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Sewing with less stress Front
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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 22, 2011

Now on to sewing and flypaper thoughts

  • Only 1.37 of a sock to get knitted and I am done.
  • Would some good knitter tell me how to fix my ssk? My k2tog are neat, my ssks are loose and looked like some pigeon knit them.
  • Last week we got a call from Costco to throw out that Tabouleh.  
  • You know that rare impulse purchase because I am knitting too much to cook.
  • Recalled for Listeria.
  • My son and I ate two tubs.
  • Not fair in a house where we grow our own organic Kale.
  • Looked at each other for signs for three days and then forgot about it.
  • Kale makes you strong. Body and teeth.
  • I have thrown out my rash inducing retinol and am now washing my face in baby oatmeal cereal.
  • In my mind there is a direct line between these events.
  • DIY.
  • Skin's great.
  • Kale helps.
  • I am renting my tablecloths and napkins this year.
  • Thank you Auntie Nancy for the idea.
  • I think I ordered a big package of red bra strap elastic and fasteners last night when I was sleepy.
  • Not sure, I was trying to ssk at the time.
  • There is sure a lot of sewing for self backing up over here.
  • Thank you McCalls for the Spring patterns.
  • Nicer than usual.
  • Going to cook for two days now.
  • I am doing the recipes that say "fast and easy" spouse is doing things that say "complicated and involve ingredients we have never had in this house before."
  • Sent me out of celeriac root and I came back with Japanese Daikon. 
  • This is a large radish.
  • It does not look like celeriac root. 
  • It is however a root.
  • Apparently this is not close enough.
  • Now we are going to have Vietnamese sandwiches on Boxing Day.
  • Calls for Daikon.
  • Since these things are not made in a crock pot I will not be involved.
In closing here are some shots of what my spouse brought to my knitting location for dinner last night. From a recipe from this family friend. Going to miss that man when he goes back to Tennessee. 

At least I have the dogs and the crock pot. And a whole lot of red elastic.

New year's thoughts sort of

Every year I order a Moleskin diary. They have the days of the week on one side and a lined notebook page on the other.

This is really useful in meetings when people say things and you can grab your diary and look serious and responsible while you write things like "Spring wardrobe gaps: replace black skirt, make three new fun tops from knits."

My fingers must have slipped when I Amazoned this year (I have maintained my festive season mall boycott) and what arrived was a mini version of what I usually order.

One the left is my current diary and on the right 2012:

 I was a bit annoyed with myself until I realized this was A Sign.

You see recently I have been having some conversations with a variety of people that have reminded me there needs to be a statute of limitations on some of the stuff that gets passed on from year to year.

Every life and every family has some of this.

How many generations should anyone pass on what happened in the war?
How many nights should anyone lie awake thinking of an old betrayal?
How many years should anyone resent the sibling who was always presented as prettier/smarter/more successful?
How many decades should anyone discuss that someone could have should have married better, done more with their education, never left that job?
How long until that mistake has been forgotten?

This made me realize that the common family activity to explain people by recapping the above in fact functions primarily to just keep it all alive - to write it into next year's diary before the year has already begun.

What if the diary was smaller and there wasn't any room to do this?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sleep sack pattern

I have just finished two sleep sacks for the little girls for Christmas. I was totally appalled that my daughter was spending $60 for Growbags for the kids to sleep in.

Babies these days don't sleep with blankets or bumper pads or stuffed toys in their beds - all those things we used to load up the cribs with. In fact even as they get bigger they still sleep in these sleeping bag units. Miss Scarlett had a sleepover here last night and she was cruising around in her's for hours this morning, having perfected walking in a bag.

I have had a good look at the expensive store-bought ones and looked at the patterns in the books which typical for many kids patterns seemed to me to be too wide in the neck and the chest.

So I went on Etsy where the young mother sewers hang out and found this pattern, which looked to my eye to be very similar to the ones you buy. I have been picking up some of my crafty type patterns on Etsy recently and am pretty happy with the results.

Here are my two versions - prototypes for my daughter to evaluate and for me to do a better job next time. The outside is flannel and the inside a coordinating fleece which of course I realized was going to stick in the zipper teeth - so my top-stitching is a bit erratic.

The only changes I made to the design were to add a little topstitched square at the bottom of the zipper ( you put the separating zipper in upside down) - a detail I saw in the commercial ones.

I also rolled the body back so I could sew as much as possible of the lining to the zipper by machine, sort of a bagging technique, rather than rely totally on topstitching from the right side to catch the lining on the wrong side next to the zipper teeth, as was suggested by the pattern.

This sewer has been around the block enough times to know that was not going to work without angst, so I attached the lining and then did my anarchist topstitching to finish more for decorative effect and to stitch down some of that fleece fluff away from the zipper.

My list is shrinking. Only a bit of knitting and some organizational work.

I have been pondering how to fit in a large crowd to sit down for dinner on Christmas Day and yesterday I had the bright idea that because my living room is bigger than my dining room I could switch the furniture for just a few days.

I have suggested this to my returned spouse.

He has just gone off for a nap now.

Nothing like the holidays.