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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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 15, 2014

Frogs, bunnies, and outfits

First the frog, from this side of the bathroom window,  IMO one more piece of evidence of a wonderful universe:

And the bunnies. 

Every evening a large number of beach bunnies (not the ones with tattoos and thongs) appear in the yard of the house we have rented. Very tame. I must tell you it is a weird feeling to have rabbits hop past a few inches from your toes. More evidence:

And I still have a few previously sewn outfits to share, with the usual random photography I have decided is part of my trademark since it is pretty reflective of life around here.

First up is a Maddie top by Stylearc made up in some silk Carolyn and I bought so long ago at Mood that she must be wondering if I was ever going to do anything with it. 

It has taken me a long time to figure out how to use this border print. I am happy with this very breezy wearable top.

Here is my office shot, taken by my long suffering friend, with my usual teacher "you have got to be kidding, who said they could have an extension" look on my face:

I mean does this look like a face that gives extensions?

The skirt, which I know doesn't look like much to write home about, or blog about, is the Magic Skirt in what they call "scuba knit" these days.

Listen I am hugely amused by this new fabric on so many levels. First off I have seen variations called neoprene.
Now I know from neoprene. I have spent half my adult life yelling "who left their soaking wetsuit in my car? It smells all moldy in there now" (and worse, do you know the old surfer winter trick of peeing in the wetsuit to keep it warm?) and "when are you going to take those wetsuits off the railing on the deck. I refuse to do it and I will let them stay out there all winter if I have to and freeze." (BTW they thaw out nicely in the spring and can go right back in the waves if the swell is good. Just saying.)

I mean neoprene is an all too familiar material in my life and the glamour has long left it (which is more than I can say for the smell in my car).

Also the dressmaker version of this fabric, lightened down to something ambiguously called "scuba knit" is a sort of spongy polyester that our grandmothers made dresses out of in the 60s just in case they weren't already hot enough in their girdles and nylons. I mean we would have laughed at this fabric two years ago but now we want it.

Actually I really enjoyed sewing with it, once I put in a small gauge leather needle and did my old sewing through a Bounce sheet trick to remove static from the needle and eliminate skipped stitches, and will be interested to see if it wears well without pilling.

Oh and my big news.

You know that mesh knit stuff that is available all over the place now? 

It makes the ultimate lining for knits. I discovered this when I saw it lining a silk knit dress by Nicole Miller I bought second hand in that brief time when I lost a lot of weight last summer. You know the time when I thought my diet and exercise program was paying off but it was actually because my thyroid meds were off? Well I can't wear that dress anymore obviously (Matthew McConaughey in the Dallas Buyers Club makes any person feel better about keeping those extra pounds) but it was worth it to find out about the mesh lining.

Breathes, doesn't ride up, and keeps the linee from sticking to your tights.

And finally before I sign off, as a demonstration of my different worlds, here is the same top in Florida with yellow, yes yellow this is Florida, Barb pants in some beautiful stretch fine like butter denim I got at Elliot Bermann. 

Oh and I am aware that my bra strap shows. See notes on photography above. My photographer didn't pick up on that - he was having enough trouble keeping the top of my head in the picture. Lesson here is to either get a new photographer or wear a strapless bra. 

Strapless bras don't cook like angels do they?