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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, February 22, 2012

Aren't we lucky

Thanks to my fascination with politics and another of the innumerable Republican debates I finished a pair of Stylearc Peta pants tonight, two pairs of shorts, and two pairs of capris or whatever you call the 7/8 versions. By the end of tomorrow night that will make 12 pairs of bottoms from either this or the Cargo pants pattern.

This whole exercise has reinvigorated my interest in TNTs, and an appreciation of their utility.

I mean really.

Once you have a pair of pants that fit, or in my case a pattern line, what's there to change that is any real trouble? 

What I like about this is the ease of an elastic waist in pants, like the Linda pants, that don't have a dopey cut or leg. These look like normal stylish (oh that's where the style arc comes from) pants rather than kind-to-my-middle pants.

In the process of unpacking my summer clothes, because I am going to warmer places soon, I tried on an old pair of store bought pants that fit me pretty well, apart from the droopy bum part and the girdle like feel of the front.

Well tonight I tossed them and thought, baby I can do better myself thanks.

I have a horrifying thought for you to think.

Can you imagine if you had to depend entirely on strangers, on stores, to cloth your own particular life and body?

Can you imagine if you could only wear what you could find in the stores in that season? 

Can  you imagine having to wear pants or shorts all summer with big pleated pockets on your butt when you knew they just made you look ridiculous and that was the last place you needed anything extra, but you still had to wear them because that is all you could find?

How lucky for us that we are independent of all of that and can do for ourselves.

How lucky.

O.K. there are so many things I could say that are political but I won't. 

But I will say one thing that really, really burns me.

I have read several spindoctor type articles that have emphasized how Callista came from such a modest and in fact almost poor background that, get this, "the only clothes she could wear were those her mother handmade for her."

Poor, poor girl.

The only thing poor about this is the reporting because I have read the original quote (in case you are wondering, I googled Callista because I absolutely wanted to know if the hair was a wig, or a hat, or a something - if that's all because of the hairspray then that woman's lungs have to be plastic).

O.K. back to the original. Apparently Mrs. Gingrich blames her expensive taste on the fact that when she went out on her own to the places she was going to go, she found out she had to go designer to match the quality she was used to in the clothes her mother made for her.

O.K. so that's one thing about this one I can understand.

Handmade. Really.

That reporter should be so lucky.

Over and out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catch up on the fabric shopping tour, family and points between

Gorgeous wool knit with couched yarn illustrating why a person goes to NYC. This stuff is not at Fabricville.
First of all I need to wrap up my New York trip with some trim shots to say, yes Carolyn I did hit those too, as part of my long slow runway onto my Channel jacket. My husband, who trooped around with me, did ask a few times if I didn't already have enough black trim since we were already carrying multiple yards from the last store doesn't fully appreciate how trims could be so different, but I am sure you can.

The black stuff is for the black boucle with zebra print silk lining that is waiting for me to get started, the red for some Linton tweed I picked up because after all that princess seam muslin fitting I am certainly going to be get some kind of return by making more than one:

This is crazy wool ruffle on an elastic centre so it will stretch - I love it and have no idea what to do with it.
Some poodle type trim that I now need to buy some pink boucle to go with it - sort of invoking the poodle skirt colour scheme which maybe is too literal an interpretation of the poodle resemblance.

Can't get an thing like this here - think I might try lacing some white something through it because I am so creative and the jacket lining is black and white.

What do you think about this next one? Is the red trim too much or not? You have until 2018 to make your mind up about this - I still haven't started even one Chanel jacket remember:

Of  course I followed the garment district to go to visit family in Winnipeg and to hit up Northwest Fabrics, the place where most things are $5.99 a meter, including some excellent pant weight. I saved so much there that I had to pay a $50 surcharge for a super heavy suitcase, a fact you better not mention to my husband who doesn't understand the cost of doing business completely all the time.

First the family.

Later this week the pantweight that may even be in the form of pants, or shorts, or capris, since I am not sure how much of each I bought.

My mom, 84 and sharper than I am and most other people too. She's the person who taught us all to sew even though she hates doing it herself. Great mothers do things like that.
Miss Scarlett getting to know my sisters' kids, in a sort of great grandchild on top of grandchild pyramid.

Now off to measure my fabric.