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

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Clothesmaking mavens
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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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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oh hell

It may be a few days before I post again.

I had to put Mr. Rascal down today. 

He has been wonderful lately, full on terrier but this morning he wouldn't touch his food and I knew he was in kidney failure. We spent the afternoon in his chair with him on my lap and he was peaceful. Then we went into the vet and I held him and he was gone.

My little boy.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sewing comes first

OK, listen.

This is why I have not being blogging.

Life has been nutso lately that I decided I needed to just sew whenever I could for therapeutic reasons, and blog about it later.

In the last two weeks I have made four pairs of knit Elle pants, six T shirts, and, this weekend a lined skirt, a silk top, two pairs of Barb pants and a jacket.

I say this not to display my skill and productivity, which are most often iffy at best, but as evidence of how deep the need to sew has been.

I have had one son home unexpectedly getting a new visa to work in the US, other kids flying in en route to surprise the son who was supposed to be in NYC for his birthday, people passing each other in the airport trying to hide from each other, a major snowstorm that shut the city completely down to the extent the last plane in came in sideways and had to go to Montreal and try it again and even the Red Cross stopped delivering blood to the hospitals because of the snow- all this in three days.

Did I leave out the part about my son-in-law buying my daughter's ticket for the party in New York in her maiden name for some weird reason and that ticket being declared invalid and the three hours it took to buy a new ticket? Or about the fact Miss Heidi washed her hair in vaseline on my watch, just after she dumped the chicken broth on the floor, but before she ate the dental floss, because I was discussing the difference between big and little letters with her sister?

But it all turned out. 

Everyone got in and out for the siblings' surprise party in Brooklyn, including the kid who is going to be taking the beekeeping course (four trips I took back and forth to the airport in two days) and it all came together in NYC last night with my birthday boy surprised after all.


So in the midst of this and the last two weeks of school and students emailing me for extensions because they find "deadlines stressful" I just had to spend a lot of time after hours in the sewing room.

As I think I said a while ago I was able to get so much done by using the most TNT basic super easy patterns of all time and interesting fabric to make it work.

I realized that I have actually finally sewn a SWAP after all these years of dropping out - simply because I made easy clothes.

Why didn't I think of this before?

I like every thing I made.

I figure with school being what it is going to be this week I will post pictures and comments on various projects every couple of days or so, if that is alright with you.

First up in the Renfrew top in rayon jersey:

This was taken at work obviously as I was headed into a Friday faculty meeting and I am wearing some Stylearc Barb pants. Probably the fine knit doesn't bring out the best of my belly in this shot but what can you do? I lengthened this as I usually do but probably won't again. A terrific pattern, great shoulder fit, several neckline variations and good potential as a dressier type shirt.

And if this looks like I was talking while this was being taken that is because I was. Discussing a student who has decided to stop going to classes because he could figure it out himself from the notes and had reported that he was sure he would be fine final markswise - that would be one of us with that opinion.

So more garment shots later in the week.

But before I leave you in case you are under the impression things are running like a well-oiled machine around here with all the sewing I have been able to accomplish, I thought I would share with you with a shot of that fair isle vest I spent the last year working on for my son's girlfriend in New York:

 Yup that's it.

The fit was so outstanding I just ended up throwing the whole thing in the washer and dryer and felting it and turning it into a glasses case. That was about all I could do in the salvage department with that little unit.

That's it from me for tonight folks.

Over and out.