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
Listen to me on the clothes making mavens podcasts

About me

My photo
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



Follow me on Instagram

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, November 11, 2011

The best laid plans

You know I did some sewing today after all. Interrupted by Another Flood.

I could hardly believe it when the waters started rising in the sewing room floor once again. 

My side of the street has really taken a hit. My next door neighbour has had the remediation folks in there on two separate occasions lately - she has it all torn out and new floors put in and it happens again.

Fortunately for me I live with my remediation crew and lately he has been at home for all events. He had a sump running in the sewing room with a discharge hose running out into the bathtub in the downstairs bathroom. So we got through it alright.

There was nothing much I could do but I felt it would have been in really bad taste to be working on a 50's hostess gown style velour housecoat while he was sweating it out with the pails.

So I only cut out and stopped and then went to work on Christmas presents and made sure I made appreciative noises at the same time. I felt that was more virtuous and expressed my solidarity with someone being so useful.

Maybe better luck on all fronts tomorrow. I am convinced I'll look great walking around the new kitchen in this get up.

About today

Karin pointed out that today is Armistice Day in the UK and what we call Remembrance Day here in Canada. Both days I suspect were designed to remember those who died in the world wars, unlike the American day which seems to me to include those who are still serving now.

A sensible inclusion I think.

So I hope I didn't offend anyone with my post yesterday about this being a day off.

Because I actually do remember.

Near me there is a neighbourhood where every street is named after a young man from town who died in World War II. I drive by there often and wonder about their mothers. How did a whole generation, several generations in fact, send all their sons away? I also take Miss Scarlett to a park named after a boy from the neighbourhood who died in Italy with a letter about this place, addressed to his mother in his hand.

I wonder if the park made her feel any comfort, I hope so.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In case you didn't know tomorrow is International take the day off day

O.K. enough with the life getting in the way.

Yes I had a flood, yes my house has been productively trashed renovated. Yes I have 120 hysterical first year students this term. Yes my husband may be away again this winter. Yes Christmas is on its way and all my projects for other people are only at the mental sewing stage. Yes I have neglected my blog for reasons above.

We are turning the page tomorrow folks with International take the day off and be totally irresponsible day with the full potential to be the first day of the rest of my life.

You see the flooring guys are coming tomorrow to put in floor in the kitchen and hall and points in between. I have decided that the only safe place for the dogs and I is going to be down in the semi put together sewing room.

I am getting up at 7:00 am, packing snacks, taking the iPad and the boys and am heading down there for the duration. I have a bathroom down there and if the boys feel the urge I am passing them out the window.

You might think I am joking about this. You should know better by now.

My lack of sewing lately has worn away at my nerve endings.

I have a few Christmas projects to work on but my main event is going to be a housecoat in navy velour from this Vintage pattern:

Vogue pattern magazine last issue did an outstanding feature on using vintage patterns in updated ways and I was truly inspired.

So I am doing this longer, closed at the front with a zipper.

This is project is part of an approach to life I am thinking about.

You see the bug top was fine for a black tie one off but it's my family and myself who see me most in my day-to-day clothes. Around Christmas for example, and hell if my husband goes away again and its me and the dogs at night in the sewing room or knitting on the bed with our Ovaltine and CNN, myself by myself, why shouldn't I dress up for that?

I mean whatever happened to hostess gowns? To robes that were non ratty enough to talk to people in, in person not just on the phone.

I am channeling my considerable inner Doris Day. We will see how that turns out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

All in the family (but children of mine don't read this)

Time for a visual update. My renovations and flood recovery are continuing. The system seems to be that for every thing that gets added, one thing gets taken down. Like a wall.

All of which is good. I am amazed at the space hidden all these years in my house, consumed in awkward corners and unnecessary built-ins. I feel the house can breathe now, despite the disruption.

Here are the kitchen cupboards up and my contractor getting the floor ready for the floor guys this week.

Tons needs to happen but this is really starting to look great. All due to my husband's hard labour in the evenings and weekends, not to mention the disaster relief he has provided downstairs.

An unusual bit of news though was that his company would really like him to go back to Tennessee again until the spring. Stay tuned on that one, currently my circuits are overloaded at the thought.

Which means of course I have gone into creative retreat until I understand what's going on.

I am aware that December 25th is on next month's calendar and I have started to go into high gear on my Christmas projects. My own vision for the holidays sees me relaxing with a glass of wine and some baking in a nice living room once classes are over - not locked in the bathroom trying to finish knitting socks like last year until 3:00 a.m.

Once the Tennessee rumour started (not that I don't love TN but I would rather be there than get calls from there) I headed down to the sewing room and the few cleared surfaces and started three pairs of pajamas for my daughter using the excellent Jalie pattern she loves and which has unfortunately been discontinued. If I don't get recruited to help with the leaves today these will be more or less finished by supper:

No idea why this shot is off kilter except that this is consistent

I have also, thanks to Herman Cain (you are sooo lucky I am not writing a political blog) and other news stories, been able to get considerable work done on a son's sweater. Am still figuring out what to say to the other son who also wants a sweater - god I hope I am not heading back to bathroom knitting.

And finally the best for last. Here are my girls, Scarlett and her new sister Miss Heidi at Hallowe'en. Miss Scarlett in her pink dog suit done to her specs:

Now off for leaf avoidance.