Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

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Sewing with less stress back cover
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Clothesmaking mavens
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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, August 11, 2012

Totally uninspiring skirt shots and better things

I am happy to announce that I have the Magic Skirt out of my system for the time being. 

I am restlessly ready for new projects.

Miss Scarlett is starting three mornings a week nursery school in September and she needs clothes. I haven't made much for her so far because her dad has a cousin with 4 little girls and the hand-me downs have been gorgeous and constant.

However Scarlett has decided she only likes dresses. A fashionista already:

And she is tall. 

She needs her own clothes. She needs fitting and extra length.

With a 5'10" mother and a 6'4" father this is no surprise. I have to admit however that I am getting weary of new people saying "My she's so tall isn't she?" the first time they meet her.

This is where girls get messages, because being tall myself I know that there is a pretty little thing going on. Not everyone was meant to be tiny and we had better be making that crystal clear to our little girls.

So I am on a campaign to respond to that each time I hear it with "I know isn't she lucky? I love being tall." 

And I do.

The words last. I have a friend who is plus size, always was, always will be. She has shared with me how long it took her to get her mother's voice out of her head, you know that one that was saying "You will look thinner in this."

We really have to pay attention to our words.

Back to sewing. 

Miss Scarlett as you can see is beautiful but so many dresses are just too short on her. I have tried to sew a little for her in the past but found toddler patterns hopelessly sized way too wide for the length, particularly in the sleeves - all the sizing mistakes I see in some adult patterns where every little piece gets over graded up - like those plus sized dresses with giant neck opening.

Back to sewing again.

So I am going to be making knit dresses (if anyone has a cool online source for fabric let me know) starting from a pattern I made this morning from a Landsend dress she likes.

I am ready to do this after three more Magic skirts.

A woven denim one that is OK for things like laundry folding or sewing room cleaning or walking around with a sponge trying to figure out where that spilt milk smell is coming from, never mind who spilt it.

Here is the back view of that utility model. I left out the front darts so I could get it over my hips after a brief period of thinking that putting a skirt on over my head made sense. 

You have seen these on me so use your imagination. Really scroll down these numbers are not so squat in real life. 

I hope.

A stretch cotton version - I think I like this pattern best in stretch wovens:

And finally a lace version, underlined I think successfully in tricot, the outside and inside views:

If you do this underlining thing remember to bag the lining out at bit- you know make it a shade longer and ease it in so the outer fabric doesn't pull up at all. Now how would I know that?
And finally, because I like to see these pictures myself, here is my youngest.

My entrepreneur/gardener/builder/landlord/surfer. The one of needle in his foot and skipping competition fame. 

The child I reference when some mother is telling me her own teenage son stories - the one I trot out in a you can't top this way, because of his long history of mishaps all of which he has survived.

Living evidence that if you can last through it all, they actually turn out. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flypaper thoughts

It has been a busy week. 

Anyone who teaches will know what I mean when I say the marks have to be in the end of next week. 

Some sewing happening, more on that tomorrow, but first flypaper thoughts.

  • "Can I have a one week extension so I can get my apartment ready for my first cat?"
  • "Sorry this is late but I am writing this with a bucket beside me. I have had food poisoning, same as Bethany, and I lost the power cord to my laptop, and I had to stand in my friend's wedding last weekend, and we had car trouble."
  • Was this multiple choice?
  • And who is Bethany?
  • I could have called Syria.
  • Am I the only one who took one look at that mustache and put two and two together?
  • This we should have known.
  • I took Miss Scarlett's measurements yesterday.
  • 21" chest.
  • 21" waist.
  • 21" hips.
  • Centre back to hem for a dress.
  • 21"
  • I think I can remember this.
  • Quit my radio commentator gig today.
  • Too many Magic skirts cut out.
  • Something had to give.
  • Wasn't going to be my sewing.
  • Nothing is free in this country. Except healthcare and shipping from Canadian Footwear in Winnipeg.
  • Love those guys. Good shoes if you are a walker.
  • Anyone need a man who is great at starting home renovation projects?
  • Baseboards in my lifetime.
  • Anniversary tomorrow.
  • Wouldn't trade him in for a million finish carpenters.
  • Not tomorrow.
  • Not ever.
  • Speaking of which:

A good man is hard to find.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sewing and cooking personalities

My goals for today are to get those two lace skirts cut out, do some more marking, and get ready for the family to come over for dinner. My husband always does the heavy lifting in the cooking department for these events and I try to streamline my end of the business into something that won't cut too much into my sewing time.

I am doing desserts, which have to be little kid friendly, so have made a lemon ice cream thing and a baked bananas with chocolate thing. Might do some cornbread on the side.

None of this is rocket science, none of it is Gourmet magazine.

I love to eat and as an offshoot of that cook. However I am always on the search for easy but tastes good recipes, while avoiding the can of mushroom soup culture of my mother's generation. I like vegetables, like spices, and like fruit. I like slow cookers and one dish things that I can get a couple of days out of. You know the reheat and back to sewing dishes.

My middle son and my his girlfriend and my husband are all the kinds of cooks that embark on major cultural experiments, fine print recipes. They stuff things, make rubs, purees, and use thermometers.

They cook Chanel jackets.

I am wondering, with my joy over the Magic Skirt, if there is a correlation between my sewing and cooking personality. What I like about that pattern is that it gives me good results in little time. I am always wanting to sew the next thing, try something new.

Now my question is this.

Do you cook like you sew?

Or vice versa?