Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
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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 19, 2012

Raw denim

I thought you would enjoy this.

My youngest son has just brought over a pair of "raw denim" jeans to hand wash. The idea of hand washing is beyond his great brain.

I had to google the instructions but he was right.

Raw denim is denim that has not had the dye rinsed out. Therefore as you wear it, the dye comes away in the creases and you get patterns of fade that are individual.

"Like the human finger print!" the manufactures claim.


In case you are ever up against raw denim here is what you are supposed to do:

1. Wear them all the time. Sleeping in your jeans is recommended.

2. Waiting 6 months to wash them.

3. Yes you read #2 right.

4. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and a non-detergent detergent.

5. Turn the jeans inside out and submerge them and weigh them down with something.

6. Soak for 45 minutes, rinse, and hang outside, upside down, to dry.

7. Go back and see your mom in 6 months.

On the leading edge over here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Elles not so swell

First things first.

The parents are back and the little girls are no longer my responsibility. 

We had a great time.

Like riding a bike, but I am sure my own kids weren't this well-behaved.

My daughter reports that both children were happy and relaxed when they arrived home.

She also reports that they are interested to know why all the TV remotes in the house now seem to be broken and what happened to the dishwasher. 

No idea. 

I wonder if they have also noticed that they now have a 3 year old who can sing Barbara Ann by the Beachboys right through without any mistakes, and that the kid who doesn't eat does great with potatoes mixed with yoghurt, if you let her eat with her eyes closed.

The scrape on the car had nothing to do with me BTW. I am blaming it on the man who was installing the new kitchen cupboards. He was trying to make a fast get-away.

You get what you pay for.

Seriously it was all fun except for that damn pink bear who went AWOL about every 20 minutes. Note to all new mothers who create small children dependent on one cuddly toy.

Buy duplicates.

After all the excitement I went back to my regular life which right now involves marking 147 assignments (this is a real number not something I am putting in here for comic effect, in fact nothing is here for that purpose, this is my real life).

I am taking a break from the marking to blog. The last email was from a put-out student who was offended I had queried her use of the semi-colon - something she puts in there randomly every third word or so.

"But professor you don't understand, semi-colons are part of my style."

I resisted emailing back asking her if she was e.e. cummings and instead quoted Hemmingway who said a writer should use only three semi-colons.

And that was in one life.

To keep my spirits up while I mark I am doing my standing desk thing at one end of my sewing cutting table. For every 10 papers or so I let myself go cut something out. I am getting a lot cut out.

And if I really need a break I do some stitching.

One of the things I have done is a muslin, apparently, of StyleArc's Elle pants.

I love the Linda pants but wanted to see if I could do something with a narrower leg.

Well I got that. Here is a lousy iPhone shot in the bathroom:

About all you can see here is that these are some skinny pants. This is one leg and I can get my own leg in it, it just won't bend. 

Obviously the stretch woven I was using was more woven than stretch, but even if it was stretchier I didn't really have those legging things students are wearing for pants when they shouldn't in mind for this project.

So one of the things I have cut out is another version of the Peta pants with the bottom hem brought in an inch either side and the profile of the Elle's used to blend in the seam.

We shall see.

In the meantime about a month ago someone asked me how I pretreated wool jersey.

Well what I do is put the dry jersey in the dryer for 10 minutes on a low/fluff type heat with a wet but well wrung out tricot half slip. 

This seems to get just a shade of shrinkage out of the fabric without actually shrinking it. I then lay the jersey out on a table to recover overnight.

This seems to work.

Now back to my assignments.