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I am a mother, a new 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 first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, April 13, 2012

The nice side of sewing

I so much appreciated your comments re the Chanel jacket. In fact as part of my sporadic attempts to update and clean up this blog I put comments on the sidebar because they mean so much to me - only the punctuation format gets messy, must fix that.

I was surprised that some comments mirrored back to me that this jacket was negative experience for me. 

Not really, it's just that sewing is such an incredibly emotional experience for me - when the sewings not happy, momma's not happy. However I learned a lot. I am determined to take the good parts forward and do it again. 

Just not right now.

First I have to find pattern that I love. In the fantasy world of wardrobe planning that I occasionally depart into I had this idea of finding one jacket that I could master and make 47 ways. I hoped this was it.

Not so.

I went on the Stylearc site again to stalk the Coco pattern but noted that on the Gallery page the one illustrated looks like a bomber jacket that stops at the waist - not the high hip length I saw in the illustration. Since there are few things that I think that would make the most of my worst like a fitted bomber jacket I emailed Chloe this morning to be a real nuisance and ask her if this was as intended, or just one particular sewer's edition.

In the meantime I need a break from the demanding stuff so got to work on this blouse:

I am making the camp shirt version because I have been wearing the same camp shirt for 22 years. 

I think I need another one. Even the family notices.

This has a nice yoke, a great detail because I feel smart when I do that enclosed yoke thing, but I realize no bust darts. Sort of figures for a casual shirt but it's been forever since I made a shirt/blouse without darts or princess seams, so we will see where this goes.

It is gorgeous and warm here and the sun shines every day. 

This may not be a big thing to most of you but if you live in Nova Scotia to have sun every day any time of the year, particularly in April, is huge, just huge. In fact my daughter and I both bought those lights to sit in front of last winter to keep us from getting crabby at people during the month of February - although I realize this winter since she started to sew she didn't feel she needed it.

Anyway, back on topic.

I can't tell you what extreme pleasure it has given me to be sewing something nice and bright. without pressure, on a sunny day.

Here is my current sewing space with the blouse pieces over a chair. To me this is as beautiful as any painting, any landscape. It is all set up so I can see it from my bed when I wake up and it makes me happy.

Those pink things in the corner are the hand weights I was going to use to finally develop my upper body strength. Maybe tomorrow.

There are few things as beautiful as a cotton collar on an ironing board.

No serger, so I clean finished the facing, sewed my sew-in interfacing to the facing piece turned and pressed.
The facing from the right side.

I am hoping this pattern works out, because I also pre-washed this fabulous fabric today and hung it on the line.

I love it just love it. It's no Chanel jacket but it does have Babs written all over it I am afraid. Maybe I will be classic and tasteful in the next life.


Jodie said...

Hi Barb:
Love your fabric and the shirt looks like the "palette cleanser" you wanted after the long/complex challenge of the chanel jacket. I've made very few jackets for myself in the past, but never been thrilled. Too stiff for me - I'm a cardigan person I think....
Anyway - sew on! I'm very busy at school right now (we've had a flood, moved to a new school...and oy the challenges!) so I'm sewing through you right now.
Take care and enjoy!

Susan said...

The message that came through to me, from your Chanel jacket project, was to not attempt this kind of project with a pattern that needs to be "beat into submission' in order to fit. Thank-you for this in sight.

annie said...

Is this shirt pattern a TNT or still available? I resorted to taking an rtw apart and it was an ok solution but this one looks perfect.

Barbara said...

Annie that pattern can be bought here:


sewistafashionista said...

My sewing area is in my living room and I feel happy to see my machines and projects right where I can be with my family where I am happiest. My husband doesn't understand and I was glad to hear that seeing your sewing when you awake makes you happy too.

sharon said...

a woman of a certain age again. i am starting on a sort of bomber jacket and while doing the muslin, i needed to add aoutt1/2 inch to the back shoulder seam and take away about the same amount from the front shoulder seam. this amount to taking away 1/2 from the front, adding same to the back, accomodating the front scoop and adding for a slightly rounded back. all derived from looking at the shoulder seam.