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Sewing with less stress Front
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Sewing with less stress back cover
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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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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Free time

My pile-o-pants are done. Seven pairs in the end, four of them for my SWAP. My ironing board looks like the counter at a dry-cleaner.

Now all I have to do to have that whole SWAP thing done is one raincoat and I am waiting for the folks at Vogue to send it to me in the mail.

This is nuts isn't it? 

I have a fabric store with that exact same pattern at the bottom of the street. But I am letting myself stall up here on the hill because I am getting it so much cheaper with that BMV membership which I have only because I pay for it, for probably about what I think I am saving.

Tomorrow I am going to start something else to be determined that is totally random while I wait for my raincoat pattern.

It only has to be in bright colours. 

This old February is about as much a nuisance as January was if you are a person who was actually supposed to be born in Hawaii but by some mistake turned up in the  Winnipeg Manitoba ( I was born in something called the Maternity Pavilion according to my birth certificate - what's up with that? Makes it sound like my mother gave birth in a  gazebo).

I think right now I need summer fabrics and colour like those English sailors craved limes on those long sea voyages.

I am sure I am coming down with sewer's scurvy. 

Too many black gabardines, too many grey flannels not enough citrus coloured linens or big loud old prints for big loud old days.

I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow but it is going to have some colour in it.

This waiting for things in the mail is kind of funny since mail itself is fading. 

In fact I can't mail any Valentines yet because I don't have any stamps in the house, and hardly do anymore.

This has got me thinking of those people you run into sometimes in some work places or on some sidewalks who have a lot to say about "the good old days" like they talk about the "kids today" as if they weren't far worse and didn't start a few fires in the the field behind the school in their day.

I don't have much time for the "I remember when" folks.

The things that really are most worth remembering are the things you think about in private, the things that are so close to you that it would spoil them to bring them out.

That's the part of the past you keep.

The fact is that things in this world are much improved and here is part of my list, add to it if you want:

  • Skype and facebook and emailed iPhone pictures for grandparents who aren't as close as they want. How much did people miss when they were waiting for those flimsy airmail letters in blue paper? My mother had a cousin who went from Canada to England to play hockey once and never came back his whole adult life, except for a few visits. How did his mother ever manage? I just don't know.
  • Sergers. If yours has ever been broken you find out really fast that there is no way pinking or turning under and stitching cuts it ever again for seam finishing. Some things are necessities of life.
  • Online shopping. This doesn't need any explanation. How did we ever do Christmas without it? Or Paypal? You don't have to put your boots on, or warm up the car, or try to find that other mitt, or go out when you are tired and hungry. You can buy all you want while you in your slippers and are eating spaghetti. This is advancement.
  • Ebooks and audio books from the library. This means you can still borrow when your overdue fines are so huge you are embarrassed to look anyone over there in the face. It means you don't have to carry bags of books with you on vacation and drop them in the water and the sand so when you get home you not only have to pay overdue fines but also replacement fees for books that were often not all that well-written or interesting or funny, or worse were about such depressing people that you quit after chapter three - but that you still have to replace. Ebooks are returned automatically in cyberspace if you are responsible or not, unharmed. And audio books can be listened to when you are going to sleep if you put your iPad in the bedside table drawer and set the timer. And they will put you to sleep because most of the time they are read by the wrong people, some English matron trying to make the voice of a Chicago cop for example.
All of these things did not exist in the good old days and that's too bad. 

Now to what I don't get:

  • Body wash. When did they decide that soap didn't work? Why do we have one more tall plastic bottle falling off the side of the tub? 
This part of the modern world I don't get.

What about you?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A little time out

Just so you know a person can't spend all her time doing her paid job and finishing up her pile-o-pants without a break.

A person has to do a little time wasting to break the momentum, and in case you are behind in the time wasting department I will share mine with you.

Quite some time ago one of my fabulous step-daughers sort of squinted at me and said "you know they have great make-up videos on YouTube."

What you mean the mid 1990's where not the all time pinnacle of glamourizing technique?

Now you tell me.

So that remembered comment, and the fact the man I married actually said these words to me got me going:

"You know you look like Keith Richards".

I didn't make this up. 

He actually said that. He now claims that he was referring only to the large, made-by-me headband I wear to keep my hair up when I am in the bath.

The headband reminded him.

But really. 

What would you do to your man if he thought you reminded him of this:

I mean if that isn't a comparison to send a woman off to either dialling 1-800-get-adivorcefast or onto YouTube for make-up advice I don't know what is.

So here ladies is what I got.

All you have to do is a search for "make-up for old eyes."

A fabulous video with a great guy who actually puts on his "mature eye make-up" on one of his very own eyes as he speaks. (Just ignore the part where he defines "mature" as anyone over 30, I did and I am sure Keith did too, and BTW old Keith could do with a good look at this video himself).