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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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January done and most of the SWAP

There hasn't been a lot to show lately because I have been working away on pants. 

I have six pairs on the go, two sort of wearable muslins and four for SWAP and I feel like they just are not ever, ever, going to be finished.

I am not a production sewer. Even for myself.

My admiration for anyone who can do it, sew the same thing over and over again, is limitless. To me putting the pieces of the puzzle together is what is exciting, this repetitive stuff is dragging me down and squishing the old Mojo.

In fact all this pants sewing, plus the fact it is January and I am a sunshine kind of girl, has had me get out the Light Box - you know that simulation light to fool your body into thinking it is not in a gloomy place.

It is meant to counteract Seasonal Affective Disorder. Mostly people get down with this, my own dad used to start drinking his coffee alone in the living room in January and wouldn't talk to us until noon or March whatever came first.

I can't say I get down, but I do get slow. So I decided the fact these pants seem to be taking four centuries to finish meant I had to get out the big guns and put myself under the lights until at least I could get the hems done.

Desperate time require desperate measures.

Do you ever do production sewing?

Blog awards and ten things

Over the past few months I have had notices I have received several blog awards. I really truly appreciate these nominations and want to thank those who made them. 

I am always stumped though on the next steps, which involves nominating and passing on the award to ten other bloggers. The thing is so many bloggers I read most frequently you all do and I would like to reserve the right, and I will do this, to recognize new blogs I am noticing.

Today I want to mention Mainelydad a self-taught sewist who does beautiful work, all the really hard stuff, and continues to challenge himself. Right now he is warming up to make a kilt.

No kidding.

One of the things of course about these blogger awards is the recipient is usually asked to say a few surprising things about themselves and of course that is always interesting.

I have put off doing this because I am not sure I can think of what about me is surprising, or important, or interesting.

But here goes.

Ten things you maybe didn't know about me:

  1. I don't get out of bed in the morning until I read the NY Times, the local paper, and three other online news sources. I like to know what's going on and don't want to be caught off guard.
  2. I was once in a bank during a robbery and didn't notice it. I was too busy helping a blind man use the ATM. I only looked up when the police arrived.
  3. I eat more than a 14 year old boy.
  4. I am the same height as I was in high school.
  5. I have sewn pretty much all of my clothes since I was 12.
  6. I used to go on business trips with a computer case with a small sewing machine disguised in it. I used the hotel lobby computer to do my work.
  7. Nancy Zeiman once read my hint.
  8. I was once mistaken for a body guard at a political event.
  9. At cocktail parties I talk to the dogs and the kids and wait to go home.
  10. I have failed to learn to crochet nine times. This year.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The only problem with a useful SWAP is...

It can get sort of boring.

I mean all these tops need pants and I have two pair nearly done and the others cut and finished.

Nothing really exciting to report about them other than the fact they have two legs and a zipper in the side and fit better than most on the Vogue pattern site. Also I am using the same pattern but different fabric and therefore totally different eases - I am cutting an inch total off each side for the ones with a woven with stretch in it.

I suppose this is mildly interesting as a demonstration of what we all already know and that's a different fabric totally changes the fit.

I will be glad when these are done and I can do something more interesting. Might insert a dress into the line-up until I can get that raincoat pattern, my last SWAP garment, sent here.

I am thinking of a dress for Valentine's day. 

We used to go out to a place that was sort of a grotto underground (Le Cave for my local readers) for Valentine's because of the cheesecake.

Then some slick son with bright ideas inherited the business and decided to bring it up out of the underground and go all right trendy and expand the menu and reduce the portions so they were minute with swirls of reductions (that's what you call not enough sauce) on it on giant white plates.

And of course in four months they were out of business.

In an attempt to reproduce the extreme romantic atmosphere of a seedy underground restaurant we found another place that was partially above ground and although it was not Le Cave, it at least had stalactites hanging from the ceiling made out of some very ancient dusty plaster. 

We were quite happy with its 50s Italian menu there for a few years until that place burned down, which is not surprising since it was a well-known fire hazard.

And then there were the three Valentine's days when my spouse was in Tennessee working and I was here shovelling snow and working and deciding that Valentine's day does matter to me after all.

Well in acknowledgement of this fact I am happy to report that the burned down place has recently re-opened after several false starts and I have booked us in for dinner on the 14th. 

They sounded surprised when I made a reservation.

I am not going to spoil the surprise by going down to see if they have replicated the decor but since they are still in the same basement type location I am hopeful their servers still don't have first names, are in fact still called waiters, that no one is going to offer me freshly ground pepper, and that the food is spread all over the plate and not arranged in a tower.

And I'm thinking a new dress is in order.

I mean if you look like someone's mom and dad all dressed up for special occasion you should at least look like it.

I might even order a Pink Lady.

I wonder where Miss Scarlett stashed my pearls?