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

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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, September 8, 2012

Battle plans

In the scheme of things my battle is minor - survive an much overloaded upcoming academic year, a bit of work on a political campaign, and the challenge of working with my daughter on having Miss Heidi take a bottle/cup/anything with a straw before I take care of the two little girls while her mom and my dashing son-in-law are in NYC in four weeks visiting my son.

Should all be interesting.

Oh and in November I am booked to go to New York myself.

After much discussion we have decided that a person named Eric is who we are all going to be staying with AirBNB style in East Village. He is a designer has a nice place and rave reviews. The plan is that my daughter and son-in-law will stay there next month and then me a month later if it all turns out. And now my husband thinks he might too.

Poor Eric has no idea how Nova Scotians operate - en masse. He doesn't realize that we can't quite get our heads around the anonymity of the big city so we need a place where we know someone so we can all have a base. Poor Eric because he doesn't know how many family members/friends there are in the system and how many might be lined up at his door. He doesn't know he is being auditioned.

It has occurred to me just now that this may be the reason my son keeps getting small apartments with roommates.

No that can't be it.

Anyway my son and his girlfriend are on their way back to New York to their busy lives there, but they don't have to worry. We are all working out the visiting schedule, so no one gets lonely, even if that really is us.

And of course workwise I am going to need a break by mid November.

The school year started with the regular mix-ups of rooms, schedules, and classes and this year also included a call from a mother of a new student who wanted to make sure I was clear that her adult child was far more intelligent that any marks might show, and I needed to keep that in mind. 

I will keep that thought somewhere for sure.

Leading up to this school year I have had an interesting few months.

Somewhere along the time of the big fix-up I decided to also get rid off all spiritual and mental debris from my life. 

Best I could.

I have been pulling a few things from the back of the psychic drawers and taking them to the curb if they don't fit any more or more importantly if they weren't doing me a lot of good.

I have confessed, apologized, forgiven the best I can, remembered who stood by me and who didn't, the times I did and should have.

I have filled out garbage bags of things that aren't worth worrying about anymore and contemplated how many things really are in that pile called life's too short.

I have been letting things go, gotten some things off my chest. It's all good for the soul but maybe not easy on all bystanders.

Most of all I have realized that wondering why is generally a waste of time, that the things you fix yourself are the things that turn out, and that remembering your pleasures does you just about as much good as anything.

So I have decided that as busy as the next few months will be the hell with it there will be regular stops for sewing, even if the projects can't be too complex for a while.

Which brings me logically to Pamela's Perfect Fit T shirt.

You remember a few frames back I made the one with the full bust view in the size specified by my measurements and it was too baggy for my figure, and my purposes, which was something I could wear as a base garment.

Here is the same pattern, in the normal woman front in a size extra small, as incredible as it seems since I have not been an extra small since I was a baby.

I think this T shirt is just what I was looking for and I will be making it again in different necklines. Once I have been to New York and picked up more fabric of course:

Fast sewing is still pretty exciting.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Checking in

No I haven't forgotten about this blog or about my neglected sewing.

I have had my son from New York here and for a while his beautiful girlfriend too and I have started back at school.

Well the first part has been fun and the last part nuts.

We have some serious staffing issues at work and good old Babs is taking up a course overload (called that because you feel overloaded) and laughing at how much I am booked for.

The key question is what is this going to do to my sewing?

I mean I am going to need to keep sewing to maintain my wonderful good humour all term.

I am suddenly understanding the real true value of TNT's. 

This is clearly my fall to be working with those. Something I can count on, something that will always turn out and let me have the process to just enjoy. I usually go into new patterns for a new season but maybe not right away with this fall.

What are my TNT's?

  • Scarlett's narrow long and now perfectly fitted knit dresses for pre-school. 
  • My Stylearc Linda pants and maybe the Elle pants too.
  • My two Stylearc shirts the Jane and Sasha.
  • My Pamela's patterns Magic Skirt
  • The Pamela T shirt - mark 2 (to be pictured soon)
  • The FBA-ed cardigan also from Stylearc
Interesting no Big 4s in the list.

And as a treat I booked a flight for myself to New York the middle of November for a few days to see the son and girlfriend also listed above. To pick up some new fabric (of course) and see some of the many sights I have yet to see.

Right now tonight I am also trying to book accommodation. I have stayed in a couple of nice hotels so far (small though in NYC I found out) and I was going to book one of those.

My son however, who like all my children thinks I am cooler than I am, despite all the evidence to the contrary, thinks I should try Airbnb. He figures for the price of a decent hotel I will have a more NYC experience and more space - and more options in the East Village where he lives.

This seems a pretty radical idea for a middle-aged mom, but I am open to new ideas, despite my lack of coolness. I have searched a few listings for apartments versus rooms and have been looking at quite a few places where they could have done a better job of making the bed.

Places with flags on the wall and Christmas lights strung over the fireplace are out. 


I am looking for security doors and not 5 flights of stairs. I considered one place because I spied a dress form in the picture and because it said the host was a professional "happiness coach." We don't have many of those in Nova Scotia, unless you count the grandmothers, but it doesn't sound like a bad thing.

Or does it?

Do mothers do this?

Should they?

I have emailed one person who has advertised a studio that is all in white and has a doorman. I said I was looking for a place to knit after visiting my son. Haven't heard back.

This keeping growing stuff is as much of a challenge as a good idea on paper.

What do you think?