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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 6, 2014

Two pattern reviews

My sewing has kept ahead of my blogging this last week. I find making things easier than finding the time to take pictures. When my husband leaves next week I will probably be resorting to on the dressform shots or being brave like Carolyn and trying to take pictures remote control.

Things have been busy. 

My daughter is near the middle of her pregnancy and last week was dealing with a husband who was away for work for the week and a round of Norwok over there. I did what I could to help her out and that included one night where I stayed over to change and wash sheets while she held the bowls.

You get the picture.

The week was a bit of a blur between work and helping out but I had some nice sewing surprises. 

The first was a batch of six new Stylearc patterns I am dying to try and a shipment of some really nice knits from GirlCharlee fabrics.  They only carry knits but I got some terrific practical T shirt prints, good cotton lycra for some more day-to-day Elles, and some ponte. I am particularly impressed with the ponte. Good quality, good stretch. BTW the Girl Charlee site posts the stretch factor of their knits which is really useful if you are making some Stylearc pants for reasons in my earlier review.

My latest sewing produced a hit and a miss.

The first of these was Vogue 8951, a semi miss.

Here is the pattern shot:

I didn't do the extended hem at the back, personally that look still looks like a saggy diaper to me, and I really expected this top to be pretty straightforward and the top useful.

I used a ponte with good body and interfaced the collar and facings of course.

What the picture doesn't show, and I should have checked, is how low and wide that V is. Showing cleavage day-to-day may work for some people but those people sure didn't grow up in small towns in Manitoba. There we saved that for New Year's Eve and even then put on a sweater.

So I was sort of kicking myself for having burned some good fabric on this one, and in the end put on a silk scarf which makes it wearable. Here are the shots, see for yourself:

Since I always push up my sleeves, why do I forget sometimes not to just make them 3/4? A very good question.

This makes a few patterns now from the Vogue conglomerate that has produced clothes I am not comfortable in and makes the money I spend on ordering in the Stylearcs I can make many versions of more sensible. (In a previous life I was a spin doctor, see I can even still do it to myself).

Which brings me to my skirt experiments.

On Mondays and Wednesdays I teach a first thing in the morning class at the top of a hill. I am always running up that hill and since my work skirts are all straight skirts this is not always as easy as it sounds.

So last week I decided I needed something I haven't worn for decades and that is a skirt with movement, and in a knit.

This led me to the Stylearc Allison skirt:

I am still working my way through my black fabric stash and made this one out of a rayon ponte. It was an easy sew.

I was of course iffy about the waist since mine left town some time ago but decided I needed to just see how it went, knowing this in advance.

So these are shots taken before I went out the door to work yesterday.

In case you are wondering, yes you are in fact looking at a purple top and purple tights. I have been enjoying adding colour to my life and in my teaching evaluations last term one student, undoubtedly one of those who wears jeaggings and has plugs in her ears, complimented me on my kicking style.

Not sure what that really meant, I never the less still let it go to my head and give me courage to wear exactly what I never would have worn in my previous corporate life.

Of course being black you can't really see much of the skirt in this photo but it should give you some idea of the swing of it and its suitability for hill climbing.

Next up are more skirts and waiting for spring.