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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


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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sewing on the edges

We have had a busy week around here, getting the bed rest routine down, and doing details like feeding three dogs in sequence, as well as the regular work and other family stuff.

I have slipped in some sewing related activities but nothing real heavy duty as those sorts of things were being done elsewhere.

First I have to say I can't imagine what a nuisance life has to be if you don't sew.

One particularly warm night I found myself wrapped up in a knit nightie around my neck. When I got up I said screw this and went down to the sewing room and made two minimalist nightgowns from 100% cotton seersucker left over from that delusional white shirt project. 

Minimalist means I serged the whole thing and the only decoration is a bit of baby rick rack around the neckline.

You absolutely can't buy exactly this. I don't know why. I am reminded that one of my sisters ordered in some $50 or something "menopause" nightgowns that were supposed to keep you cool. These babies cost me nothing except my time spend rooting around in my piles of fabric to find this seersucker.

Since I have made them I have been sleeping like a baby.

Must be the rick rack.

Here is a shot on one on a bush which is my version of an arty bit of photography:

I just adapted a summer dress pattern which is why this has bust darts, not a usual nightgown detail.

And yes I know this looks like something they issue you when they take away your shoelaces and sharp objects, or like something from a Swedish film where there are subtitles and more angst then should be fit into any one life, you know before the character in this nightgown is told to go back to her room and continue to go mad.

So if you overlook the part that this is a highly institutional little garment it is mighty cool in the literal sense, so I am just moving on.

In my time slivers I have also been doing some sewing room organization.

I am always impressed by the organized sewing room shots, you know the ones that look better than your living room at home and are about as disorganized as the instrument tray at the dentist's office.

Suffice it to say that my sewing room, although a large and even partially drywalled room in my basement, doesn't exactly look like that.

However organizing a sewing room is fun in a 14 year old boy cleaning their room sort of way - you know you pull something out and then spend 20 minutes fooling around with it until you go to the next item. I mean this isn't exactly top speed cleaning or organizing.

So as evidence that not all sewing rooms are marvels of decor here are some corners of mine.

My dear husband, the not finishing drywall one, put up some peg board a while ago for me. The plan was to go to Home Depot and get little hooks and be a new me.

That was fine for a while but the hooks turned out to be too expensive, about $20 for five, particularly if you translated the dollars into fabric.

However this month I discovered a retail display store and they had big long hooks that were perfect for serger thread for less than 20 cents each and these bicycle basket things that are perfect if you are pretty messy for tossing in odd spools of sewing thread, for $5.00 each.

So here are some shots of all that on the pegboard:

Finally in the back corner, furthest from my sewing machine, I have neatly folded all the mending projects that hopeful men in my family have brought down for me to fix:

I have no intentions of ever touching anything on this shelf. 

And yes that is a Tennessee Vols sweatshirt with the broken zipper. My husband has been back from Tennessee for nearly a year and a half now.


Mrs. Smith said...

I am FALLING out laughing!!!!! This was hilariously funny!

I love the shelf that will never be touched. Love it! LOL!!!

Nice nightgown too. Function can totally trump style!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Glad I wasn't drinking my precious Mountain Dew while reading that post because it would have been everywhere I was laughing so hard. Also, thank you for not posting this during the week, my coworkers already think something is wrong with me because I'm always laughing at my computer!

The nightgown looks better than some of the t-shirts that I sleep in...I'm sleeping not trying to impress anyone! *LOL*

...not everyone can have granite counters in their sewing room...y'know what I mean!

Angela said...

Love your nightie and your shelf that will not be touched:)

KC said...

You really are very funny. Sometimes I wonder if people go out and buy pretty fabrics they don't need just so they can arrange them attractively in their sewing studio shots.

Your pegboard of spools looks like a battalion of daleks viewed from above. Did you get a 14-year-old boy (why boy?) to help you with that?

Pearl K said...

Love the nightie - gotta find me some seersucker! ...and I too need a back shelf that will never be touched...oh wait...my version is the Sally Ann bag!

kbenco said...

Perfect nighties.
I laughed a lot reading this post. I particularly like the shelf for hopeful men ;)

Juliet said...

Your posts always bring me such pleasure ans amusement. Today I really needed it. Thank you.

Bunny said...

You had me at menopause nightgowns! Your blog is such a great way to start my day, particularly after a headache filled night. Thanks for that,Barb.

a little sewing said...

LOL Barbara, I agree with all the other commenters, guffawing at menopause nightgowns and the shelf that shall remain pristine.
Glad your daughter-in-law is settling in, the poor dear.
You are probably a great person to be sequestered with.

Rachel (in Halifax) said...

I have half a dozen of those extra-simple nightgowns, they're great. You can use your 'whatever possessed me to buy that ghastly cotton' fabric.
I 'organize' my sewing stuff several times a year and had to laugh at your description of taking something out and fooling around with it for 20 minutes. That's me. It's such a great opportunity to remind yourself of what odds and ends are stashed away and to maybe get ideas. I never remember to have a notebook and pencil handy to write things down - that would be TOO organized!

Melissa said...

Love the nighty! I used wooden dowels glued with wood glue in my peg board for thread. Of course I have it made, but haven't installed it yet. I'm in the process of cleaning my sewing room now to as it will be a guest room for the weekend. Glad I'm not the only one with a picture perfect sewing room!