About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new 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 first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Barbara's useful SWAP part five

And here it is the last blouse of this cycle from the same pattern. I love it and will wear it a lot. I am taking life less and less seriously as I go on and appear to be dressing for that reality.

There are no technical notes left to add here, except to say I have abandoned fusible interfacing yet again. 

I am just more comfortable with a good sew-in. I pin the interfacing to one wrong side of my two collar pieces and stitch the collar. Then I go back and trim the interfacing right close to the stitching line. This is easy and gives a combination of a soft roll and a crisp collar I like. Sometimes I find the fusible is crisp but doesn't roll.

You will be delighted to know I have only one more top to do in my SWAP and then I will have six, and can move on to bottoms. You will be even more delighted to know I won't be using this pattern again. I am moving on to one knit top.

I must say I am really enjoying this SWAP.

For the first time in the few times I have started one of these I am actually aiming to sew clothes I will wear, and not trying to meet anyone else's standards or some construction of a fashionable wardrobe formula.

This blouse looks like one of my days.

There is something else I will try to explain.

A few times lately I have been asked why I don't get to every sewing guild meeting, blog more often, and do a better job of it. Sign on for more committees and fewer students. Return to old jobs.

Last month I went back with my mother to the street I grew up on when I was a kid. 

It made me think of who that kid was. Central to the whole thing was I was always making things. At one point I even ran a sweat shop out of our garage making doll clothes that I sold to all the little kids until a group of mothers shut me down. Something to do with the Labour Standards Code I think. I also used to borrow every how-to book in the local library, even about things I was never, as a 12 year old, going to actually do, like weave my own rugs or raise sheep for wool. As a matter of fact when we moved away from that town when I was 15 the local librarian gave me a life-time library card since I was such a devoted patron, which I think was a pretty decent thing to do considering I never returned a book on time once in my entire borrowing career.

So there is a point with this.

Making things is who I am, despite the life detours. I have to keep the space open to do that and to be that.  This means making sure I am doing things that I want to, and not meeting anyone else's expectations. I have a very busy job where I am doing that a lot of the week.

That, I realize, is why this SWAP is working for me. And don't expect to see any wonderful photoshoots or styling when it is done. This actually is me styling and well my photos are done by a guy who still, and always will, say things like "do you want your head in or out?" "how about your arms?"

So there is some streamlining going on around here. The fun sewing stays and so does this blog.

Just one woman enjoying herself and counting the winter days until the end of term and I head off for my two months in Florida (praise distance teaching).

Thank you for stopping by.


Pattyskypants said...

As it should be!

Mary said...

Bravo! If there is one thing those of us of a certain age have (hopefully) discovered is that life is too short to live by the rule of others. Be kind, help where you can, but when it comes to the choices we make about our free time, it just that--our choice. By the way, great top.

nahidworld said...

Those who love to create will find sewing a worthwhile hobby to pursue. You can work with items as simple as cross stitch designs, or even make your own clothing. The type of sewing supplies that you will need depend on the area of sewing that you intend to pursue.

gMarie said...

I would love to hear more about the differences between sew-in and fusible interfacings.

Good for you for taking time for things important to you. It's about balance and sometimes skipping the ASG meeting so you can actually sew is far more important. g

Anonymous said...

Always so much to think about in your posts! Thank you!


annie said...

Can I comment on something lowly? I,too, prefer sew-in interfacing. Love your musings.

Judith said...

And I am with you on all that you said! Thank you...J

Anonymous said...

Always love your comments about your guy--including the head in a photo is a nice touch I think. Elle

Jeanneke said...

You read my mind! Thanks for this great post!


jirons42 said...

Well said!!

Karin said...

I use fusible interfacing, but I find it tends to "unstick" anyway after a few trips through the washing machine. Maybe, I'd get better results just starting with a sew in, in the first place.

I think you are savvy, not to let all the social stuff around sewing, cannibalise the actual sewing!

Cleverclogs said...

That is a wonderful fabric!

Patty said...

Sounds like you have your priorities straight! Good for you :-)

Anonymous said...

Barb, your blouses are great. Nice to see a little of NYC in our neck of the woods.

When you were taking stock of all you do in your busy life you forgot to add that from time to time you do an intervention and get a lapsed sewer back on track Thank you. I have eight new pair of much needed undies or smalls as the Bomb Girls call them. Not so small in my case. Also made a birthday dress for a granddaughter and a snuggly for a friend's new baby. Next will be something for me!


Gill Merrey said...

I agree with you on the subject of fusible interfacing. My new year resolution is to never buy another metre. The sew in gives you more control and can easily be rectified if you make a mistake. I find it impossible to get fusible to lie flat I.e. not wrinkle on anything but cotton.

Mainelydad said...

I love your choice of fabrics!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for keeping this blog. I love your comments on sewing and the rest of life! I get a chance to go to NYC this spring fabric shopping. Do you have any adivice?
Great blouse, too!

LinB said...

Oh, Miz. Barb, honey, you've come over to the Light Side: those who believe that fusible interfacing is of the Devil! Welcome, welcome. (I hate and despise the stuff. Vowed decades ago never to mess with it again, and have never regretted making that vow.)

Also, welcome to the Clan of the Creator: those who fit the archetype "Maker." (I like to think that God and I are in the same service sorority.)

Barbara said...

LinB great way of putting it. Thanks.