Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

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Sewing with less stress back cover
What my new book is about

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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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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Family first and then flypaper thoughts

Before I go any further with updates, my daughter and her girls were in the paper at home today re her sewing business, not to promote but...

BTW I have been offered an early retirement from the purchasing department since the $127.00 rick rack binge (yeah but wait till she sees it - this girl has to start understanding that stashing way more than you need is a vital part of the sewing life) but I understand there is an opening in the sewing-on-binding department.


Now here's what's sticking in my brain today:

  • My mother has finished her "who to call when I die" list, with phone numbers and back-ups to kids if somebody is in Florida.
  • Where did we get someone this cheerful about everything?
  • And I mean everything.
  • I would really like to see a female anchor on the news whose upper lip still moved.
  • Speaking of which, one thing I noticed about the South was that whenever you make eye contact with someone their mouth immediately goes into a smile mode.
  • This is not the case in every part of the world.
  • I am fighting my sweet tooth.
  • Seems like about time.
  • I would kill for a butter tart about now.
  • There is no-fat cottage cheese in the fridge.
  • In the middle of the ER my mother turned to me and said "You know I am on Linkedin."
  • Put her status as looking for opportunities.
  • What are they doing to the English language?
  • My mom's washer has three knobs "Status", "Modifiers" and "Options"
  • What ever happened to "On-Off", "Hot-Cold" and "Normal-Delicate?"
  • I think this might be part of a bigger problem.
  • Where's that man who brings me cherry pie?
  • In Tennessee packing three sewing machines and a bale of yarn around a motorcycle, that's where.
  • We will meet up Monday in Florida.
  • In Winnipeg you are pretty sure you are not in Florida.
  • I'll discuss the third sewing machine later.
  • My niece who has been in Guatemala is coming to see my mom next week.
  • She has been having cold outdoor showers for 9 months.
  • She was happy there.
  • She didn't miss butter tarts.
  • Why didn't I pack my serger?
  • I could have fit it into my canning pot.
  • I am definitely going to get right on that Chanel jacket as soon as I see it again.
  • I need to sew.
  • I love my mom.
  • What a piece of work.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Update from Winnipeg

This is an IPad post and slower than usual, so bear with me.

My mom is home from the hospital after a one hour round of farewells to everyone thanking them for the great service and to the entire housekeeping staff for their excellent work keeping the hospital so clean. I have been cooking a lot since we got home , since it turns out that my mom's diet is the same as Mr. Rascal's it has been pretty easy. My deaf sister and 13 year old niece live with my mom and since my niece is currently a vegetarian I have been expanding my repertoire (I am sort of a semi vego myself) and tonight's mushroom burgers were not bad and the buns sort of held them together which was helpful.

The day my mom came home the federal budget was released so she watched that whole thing, analyzing it by phone with her friends and relatives, and once she heard they are not going to produce any more pennies spent the rest of her day rolling pennies to get them down to the bank and doing her tax so her "affairs would be in order just in case."

We have tried to talk to her about not tutoring at the school 3 days a week, driving grandchildren to school and swimming lessons, the altar guild, having her hair done at 6:30 am, and doing errands for half the community, but I think it's more or less hopeless.

In fact I know it's hopeless.

All in all it has been a very good visit, particularly because my mother is still here. I will be going to Florida to meet my spouse when my other sister comes home.

In the middle of it all my daughter's business has continued to grow and I got a Rick rack SOS. My niece and I made an outlet fabric store run and proved that it is possible to spend $127.00 on a bit of ribbon and A ton of Rick rack if there are two of you and you move fast.

Not sure how the app is going to handle this buy here goes . Press publish.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chanel on hold

This morning I got up and finished hand-stitching the lining pieces together in the body of my Chanel jacket.

Got a call next that my mom was in the hospital - flare-up of an old issue. To make a long story short it looks like just that. She will be in the hospital for another 2-3 days and hopefully not more and then home to see how she goes. 

My one sister who does most of the on site family stuff (isn't there always one in every family, the kid who still is in the same city?) had a spring break trip booked to NYC with her husband and kids starting tomorrow, and she deserves a break. So my husband is driving me to Nashville at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning and I should be at the hospital in Winnipeg after lunch.

I thought I was calm and organized about all of this while I was getting ready today, until I spent 10 minutes looking for my car keys before I realized they were in my hand.

You know exactly what I mean.

I'll be doing most of my time in the Health Science Centre - so the Chanel project got bagged this afternoon for the drive my husband and Mr. Rascal will be making to Florida this weekend. I will be flying in later when I can. 

Speaking of Mr. R, my sister phoned me today and told me that my mother's big concern is that if I come it will upset Rascal. Not good for his stomach. His stomach.

You can see what I am dealing with. The job will be to get her to chill long enough to get better.

I have packed my knitting, still working on Christmas 1992. More later.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updating myself and then again Chanel

Now I have a little bit of time I am going to clean up and update this blog.

I have started with the "About me" and a more current photo.

I had a rare moment of self-realization this week.

My daughter was interviewed on the radio about her business (she actually said "I have always sewn" which I realize is right, she always made bags and rectangular things but never garments) and she was introduced as a "Momentrepreneur."

It hit me.

I always identify myself first as the mother, in fact this blog used to describe me as a 'mid-life mom'. Well move over Babs - the mother in the family is now your child and you are singing back-up. And really at my age I am not  mid-life unless I live to 120. Which I just might have to, if I am ever going to get caught up on these projects.

Now, it's Sunday so I might do a little spiritual detour on you.

I believe in prayer. 

Not the standing at God's checkout window placing your order, but I think we should consider the prayers not our own, but maybe the prayers the universe is saying for us. For me prayer is more about listening in than sending in requests. There have been many instances in my life where what I needed to know was put in my path. I figure it's just up to us to tune in and to act on good advice.

This was sort of like that.

Now back to sewing and great comments on my Chanel jacket. Your comments were terrific and got my brain going.

I even went to bed last night wondering if the guy I know at home who machine quilts would do some lining and boucle work for me, say straight lines one inch apart.

Then I decided maybe I should settle down and actually finish my random version of this semi-traditional Chanel jacket before I go onto the next thing.

Am I the only one who always has three projects going on at a time? One under the presser foot and two more in the head?

So I will be spending my last week in this Tennessee hotel room hand-stitching away and we will see how it turns out.

Now I have to tell you one of the best things about being in the US.

Ordering fabric and having it come in a few days, without $40 postage, and duty, in 4 weeks.

So I hit Fabricmart this week and am so pleased with what arrived. Here it is:

Gorgeous cotton and silk, heavyish, a light twill. A Stylearc work shirt for sure, need to use a TNT.
This is black but lightened so you can really see it. I have had the idea of a lace skirt in my head for a while now as a just -in-case-something-comes up where I need a lace straight skirt, so I ordered this but now am not so sure. Fabricmart described this as sort of  felted lace probably because it is a sort of felted lace. Maybe a winter lace skirt? Warm except for the holes?

If you are my daughter shut your eyes. This is primo quality cotton flannelette. Every year I make my daughter pj's for Christmas and she is a green person and hip and this is perfect. Aren't I organized? Christmas already. Of course I won't start these until December 23rd.
This fabric is so cool it's killing me. A lightweight cotton twill in a fifties print. A dress? I am saving it for the perfect pattern so not to waste it.

Now back to Chanel sewing.