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
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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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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Training bras

Today I watched my Newfoundland bound son drive off in his moose whistled truck and, second son to exit in the last 24 hours, I felt like my world was coming to an end. Then I remembered this guy is 25 and I had done a pretty good job of stringing this mother thing along this long and so I decided the best thing to do with the rest of my life started with going down to the basement to start dyeing bra elastic with Koolaid.

It is amazing what you can achieve with a broken heart, a mason jar of hot water and a package of cherry and a package of strawberry kiwi. Pretty cheery.

I am going to try a new bra pattern and panties tomorrow continuing my rehabilitation.

BTW my kid is still on land. They held the ferry in port due to rough water and a storm and he is sleeping on board and they will try again in the morning. He sounds pleased with this further adventure.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well we are on the other side of Christmas.

One son is here

One son is here - these are not the same place
I am here
My middle son left a few hours ago to go back to NYC where he belongs. 

I am going through my usual and thankfully temporary wrench.  I always have felt that my mothering with kids at home was me doing my best work, but let's face it that's done now. This is the one child who really left home definitely when he was the youngest, at 19, and he immediately went off into the world, traveled, studied, and did just fine for himself. 

Our time since then has been visits shared with so many other people, and I always feel I missed some sort of a stage with him, of adjusting to living along side an adult, as I was able to do with his siblings who lived here in the early adult stage. You get to know each other on new terms when you have the privilege of day-to-day time with them. So when he comes home I sort of look for the kid who last lived here and doesn't anymore, and he sort of sees the mother of a teenager, I'm not that person anymore.

We need more time doing ordinary things now he is in a place where he is likely to stay.

So I will be in New York for a few days the end of January and again if I can organize it in February. 

As I have said before I am a little stressed about making a regular space for myself in New York. I have lived in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Melbourne Australia and traveled many other places. It's not that I don't know big cities. But I am more of a neighbourhood kind of person and I have to figure this out. I know I just have to.

Maybe it's my past and maybe it's that I have lived here in Nova Scotia too long. After all I grew up in a small prairie town. Do you know I was 18 before I had seen the ocean and regularly been on an escalator? 

How about that? 

And this is the kind of place where I know so many people I think I could just lie down anywhere on any sidewalk in this city and yell and someone I know would show up and say "Barbara what are you doing lying down there on that sidewalk?" I am quite sure this would not happen to me in Manhattan but I may be wrong.

Tomorrow my youngest son is leaving home to go to work in Newfoundland for a while at least. Unlike his brother who boarded a plane with his crystal glasses as carry-on and the New Yorker app. on his iPhone, this son is packing up a truck and going to drive 5 hours to a ferry, go over night on the ferry, and then drive 14 hours across the island of Newfoundland in the winter. He is mounting the moose whistles on the truck tonight. This is not a joke. The interior of Newfoundland is crawling with moose, but not people, and they regularly stand on the road and more or less fall over cars. At several tons each this is not a good thing. However if you don't drive at night (and he better not) and if you have a special kind of whistle on your car that they just can't stand, they move out of the way and you live to tell the tale (which he better).

I also suspect they do not need moose whistles in Manhattan, the place where no one would tell me to get up by name if I was on the sidewalk.

And on New Year's Day my husband heads off to Tennessee for the winter, although there will be visits/trips you better believe that.

I wonder how this all happened when it is so cold outside.

I am feeling disoriented. All I know for sure is that I am going to go off now and freeze a bunch of turkey in single portions and then I better get back into my sewing.

Yes I really need to sew.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours.

May you get your dishes done, may you get one really good sewing gift even if you have to buy it yourself, may you be wise enough to know that not all families are perfect, and not holidays like a dream, but have someone in your life who makes you realize it might all be true after all.

My sweater was appreciated, my socks a hit, and the grow bags fit.

Here is little Heidi on her way to bed in her's:

And to all a good night.