I have also finished Miss Scarlett's pool cover-up made from a towel. It fits her and looks cute, I will try to get an on location shot of her tomorrow with it on. I didn't use a pattern, obviously, and used son-in-law phoned in measurements, but I think it does the job. It was fun to do something so easy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Catching myself and the Key Lime pie diet

Things are pretty thoughtful around here.

First of all I realized that I had lost a few pounds and that my just previously posted pants were much less baggy/long etc. once I had taken in the waist about an inch and a half and hoisted them up. That done I am pretty pleased with myself for only taking my entire adult life to make a pair of pants I would wear out of the house.

BTW you might be interested in how I lost this weight. I call it the Key Lime Pie diet and it's good for about four pounds.

All you do is stop eating key lime pie every day. I do this every time I come back to Nova Scotia from my regular trips to the Southern US and it works every time. Now of course if you are a person who doesn't presently eat key lime pie every day, well I'm sorry but I can't help you.

Becoming a late blooming pant fitter has smartened me up a bit as well as made me thinner. In fact I caught myself going down the hill to the fabric store for a Vogue pattern sale with a list of fall pattern potentials in my hand when I thought -"what am I doing?" I have a some more summer dresses I want to make from current patterns and fabric on my runway and I do want to make some more of these pants. What am I doing stashing last fall's patterns for the fall that is going to come to a place where we don't even really have summer here?

I know myself and I know that as soon as I see the new fall patterns that is what I will want to sew and anything I collect now is just going to make me uneasy and guilty. Why spend money, even sale money, to feel uneasy and guilty?

So I turned around.

So I am going to stay put, sew 2011 summer patterns during the summer of 2011, a new experience for me to be operating in the sewing present. But I am thinking now of what I hope to see in the fall line up:

1. An incredible coat pattern. I have written about this before and it is still on my mind.
2. Designer knit dresses. Look the Vogue patterns that everyone has been making these past few months have been knit dresses. Consider 1250 and 1179. We need winter versions that are this easy to sew and have this much style. Winter is busy and serious and long therefore you need easy, lighthearted and fast for intelligent balance if you follow me.
3. Good cool winter pants for that black wool crepe I have. Shaped waist, wide elegant leg but not so wide that people know you had to have made those yourself. Elegant pants. Now I have a sort of pant fitting protocol for flat pattern alterations worked out, at least in my own mind, I want to take it further.

What fall patterns are you waiting to see?

What do women over 50 want to wear?

Interesting article in the Huffington Post this morning, interesting for the comments at the bottom from women on what frustrates them about dressing. I noted the commentors who said they sew to get what they want, and the response "was it hard to learn?"

Love it when the news is on topic for me. I have read all I need to about male indiscretions this month.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Simplicity 2477

OK brace yourself. This is one of those things you are not supposed to do on the internet. Post embarrassing pictures of yourself.

But I have revisited Simplicity 2477 and moved the waist up higher and added more to the centre front. What I have been aiming for is a pair of everyday pants with a slimmer leg that I can wear with tops over it.   

Of course these aren't perfect, but I think this is very important to remember as you work on pants fitting, neither am I. I have a belly and a big butt. No pair of pants no matter how well I fit them, is going to make that change.

So that said here are some pants that are comfortable and are pretty close to what I was aiming for. I am happy. I must say that I am a lot happier with the waist moved up and laughed when my 25 year old son said how hip I was to have pants that went all the way to my waist. 

Now here's the pictures: