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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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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Detour activities

How are your preparations going?

Sewing is suspended, since I don't have anything Christmas related left, and because I can no longer see my own stuff due to the mountain of unwrapped presents on my sewing table.

With so much on the to-do list it was logical that the next thing I did was go buy about a sewing machine carrying case full of ginger and set up my spouse to peel it in the kitchen. (Use a spoon it is easier).

I then took two days off to make ginger marmalade and pickled ginger and to drink ginger tea (boil for 10, steep for 10- with the requisite honey and lemon ) which successfully beat the cold I am fighting.

This make no sense at all, which will be the reaction I am sure of the family when they get this stuff for Christmas.

However about the only activity I can rely on to calm me down when I am overloaded is canning.

Go figure.

Here are my pictures:

Once I have faced the wrapping all I have to do, apart from the Christmas desserts and a potato thing I have been making for 25 years and am sort of sick of but will continue to make because it everybody is used to it, is a pile of alterations, hemming, and loose buttons that have come home from NYC.

I am going to try this method for hemming jeans for the first time, has anyone tried it?



Jeanneke said...

Happy hemming and Merry Christmas!


Myrna said...

I haven't hemmed jeans that way but I know someone who does it all the time as a business. Works great.

Wrapping gifts - my husband and I always do the wrapping together. We turn on the tunes, get some snacks and eggnog, and make an "event" of it. It's way more fun that way.

MERRY CHRISTMAS. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and the best of 2013.

Kay said...

I've used the method where you follow these directions through step 3, then open the original hem and tuck the cut edge of the new hem inside. You resew the old hemline with the new hem inside. Not very successful. It just looks bulky and crappy. This looks like it might actually work. I'll try it next time my DIL brings me a stack of jeans to hem.

Anonymous said...

Barb, tis the season of Merry Madness.Glad to read this post. I've been making Spicy Indian Tomato Chutney. WHY????
The jeans hemming has been tried by our son in Denmark. He couldn't wait to brag to his mom and his sister about it.He was so excited about it. So I would say it works and it must be easy.

Have a Merry Christmas.

annie said...

Predicated on a wake-up time of 9 am on Tuesday, and factoring in 6 hours of sleep tonight and tomorrow night,
I'd guess you have roughly 34 hours from your posting time to do what you want to do. Lots on your plate.

Happy Christmas to you and your family.

Margy said...

I've been using that hemming trick for a couple of years...it is very easy and looks good!

Merry Christmas to you and yours...

Anonymous said...

Interesting preserves you made. Are they sweet and sour, kinda of oriental in flavor?

Here's Angela Wolf's video on sewing jeans which you may find generally helpful:


She has more jeans sewing tips here, as you scroll down:


Your blog is fun and interesting .. there's a great natural comic
writing talent. You should write a book!

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!


Cynthia said...

Hi Barbara,
Happy Christmas!

I've hemmed three pairs of my daughter's jeans this way and would not recommend it. The folded-up part continually flips down: we press them every time they're washed and hang them with pants clips by the hems; I've used the double sided iron on hemming stuff, which doesn't stick well to denim. Ultimately, I hand stitched the folded edge to the inside of the jeans but one must be careful putting the jeans on that a toe doesn't catch.

And I must say that you have MUCH more energy left than I do for this point in December!!

LinB said...

Seems needlessly complicated to me -- and leaves a tuck inside that I would jam my toe into when I get dressed. Have already cracked one toenail to the quick by catching my toe on a regular hem when climbing stairs at work, so ... I'll stick to the old cut-turn-and-topstitch method. Feel better. Merry Christmas.

The Hojnackes said...

I once took a pair of jeans in to be hemmed (for free) at the store where they were purchased. They came back hemmed in that manner. I hated it! I think it is just me, as I am OCD about these things. I didn't like the extra line in the jeans where the seam goes. I think if you get it close enough it probably isn't as noticeable. I have never heard of anyone else who wasn't pleased with this method, though, so I really do think it is just me being super picky. Luckily, they only shortened them a small amount and didn't cut anything off of them so I just took it out and did a regular hem in them.

KathyS said...

That seems like a fairly simple way to keep the original hem. Thanks for the link.
Merry Christmas.

Charlotte said...

I shorten jeans by cutting off the original hem plus a half inch seam allowance - cut the hem off in the round. Then cut off as much as you need from the legs to make them the desired finished length. Then just apply the hems like a binding. This is not bulky and looks great.

NZ said...

Barb, have a wonderful holiday with your family. Thank you for a year of funny and inspiring reading.

Jodie said...

I was canning apple butter this morning....nice to know someone else is joining me in the crazyness....I'm down to fly through with the vacuum and then shower/dress for church. Didn't get all the sewing done I wanted to, but I promise MYSELF it will be done before I go back to school on Jan. 7th.
Have done the jeans hemming thing - works great!
Merry, Merry!