Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

Sewing with less stress back cover

Sewing with less stress back cover
What my new book is about

Clothesmaking mavens

Clothesmaking mavens
Listen to me on the clothes making mavens podcasts

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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Friday, June 21, 2013

Do you need more stuff? Help me have less.

This message is probably for within-driving-distance readers.

I have massive amounts of machine embroidery thread (rayons and cotton) and lingerie fabric, lingerie elastic, wires and findings I have bagged as part of the "clean this place up so I can move" campaign in my sewing room that started when I went down there and started folding fabric the other night.

I am also looking at some StyleArc patterns that are in a size I am not and some classic sewing books.

If any of these things are of interest to you, why don't you shoot me an email?

What I am sewing now

First of all thank you so much for your supportive messages. It meant a lot to me, I felt so helpless and it was good to have my peeps reach out.

We are getting organized again. You carry on. My daughter's mom and baby group sent her a lilac bush so she can see it bloom every year this time and as one of the girls wrote " it was in full bloom last week." I think that really helped, something she had hoped for and fought for will not be forgotten.

Last night she started sewing again, a baby blanket actually, to be sent to a woman in New York who is going to a baby shower.

Today I decided what I am going to be doing next two.

Two projects that are different for me. The first is a retro shirt for my middle son who has a birthday on July 4th. He wants something funky and retro to wear to BBQs, and boy can his mom deliver that. This is the pattern I am going to use:

I have also been inspired to make a summer purse. 

I have been immune to date to the bag making craze but am inspired a bit by my daughter's own cool bags and all the links to patterns she sends, me I decided now is the time.

I have lots of purses of course but the old leather or even straw bag looks a bit formal with the shorts at the garden centre, or tearing around and throwing a bag in between two car seats in the back, or on the floor of the reno my son is working on and I am helping clean up.

I need a utility number. 

With lots of pockets for all the things I keep losing. I have resolved to stop unloading my entire purse on the counter in front of every cash register I meet.

Here is the pattern I have decided to use. My only regret is that I don't have immediate access to the garment district so I can get some neat, not garment looking, zippers.

I am actually pretty excited to be going out of my garment sewing comfort zone:

Stay tuned, real tuned.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What will I sew now?

We are home now and doing the long unpack.

After a difficult week my daughter lost the baby. There is no other way to say it. I feel so sad for her, she tries so hard to be good about everything, but this was tough. But she is too. One of my sisters once said that we are the kind that don't fall apart even when we want to. When we want to.

Do you know what I mean?

I think perhaps only women really understand this.

But you know today was a sunny day and she and the little girls came over and they walked around the back yard making grass and stone soup, like kids have done for generations, and made us laugh. 

You just have to trust.

Yesterday morning we went out, she probably should have been resting, and well we brought her a new summer wardrobe. She had different plans for this summer but you know you just have to regroup and feeling better on the outside is a start. 

I know there is a vanity is all the time we spend thinking about what to wear, I know that, but there really is something about new clothes that helps. Of course they don't actually fix anything but they make a difference. 

Maybe it means if you get up and get dressed you are moving forward. I don't know.

I remember my favourite all time movie scene in "Men don't leave" where the father has died and the mother takes to her bed and the kids are sort of panicking. A family friend who was a nurse I think, Joan Cusack who was wonderful, comes in after the mother has been in bed for days or weeks maybe and the kids are living off cereal or something, and Joan Cusack, picks the mother up out of that bed (Joan Cusack looks pretty strong) and throws the mother who is screaming and swearing at her into a shower, and says enough, you get dressed.

Getting dressed, and dressed up, means something.

I remember too that when my mother, who was an only child, lost both her parents the year she was sixteen, she went to live with an aunt and uncle. She always remembers the summer she was sixteen as the summer all the aunts sewed for her, making her a new wardrobe, and they put a red rinse in her hair too.

She can still tell you what those outfits looked like.

And for me when everyone went home tonight I went into my sewing room and spent a little time refolding some of my fabric thinking what I should sew next.

I really need to sew.