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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, November 26, 2011

The light at the end of the tunnel has red and green lights on it

I am entering a new season.

My husband left for Tennessee yesterday and will be there until spring, with one week off a month during which he will come here or I will go there. He is astute enough to have integrated some fabric shopping and family visiting into this arrangement so I will be OK.

On the way down he stopped and visited his cousins in Boston on  layover:

As photographed by a young member of the family.

Like nearly every Acadian (French) Nova Scotian family a bunch of them moved to New England at various stages for work, and even a generation or two later all come back to Nova Scotia frequently. The group you see here must come back to Isle Madame off the coast in Cape Breton four or five times a year at least and they were all born in the States. The same is true of my son-in-law's family and every Acadian family I know.

My dogs marked the first night we were batching it by being up every 1 and 1/2 hours to see if anything was new happening in the yard. We have a lot of wet snow and they didn't get a lot of exercise yesterday. I will be running their little paws off today - although they are now exhausted and passed out in the living room.

I have one more week of classes and then a term off where I do nothing by my own thing and work on building some online courses which I can do from my dining room table.

I figure this will be the first time in 24 years that I won't be dragging myself off to work somewhere in the winter. I am really looking forward to having some time to collect my thoughts and remember what I do when I don't have to do for anybody else.

This weekend I am free to sew, mostly finishing up Christmas presents, and having a friend over for dinner tonight where I am going to be serving her the easiest thing I can think of as possible.

BTW on Vogue 1137. I decided to make my mom a version for a housecoat - big pockets and separating zipper up the front, and I hope it works out. The thing with that pattern is that the sleeves are cut quite narrow below the biceps ( you might want to be careful about this and cut them wider for yourself.) I have tried it on about a fifty times and tried to recall how wide her arms are.

Off I go for a third coffee and to do some dog glaring.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vogue 1137

Here it is, a quick version of Vogue 1137. Pardon the lack of baseboards in the background, all part of the process. 

And I have my arm in the air as part of my very clever sleeve display strategy.

OK, so how did I get here?

Every holiday folks show up in the morning before I am organized, or I sit around and do that present thing and later look at the pictures and think I didn't look completely or even partially organized in the old robe with jammies hanging out.

So I decided I needed to get more elegant. Only problem of course being that neither I nor my life are elegant, and I don't really have a lot of sewing time right now.

Enter Vogue 1137.

The issue before last Vogue Pattern magazine did a neat version of this pattern morphed by a clever staffer into a coat. Really clever, it also featured a skirt made out of a vintage apron pattern, which I can guarantee you is not an idea I would have ever thought of.

Anyway. I have been looking for a coat pattern that grabs me for a couple of seasons now-trouble is I have worn enough winter coats by now to have a picture in my mind of what I want, but am not seeing that same picture in the pattern books - so I had the idea that maybe I too could morph this pattern into an acceptable coat.

But as a coat uses up a lot of good expensive fabric I decided to make a muslinish out of something, and figured I could use some nice cotton velour I had hanging around, in a much richer blue than this picture shows, and kill two birds with one stone.

This is my verdict.

I like it.

I mean the sleeves are cut-on so there is not a lot of sewing, I used the collar as is (but left out the pockets because I ran out of fabric), lengthened it to accommodate tall me, and wacked in an invisible zipper down the centre front. The pattern is for no closures so this worked out fine without alterations.

I interfaced the cuffs and am currently under the delusion that the cuff detail lifts this velour housecoat into elegant territory. It certainly looks better than what I wore under the tree last year.

Will I make a winter coat out of this pattern?

No probably not.

The sleeves are a little narrow and the collar pretty close, great for a housecoat but not roomy enough for an overcoat,  but my "muslin" is useful enough for me not to care.