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

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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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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Flypaper thoughts

  • My last real class of the term today.
  • Now I think I will miss them.
  • New year I am going to make a Chanel jacket.
  • About time.
  • Mainly because someone said it was like wearing a cardigan.
  • I like cardigans.
  • Looks like I am going to be asked to teach more distance courses in the future.
  • This will suit me very well. I can knit while I am online with the headset.
  • Two dogs, one ball in a house while there is rainstorm outside is crazy.
  • There would be no Christmas at all if we left it to the men.
  • Just a turkey and no vegetables.
  • And presents bought at Canadian Tire (just what it sounds like) at 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve.
  • I can't find Jarbo Garn sock wool anywhere.
  • It is the only yarn bulky and soft enough for fast socks.
  • The one mail order place I tried ran out.
  • Might have to go to Canadian Tire.
  • My last child to move out next month has suddenly started to clean up.
  • A sign he is ready to go.
  • He broke the vacuum.
  • They all are neater in their own places then they were here.
  • Do you send out Christmas cards anymore?
  • A few students have brought me some.
  • Happy holidays written in big careful first year script.
  • I am excited about my bra-making workshop on Saturday.
  • I have made bras before but the teacher is funny.
  • After teaching all term I want to be taught.
  • My husband is going to be home two weeks at Christmas.
  • He can buy the turkey.
  • And walk the dogs.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Restorative therapy

I am heading into my last week of classes and exams. I have had a good term and great students, but we have pretty much worn each other right out.

So I am lining up some restorative therapy for myself. 

I know some women go to a spa and get wrapped up and steamed when they need restoring.

I did that once with my friend when we were at a convention in Vegas. We went to the day spa at the Hilton and ended up hysterical with the giggles the whole time because we, a couple of girls from Nova Scotia, had traveled all the way to the desert to get wrapped in seaweed. Made complete fools of ourselves in serious company so after we went out and had our fortunes told and then took our good pores out for Japanese food.

Off topic.

OK, some women go to a spa, or buy a nice bottle of wine and light candles. Not doing that because my husband has left me a case of his pretty-good homemade wine. 

And those candles. 

Do you ever wonder about those movies where they are in rooms  or around bathtubs and there are about 400 candles already lit? 

I mean usually it's some beautiful single mother entertaining Matthew McConaughey, and she has put her two year old to bed and she still has time to light all these candles before dinner. 

Or it's Meg Ryan or somebody in a bath recovering from her sleazy husband's affair soaking away in a gorgeous bath with at least 500 candles in different sizes all lit around her bathroom. 

You know just before the day where she shows someone her dress, this old thing I threw together, and they offer her a job as a head designer for Dior. So there sleazy husband.

OK, all I want to know is who lit all those candles? A single mother with a two year old? A woman who 20 minutes ago discovered she is dead broke and there never was pension fund after all

How long do you think it takes them to light all those candles? 

Who puts them out? 

Where are they stored between crises or romantic evenings?

Under the sink? I want to know. The back of the linen closet? Down the basement? 

Would you ask Matthew McConaughey to hold the two year old while you went down to the basement and got out all those candles from the shelf next to the Christmas decorations and that wreath that is mostly now only strands of glue gun glue and a few wobbly pine cones?

And don't they worry about fires?

On topic.

So this is why I am not soaking in bath surrounded by candles (and the combination of hot water and my husband's aged a full two week wine is probably not good for my blood pressure) and why I am not at a spa.

So instead I am restoring my soul with what I know will work for me when this week is over. This just arrived from Amazon:

And Saturday I am treating myself to a full day bra-making workshop.

It couldn't get any better than that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vogue 1137 Mom's version

Having discovered what a cinch Vogue 1137 was to make I decided to use it for new, warm, housecoat for my Mom. She lives in Winnipeg, Winterpeg to those who were born there like I was, and a place where the police directing traffic used to wear long Buffalo coats, which must have weighed 800 pounds but certainly were warm.

Dressed for warmth in Winnipeg

In fact a famous Winnipegger went down in the Titanic in his Winnipeg Buffalo coat, probably was not the best for staying afloat when wet. Much like the wool bathing suit my own grandmother, also from Winnipeg, made me wear one summer to keep me "warm in the water." When the first wave hit me and I got wet I went down and I could hardly stand up.

That's wool for you, when wet.

Needless to say I went synthetic with my Mom's housecoat and used Polar Fleece. To make it easier for her to get in and out of I put in a long separating zipper. The front of this pattern is sort of overlapped at the front so it looks closed when you wear it, which I like. Just like the bust darts that give this a little shape.

I left off the dramatic cuffs because I thought they might get in her way. I cut the sleeves back a bit to make sure the really narrow part was gone so they are sort of 3/4 length, or 2/3 length, or 1/2 length now. My sister Nancy says if the sleeves turn out to be too short when Mom puts this thing on she will sew something on the bottom for me.

Actually my mother who is very short has been complaining for the past 50 years that all her sleeves are too long.

Be careful what you wish for.

Here it is:

The pockets are parallel I promise. This must be an optical illusion.

On to other Christmas present making - although this is going to be a hard act to follow.