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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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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Friday, October 5, 2012

I completely have no shame

You will see what I mean.

Everyone knows the purpose of a blog is to show other folks how skilled you are, all you make, and how well.

That's not going to be happening here tonight.

I finished my darling Heidi baby's hoodie and it really is full of mistakes.

This pattern, knit in one piece with all sorts of fancy (to me) increases and decreases, was way beyond my skill level.

Sort of like a sewer who had done a very nice apron and Christmas tree skirt doing the Channel jacket.

Listen I learned a lot. 

Learned things even other than the fact that I have a very long way to go before my knitting is ever to me what my sewing is. 

My problem with this project was the pattern which was one you couldn't see from the wrong side, not like patterns where you can see what is happening in the row below and anticipate what you are supposed to do from that. With this pattern you had to turn it around before you could see it was messed up and this often not until you had done a bit of knitting and increasing decreasing a few inches later.

I ripped out about as much as I knitted. Over and over again. And the TV debate was not much help.

But I finished it, and being an unreasonably optimistic, I like to think of this as sort of evidence of the triumph of the human spirit rather than a small sweater totally full of embarrassing mistakes. 

Also it is amazing to me how much the camera in fact does not lie. I don't need to point out my tortured errors because they are pretty obvious but you know it does fit her perfectly.

The other grandmother, who was also at the party and is a truly competent craftsperson, commented that it will be covered with drool soon and no one will ever know I purled when I was supposed to knit, which I thought was pretty nice of her.

I want you to know this was not all I gave the baby for her first birthday.

Moving forward, after I got this all wrapped up this afternoon I decided it would be good for my self-esteem if I sewed something.

So I whipped up this Adele top from StyleArc. I have made this top before and it used up some knit I was going to make a summer dress from, but after this hot summer I decided that rayon knit dresses are not completely cool. In fact after a sweaty summer I ended up wearing my rayon challis dresses most and have since decided that really is the best cool summer fabric. 

Unless you count seersucker or a nice cotton lawn, and other things I want to add to my stash as soon as I get myself within a thousand miles of a decent fabric store.

Oh yes the picture:

I told my photographer to be more artistic so he shot this from up higher.
I also got my hair cut by a new hairdresser I really like today. A complete Nova Scotia character. She told me while she was cutting this afternoon that she realized early in her career she had a true calling.

Years ago we had a mine disaster in the province (Springhill if you are from here you know it) and her sister, also a hairdresser, heard that the women were all holed up in a hall waiting for news, you know those awful waits that go on for days. So my hairdresser and her sister packed up their gear and went to the hall to help out.

"We did hair straight for three days. Best we could do and at least they looked good."

I think she and I are going to get along.

Now I am going to leave you with a question.

I have some wonderful sort of beige gabardine type heavy water resistant fabric that is the tail end of my last NYC trip haul from last year.

I am considering two patterns. 

Looking at the person who is a terrible knitter shot from above in the last picture which one do you think would work best? I need to do some decent sewing to get my creative legs back:

And finally finally, now the sweater is done I am catching up on my very neglected blog reading and want to congratulate the talented sewers and US bloggers who are part of the new Mood network.

I am thrilled to see so many familiar faces and really will enjoy seeing their creations. Just like you learn so much from a pattern when you see it made up, it will be very useful to see some Mood fabric turned into garments - so much more instructive than a small square on the computer screen.

I am putting together my shopping list for November and geared up to be inspired.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Still knitting that sweater

Only three days to go until the birthday.

I was thinking if the baby was in Brownies I would have badges I could sew over the mistakes, but as she is turning one that isn't an option. And I wouldn't be much of a grandmother if I wrote on the card "here you go this nearly killed me."

Seriously though I have learned a lot and the next one, if hell freezes over, would be perfect.

I recommend Crafty workshops though. Gives you somewhere to post messages like "someone help me" and "never mind I just read the instructions."

So that's the life update, apart from my job, which I am doing between rows, and the fact that I am pretty sure I put in a massive order to StyleArc in my sleep last night.

I will sew again.