Clothesmaking mavens

Clothesmaking mavens
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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, October 15, 2011

On the issue of quickie

Right now I don't have enough time to sew and it is getting on my nerves.

You, of all people, know what I mean.

The sewing I have also been able to sneak in has involved a lined jacket - not a hard project - but involved and slow. It should be done tomorrow and there will be pictures up. Most definitely.

Carolyn and Debbie Cook have talked about the concept of a quick project and that has really been resonating with me. 

You know there was a time when I traced Burda lined jackets and made them. When I made those fully lined wool suits for work. And I didn't mess them up.

But somehow along the line, the line that involved a more complicated life with harder jobs and with older kids who do things like have new babies and two year olds and need help, I need to sew in tighter circles. From concept, to execution, to my back in a day or two or over a weekend. I like to have an idea on Friday and wear it to work on Monday. And then on to the next thing.

What's happened to me and my sewing?

I have a confession to make.

I often look at the blogs of other super sewers - folks making muslins of tricky jackets, under-lining with china silk, and hand basting the hell out of every thing, and I wonder if I have lost my game, if I should try harder.

But I think there is a little bit of balance here. I did my achievement sewing more in the days when I was home full-time with kids and trying to match socks and trying to find a supper all participants would eat. At that time in my life my sewing represented some kind of quality work. 

Now, when my day job requires more out of me, I want to sew to try a new pattern. To have something fresh to wear maybe, but mostly just for a few hours of having fun, fooling around.

You know I don't think that my ability to sew complicated stuff has left me as much as my life has broadened a bit. In some ways, I don't know how else to say this, I just don't feel I have anything to prove, to myself in particular.

So that damn jacket is going in the out basket tomorrow.  Then I am making a "beautiful pink dog suit" as requested for Miss Scarlett, I am going to get going on a Christmas present for one of my kids (no further details in case anyone family member reads this), and then I think I am just going to get up on my weekend mornings, go down to the sewing room and see what I feel like at that particular moment.

These days that's how I sew. 

How about you?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flypaper thoughts

Here we go this rainy morning:

  • Sometimes your life is about you, sometimes it's about other people.
  • Good to be who they call.
  • You can still sew in your head.
  • Woke up wanting a plaid skirt, first time I have had this thought since grade seven.
  • Being a good parent is doing yourself out of a job.
  • Someone told me that in a Boston playground 25 years ago.
  • Doubt if my son can take is dog with him when he goes off to the new job in Newfoundland.
  • Will have to choose my moment to ask my husband how he feels about driving to Florida with a barking fox terrier and a Border Collie running in circles in the back seat.
  • Someone has to herd the luggage.
  • Maybe later.
  • After I tell him I have invited my entire family to take turns joining us on vacation.
  • Maybe I space this out.
  • Had a meeting with Successful People yesterday but was late because I ran into students on the steps.
  • Decided the only difference between being young and old is the amount you laugh.
  • Consider this seriously.
  • Facebook makes my head explode.
  • Politicians, relatives, students, and professors all want to be my friends. 
  • My worlds collide.
  • Facebook is no place to push your latest book, article, campaign, or social commentary.
  • See laughing above.
  • All I want to read the BVM posts so I don't miss a garment or a sale.
  • And see baby pictures.
  • If I defriend you don't take it personally.
  • Why do the pattern companies even publish jacket and coat patterns they call "unlined."
  • Who would ever make an unlined wool coat and be happy with it.
  • After they stood up after having sat down.
  • If I didn't need to be warm I wouldn't need a jacket or coat.
  • Why do they give multi-sized and multi-cup patterns but no lining pieces?
  • It is a pain to draft these myself.
  • Why not include the lining pattern pieces and say "If you don't want to add a lining don't use these pieces."
  • I still haven't had my pattern instruction writing job offer come in yet.
  • I want to get up early and go to the market downtown to buy fresh collards.
  • The deal is I can have company if we ride the motorcycle.
  • Seems fair.
  • Where do you start with a student who thinks Wikipedia is an scholarly source and People magazine is a journal?
  • I am letting my hair go grey.
  • The students are helping me with this.
  • I figure if I wear enough lipstick I should be OK.
  • Colleague at work said her hair is a lot thicker since she stopped dyeing.
  • Worth a try.
  • I have to get my knit on if I am going to get even half what I want done by Christmas.
  • Is it possible to knit on the back of a motorcycle.
  • While raking leaves.
  • While doing the dishes.
  • While marking papers.
  • Walking dogs.
  • Plan B is to go to bed early and watch the news.
  • Good thing the US election has these super long campaigns.