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Sewing with less stress Front
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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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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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Barbara's useful SWAP part four

Well I am fully back at work, and back in deep. This is certainly going to affect my sewing time.

But not entirely.

Here is a third version of the Jane shirt, this time as per pattern with the yoke and the 3/4 split sleeve, in one of my big city prints. Although I am beginning to wonder if I am going to end up looking like Kramer, I admit I love it. Maybe, no undoubtedly, my inner Kramer is larger than I thought.

Having made this before there was only one small change I made. The split sleeve is made by simply leaving about 3" of the sleeve seam open and I knew the wrong side would show a bit. As a result I added to the hem so it was 1 1/2" wide, and before I even sewed the sleeve seam I finished the raw edges of the fabric with my narrow hem foot. It thought this made a very easy sleeve treatment look a little neater and you know we only do top quality work in this location, assuming you define top and quality pretty loosely:

Now back to work, my job I mean.

I am pretty pleased with the realization that I have now four of my six SWAP tops done, of course four of the final total will be from the same pattern but with such different fabric choices I don't think that matters. And if it does don't tell me.