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
What my new book is about

Clothesmaking mavens

Clothesmaking mavens
Listen to me on the clothes making mavens podcasts

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, June 23, 2012

Question of the day

I just read something interesting.

The only style that is truly ageless is glamour.

Now that's a word for you.

Sub questions:

Who have you known in your life who was glamorous?

Do you need a glamorous life to do it?

What, in a real woman's life, does glamour look like?

What, in your own style, are your glamorous touches?

An entirely new thought for me.

What do you think?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Be careful what you wish for

Knowing I am suffering extreme sewer's frustration my daughter just dropped off 40 wool felt card holders her friend is giving out as thank you favors to vendors at a craft event.

They need buttons. Yes I do know how to sew buttons.

And I need a project.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is this how non sewers live?

The advice to take it easy was wise, wiser than me. Tried to do some things in the sewing room yesterday and was sore. I am definitely going to have to take it easier.

I don't remember ever not being able to sew. Even when I shouldn't I have been able to sneak in a seam here and there.

This is hard. I realized too that for non sewers every day is like this. What do they do with their time and their heads?

This is a challenge and I am going to use it to catch up on unfinished knitting and button sewing and course prep.

I like to knit but it is something I do when I can't sew. Like in the car, or while visiting, or while watching the news or the tube. I got to tell you I find it a bit repetitive and slow which is why I do it when something else is going on

Don't worry. I'll live. I believe there are many people in the world who have not sewn for a couple of weeks and held it together, led productive lives, and not driven their families crazy. Surely there are.

Now tell me what are your other activities? Do you knit, crochet, scrapbook? I am open to all new non impact ideas.

Of course there is always online fabric shopping...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Time change : the early fall McCalls

I went to bed last night and it was 2012.

I woke up this morning and it was 1982.

No kidding. 

My inbox told me that some new patterns were up, always an event that gets me excited, and I was surprised by what I saw.

There were a few of the usuals and lots of those draped necklines that I figure are so common now they will be on their way out soon, but what really knocked me out was this:

Have a look, at the line drawings in particular.

I haven't seen profiles like these since I used curling irons to flip up my bangs and had gummy lip gloss on my lips.

The no dart, straight up and down blouse, shirt, and dress.

Just when I finally get over the tight too short jacket, just when I finally learn how to do a FBA on everything, just when I learn how to rotate a shoulder and add bust darts, here we go.

Back to the future.

This, I suspect, is a trend that we will see opening up. One of those reruns that everyone jumps into, like capris, because they remember how comfortable they were.

And of course as a sewer I am seeing this as Fast to Sew. You could whip one of these babies up pronto and pull on a one hour double knit skirt and no one would be the wiser.

And you wouldn't have to wear Spanx.

What do you think?

Monday, June 18, 2012

All gooder

OK I am still tired, and as they say around here, like the good as come right out of me, although I personally think there is quite a lot of good left in me, it's just gone on a little sabbatical. 

I may actually finish someone's birthday socks before their birthday this year.

But I have been a little bored and restless. All my usual activities like heaving around fabric in my sewing room  scheme making is too heavy. I even think my iron is too heavy. Don't get excited, I have no intention of actually ironing anything, it just eliminates fusible interfacing. My sewing, not quite a week post op, isn't really in gear yet.

This is how bored I am:

  • I have read the spam in my spam inbox
  • I have done some alterations because they require only hand sewing in the La-z-boy. 
Damn the La-z-boy  is an inelegant but wonderful invention. 

How do post-modernists ever recover from surgery like this in glass and chrome apartments with those hard angular sofas that are about as comfortable as a flight of stairs? Losing your reproductive organs is a job for the La-z-boy. You can trust me on this.

My alterations have involved a gabardine coat's lining that was for some reason too long inside the sleeves and hung down around the centre back hem. Why I wonder, why? Why does those things happen sometimes when you measure it and it's all even?

One of the mysteries of life.

Which brings me to the meaning of life as nailed down by me late one night last week.

Basically it's two parts. And quite short.

I think it took Saint Augustine and Kierkegaard longer when they wrote about the same subject, but they weren't blogging or this behind in their sewing. And knitting.

Part one.

I don't think there is much point in wondering, or worse worrying, about the existence of God and the state of your faith, or perhaps your inability to find it. I think we should take the emphasis off the faith we have and consider that maybe the faith is coming at us the other way around. 

It's not if we have faith, it's that somewhere there is faith in us. I think we only get into trouble when we stop believing we are believed in. Life wants to go on. 

My life has been full of amazing saves.

Of course terrible terrible things happen. Anyone who hasn't observed that only the good die young hasn't been paying much attention for instance.

My first husband's entire family on both sides was wiped out in the holocaust. The impact goes on for generations. But you know I looked a Miss Heidi this week rolling around on the floor, smiling and I thought this kid was just born happy. A smile is her default. If it doesn't come around in this round, it will eventually.

Part two.

We do a lot in life. Work and ambition and mistakes and things we can't go back and undo and achievements. We spend our time doing so many things.

What matters? 

Well as I hung out in the hospital I thought about the things that mattered to me then. My daughter coming and bringing me trashy magazines (I had to google the Kadashians, now there's a bunch that needs some common sense), my friend from work who came my first night and made me laugh and laugh, my darling husband who made me lobster and brought it on a tray, I could go on and on.

It's the people. We are here for each other. 

Those are my best times, that's what I came here for.

My dad said to me once that all that matters is what you do for each other. He was right.

Now that doesn't mean I don't think that we all work in soup kitchens every night, although I am sure the soup kitchens can use us, but it does mean that we have to make sure we don't isolate ourselves, and that can be such a habit.

We are just not meant to be alone or leave each other alone I don't think. We are supposed to stay connected in whatever way we can do it. 

Maybe that's why living in a family feels whole to me, why I teach, why I blog even.

I just think it's what I, at least, am supposed to be doing.

Now back to knitting socks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

All good

Right now I am posting slowly via iPad so short posts,without pictures for a bit.

I am doing great. Better to have this behind than in front of me and for some reason have had no pain. Only a couple of ordinary tylenols a day since day two. Really first class, wonderful care. The doctor the elf seems to have known what she is doing. Am giving myself injections for a genetic clotting disorder the elf discovered and that seems to be working well too. Can't say that bothers me at all either. Now the last time I sewed through my index finger, that hurt.

Turns out I knew someone in recovery, from the sewing guild, which was nice and an hour later was dictating emails to students to my husband which might not have been a good idea as I suspect I might have given a couple of dingbats extensions they don't need.

My only frustration is that my daughter has her new industrial and having some issues of a minor nature with feeding the fabric at top speeds and I dying to get over there to sort it out.

So I am fine, get a bit tired but the brain is busy so you can expect some regular and random posts on odd subjects.

Spent a bit of time of course staring at hospital ceilings and figuring out the meaning of life, something I have been intending to do, and will probably write about that. Might as well.

That and the new fall trends which have some interesting sew able ideas. Got to figure out how to do pictures and if I can, on this app, might have to pin them instead.

Hope all Is well with you.