Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

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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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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Down but not out

There isn't a lot of sewing to post here because there isn't a lot of sewing going on, due to the flu.

Last weekend my daughter and son-in-law had it. When I got that "I have lost the will to live" call from my daughter and my son-in-law said he started to walk up the stairs to see the kids and had to sit down because he was too dizzy I took the little girls over to my house for three days. 

This was of course partly showing off on my part as I am famous for never getting sick. We had a good time, reading books and making houses all over the house. Listen Nutella is pretty good stuff. Miss Scarlett did this picture of the three of us on that weekend, this is the sort of thing you save. It's worth more than tenure:

Of course being a smarty pants I did get the bug, just in time for my poor husband's week home. I was going to have him take pictures of the Renfrew top but since I have announced myself too weak to wash any dishes, and cook the food on them, I probably shouldn't rally so far as to start styling T shirts.

We will have to get to that later.

But of course my mind has been actively sewing and considering sewing. 

You wouldn't believe the brilliant letter I wrote to Simplicity at 2:00 a.m. this morning, only in my head of course, on how it was a terrible business decision to write off this whole country. We have the largest land mass in the world (OK there isn't much in most of it, but who knows maybe one day there will be), not all of us want to spend 8 months of the year watching Hockey Night in Canada, we are delusional ( I mean we stay here all winter) and will buy lots of patterns. Lots. Why don't they just get in the car and drive their whole operation over to BMV, who have sensible sales (one on right now) and ship patterns to this side of the border for $8 rather than the $17 each I hear those jokers at Simplicity are offering, and just leave it on the sidewalk for them to pick up?

I mean BMV sales are brilliant. I have tons of patterns downstairs I bought from them that I will never, ever use and I am adding to that number every month. And I am quite sure there are many more women like me from the Bay of Despair (real place, Newfoundland) all the way to Moose Jaw and beyond with the same behavioural pattern. BVM obviously has a business model that works, particularly with the weak and the vulnerable.

So what alternate model is Simplicity working from? The restrict the market, print the patterns but only sell them at JoAnn's model? Listen I go to JoAnn's like every other snowbird in Florida when I can, but JoAnn's is not it, the only it.

Which brings me to some of what I bought in NYC. Now generally I don't post fabric I bought pictures in case someone smart starts to keep track and realizes that they don't actually see this fabric become anything like a garment, but I am making an exception because the fabric is interesting.

Here we go:

I make crazy cotton shirts for my youngest son, who always says, "the crazier the better Babs" and this might fit that bill. He is away in New Zealand right now and every picture he posts on facebook he has on the exact same last crazy shirt I made him, which kind of has me concerned. He is a water guy and I thought the bridges were perfect.

My son in NYC's girlfriend and I both think this is our favourite. If this doesn't make me a cute summer blouse, I mean what will?

Since so much of my work life has been about newspapers and writing how could I not love this? I can see the pattern in my head I want but not in the books.

Gorgeous knit, the hand I mean, I will either be making a top that requires a lot of fabric or a dress that doesn't require much fabric.

Cotton quilted, sort of like high end sweatshirt fleece that I will make into a long jacket thing with big pockets for carrying the poop bags I collect when Mr. R and I go walking.
So that's it and as soon as I am feeling a little better I am on it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Flypaper thoughts

  • Past experience tells me that winters end
  • Not sure I am feeling it here
  • Have watched robins freeze on the branches for a week now
  • The little girls and I took out seeds
  • New York was wonderful
  • Took an outstanding soap making class at the Brooklyn Creative Studio
  • The teacher Rosemary is the real deal, we measured on digital scales and wore safety glasses
  • Michaels it was not
  • Will be doing a skin cream class for sure another trip
  • Understand seaweed soap is primo
  • Folks have I got a province for you
  • Made the Renfrew top
  • Lived up to the reviews
  • The inside of the cowl is cut smaller than the outside
  • A brain was in operation when this was drafted
  • Photographer will be home tomorrow
  • Mass producing Elle pants
  • I am so not a production sewer
  • This is no weather for bare legs
  • Mr. Rascal is on the mend
  • He now is jumping into the bathtub in the middle of the night for someone to turn on the tap
  • Fluids are better, sleep not so much
  • My students are so, so fun
  • You have to love folks who have time to paint each nail a different colour but no time to study before the test
  • Not sure this is the right priority but did make me smile
  • That's worth something
  • Just not marks
  • Simplicity has a semi-boycott of Canada
  • My local store has nothing past fall and they won't ship direct to sewers here
  • has them
  • Just so you know
  • Where is the tape?
  • Next month I will be in Florida
  • In bare legs
  • Went to a stand up confessional thing at a bookstore in NYC
  • Glasses of wine and folks telling horror stories
  • Expected Meg Ryan to show up
  • In Nova Scotia we do that in the grocery line up
  • Except the wine part
  • Nicest thing anyone ever said to me came out of Miss Scarlett's mouth last week
  • "Babs I really think you are the real Cat in the Hat."
  • Doesn't get any better than that
  • Got to get those Elles finished
  • Need to move onto tops
  • No weather here for bare chested cats