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
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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 12, 2012

Scenes from the babysitting front, day two of five

Not a lot of time but here goes:

  • If someone spills milk on the edge of the counter you might want to check to see if any went into the drawer below. Or the drawer below that. And the one on the bottom. Also check under the pot lids.
  • If you were to pull off the tabs of the disposable diapers by mistake, black electrical tape works just great and is water proof.
  • If you smell toast burning yes it may be because you are having a stroke.
  • Or you may have burnt the toast.
  • Do you know they now make spaghetti-Os in the shape of princess crowns? A good plan B if you don't have any bread left.
  • Don't lose the pink bear.
  • And don't say "where the hell is that bear?"
  • They remember to tell those things.
  • Why would a person who won't get into the car after pre-school because their sleeves are wet from painting want to stand in the rain without a jacket on because they don't get wet in the rain?
  • Look behind the chair for the bear.
  • The best person I have ever slept with may be this Golden Retriever.
  • Nutella rocks.
  • Before they leave make sure you know how the remote works.
  • How was the debate?
  • I got stuck on mute.
  • If you draw a heart on a Hallowe'en monster it is not scary anymore.
  • Nap time is over.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

About blogging and being a noticed blogger

A little while ago I congratulated the Mood bloggers.

Coincidentally, I heard from a few folks who were not happy they were not chosen.

Listen, it's a great fabric store. 

I am quite happy to be a private citizen who can go there as this is allowing me to disguise my visits to a much missed son as fabric buying trips. I love Mood, and whole lot of other places in the garment district, and I have been thinking of them all there in NYC increasingly as the fabric store at the bottom of my hill becomes increasingly depressing.

That's where I am. Frankly my sewing is more about experimentation/stress relief/fooling around than distinguishing myself at this stage of the game when there is so much going on.

But I do understand. A long time ago I wrote a lot for Threads and had a good time doing it. Everything I thought was interesting they thought was interesting and that was just great.

However somewhere a long the line the editorial direction changed and I started to be sent ideas and fabric, and what I was doing for fun became an assignment. I remember being asked to do a piece on stripes and was sent some high stretch silk (try matching stripes in something really stretchy, under pressure) in a colour that I would never wear and more or less hated.

So I decided to give it a pass unless the project was what I wanted to do, and let's face it what I want to do is pretty erratic.

I admit however feeling slightly disgruntled when I saw other names in that magazine, even though the simpatico editors I had worked with had moved on, even though I had moved on.

It was no longer my turn.

I also had to remember that just because someone else was doing a great job didn't mean I wasn't.

This is a lesson I seem to keep learning and re-learning in my life.

In the family I am no longer the big cheese, although it causes me great pain to admit that. I thought around the table last night that I no longer am the one telling the funniest stories, I am more the listener, and more the person who packs up the leftovers, and does the dishes in a quiet house.

Of course I would give everything to have one of those meals we used to have, everyone at home, everyone on the verge of a food fight, but that stuff is happening more often than not at other tables.

But I like to think I was the one who taught them to make people laugh.

I just checked and there are 7 billion people in the world. Being a really deep thinker I have figured out that means I am not always the one chosen and that the high points are just going to come and go in my life.

I stopped doing radio when I was introduced as someone who used to be as a political operator and I don't want to be known as a "used to be."

Which sort of brings me to blogging, although not really.

Why do any of us blog?

To be famous, discovered, appreciated?

Well some bloggers are, and good for them because there is a lot of work in excellent blogging.

Sometimes I am slack about it and I am well aware that the garments I show are not as wonderful as the clothes I was sewing when I had more time, and maybe when I took it all more seriously too.

Sometimes I wonder if it is worth it, particularly when someone emails me and tells me off, but then I read a comment and someone tells me that they spit out their coffee when they read something I wrote because it seemed true or funny to them that morning and I kind of find it reassuring to know I am not alone in the world.

Don't we all?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving

I am turkeyed out so this will not be all that coherent. Sort of like my fly paper thoughts, only the just-loaded-the- dishwasher version.

First of all with all the cooking going on my sewing this weekend has been limited. Another Adele top which is in a nice very soft rayon but this will do the pointed hem tops for me for a while. Time to move on.

Too tired to put it on me, and even the dress form is off kilter, so this is more an evidence than an illuminating photo.

Now onto what is firing around in my head tonight:

  • Thank you for the coat feedback. The first one is more me and I felt that in my gut too. Have to decide if current fabric options in the sewing room are up to scratch or if I need to get something worthy
  • Pattern hasn't arrived yet so I have lots of good angst time left
  • My kingdom for a news anchor whose upper lip still moves.
  • Three-year-olds think cookies shaped like turkeys and look like they were iced in the dark or at least by someone who left her glasses in the car are perfectly normal and in fact great.
  • Do any of my Australian readers remember what wonderful fabric departments Buckley's and Myers had in Melbourne?
  • If they are gone now don't tell me.
  • I have been on a fabric diet since May and my nerves are shot
  • I am going to knit that sweater again, one day, except this time get it right
  • At least I can knit socks
  • For both feet
  • I miss my son in New York so much
  • His sister will see him next
  • I have a great recipe for pickled crudities if you are interested
  • Helps counter balance the gravy.
  • My husband cooks the turkey at 425 and it is succulent
  • I was through the menopause before I found out you could cook anything above 350
  • My sister-in-law gave me a seam ripper in a leather case
  • I would not buy this for myself
  • She is an ace
  • Starting Thursday I am babysitting the two little girls, 1 and 3, for five days.
  • The baby is still nursing 6 times a day
  • This is Monday night
  • I might not work on a coat muslin this weekend
  • If you don't get enough email, try making a political reference on a blog
  • All I was saying was where's staff?
  • I am still saying that
  • Do you think the kids will watch the VP debate with me?
  • Might, we will all be up
  • Bake at 350 blog has the best sugar cookie recipe ever
  • See 350
  • I am getting more exercise and cutting back on portions
  • I have put on four pounds
  • And that was before turkey cookies
  • I used to be an ace with really little kids
  • Wonder if that's still true
  • Wonder what my sister in law is doing this weekend
  • I need to sit down and do a whack of pattern reviews for pattern review
  • Do you think I should do a SWAP this year?