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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Saturday, July 5, 2014

This crazy life

I have decided to do a post a day this week, signifying my return to blogland.

I have been waiting for things to slow down around here but have more or less accepted that isn't going to happen, so here I come.

Back in.

Of course posting more frequently does mean that there will not be much that is that edifying most days, so reader beware.


Today was Hurricane Arthur in Nova Scotia, not much of a storm really unless you were a tree - they seemed to have spent most of the last 24 hours being blown in half and back again.

120,000 without power and this included my daughter and her family so they came over.

My daughter is three weeks near the end of her pregnancy and the little girls are 2 and 4. We had power, we had ways to cook, we had chocolate cake left over from Uncle Benny's birthday party the night before.

The men watched the tennis and the soccer in the basement and the rest of us spent time upstairs debating, with phone consults to my sister who is an ex labour room nurse, if the nausea and pain was a) early labour b) not early labour c) the result of the men being in front of the TV d) the result of a 2 and 4 year old stuck in the house all day e) if she went into labour today if that meant we had to call the baby Arthur.

In the end we decided that sitting on an exercise ball was probably a good idea, as was feeding the kids snacks and letting them watch the Wizard of Oz on my bed in front of the other TV, until we realized that green faced witch is pretty scary.

Then one of the men came up to make hamburgers. We didn't have any newspaper to start the coals since I have just recycled, so I got out some old sewing patterns of things I am definitely never going to ever make since I have had those patterns for 25 years. 

So this is what the afternoon looked like:

Remember feeling like that? BTW I made the top and pants for the first pregnancy and they still are going strong, which is more than I can say for my daughter at this moment.

Miss Scarlett trying to convince us that we should sew. Not today kiddo. The baby toys on the floor are ones that a baby left behind and Miss Daisy now throws around which thrills me since they told me puppy mill moms never learn to play. Well in this house they do. Incidentally on the chair in the background is a quilt the girls got out that I made for their mom (the one sitting on the exercise ball). I am a terrible quilter and went into labour before the binding was finished. With the sanity typical of women who are on their way to lose their minds in the labour room I refused to leave the house until I had finished slip stitching the binding right up until the contractions were 5 minutes apart. One of my finer moments.

Now dogs don't care if there is a Hurricane, even 15 pound dogs who get blown around. So Miss Daisy and I went out in the yard and I took these shots of her. Owing to the wind conditions and her being half terrier the shots are blurry due to movement by the subject.

I would liked to get some smiling running around shots but she was too quick for me and only stopped when I called her name, probably hoping it was lunch. She has filled out and no longer has vertebrae you feel poking through her skin. 

We go on three walks a day at least and the rest of the time she keeps herself busy being six inches behind me every step I take. I realize I am her first and only person she has ever had a relationship with and seems to have decided if she sticks with me she will be fine. Having her branch out to feel as comfortable with other members of the family will take some time but she is getting there.

My wonderful nephew who is such a sweet boy summed it up perfectly "Daisy is learning to be a real dog and every day more and more of that comes out."


So signing off tonight I will leave you with my favourite picture of her.

We got one of those little armchairs for the girls when they were little and all on her own Daisy found it.

And here she is.

At home in her own house:

Friday, July 4, 2014

Flypaper thoughts fourth of July

  • Got a birthday party today for my youngest who was born on the fourth of July
  • Board shorts to finish 
  • The little girls are coming over to help with the cake
  • They have also decided we need balloons, streamers, and treat bags
  • They are stressed because they don't know what Uncle Benny's favourite colour is
  • This is big when you are two and four
  • What would you put in a treat bag for a twenty-eight year old
  • Probably mothers shouldn't think about things like that
  • McCalls has three interesting new fall patterns
  • This weekend posting garment pictures
  • Finally
  • The last two weeks have been a whirl
  • Nephew who is here for the summer is settled into his first job
  • We have also spent a couple of days figuring out university courses with him
  • He has one more year of high school left
  • Thinking of doing a post about what I wish parents knew about getting kids ready for first year
  • There are things you should know
  • Fabricmart is posting boring fabrics these days
  • Who needs all that taupe
  • What exactly is taupe
  • And why is it not beige
  • Don't you just love it when you make something you never made before
  • Don't understand the instructions but what-do-you-know it turns out
  • Putting off the board short eyelets
  • Two months in Florida
  • Hats and sunscreen every day
  • Spent yesterday afternoon with the nephew walking around in the fog watching the Nova Scotia golf open
  • Sunburn today
  • Figures
  • My entire extended family will more or less be here all August
  • Please send me your go to recipes for feeding crowds dinner
  • I am clearly serious about this
  • All the neoprene fabric around now would be perfect for the Jalie coat that has been calling for stretch coating all these years
  • Need a raincoat but can't face making a trench
  • Made one once for my 3X male hairdresser
  • Burda and 48 pattern pieces
  • I have done that
  • Once
  • Spent yesterday morning taking care of the girls and playing "friendly racoons in the snow"
  • For some reason this involved making beds in the kitchen
  • I had to talk in my racoon voice
  • I have a racoon voice
  • Speaking local Miss Daisy is not sure she like the rain
  • Stands on the deck and actually looks up at the sky
  • Even in drizzle
  • Has a "what the hell is this" look on her Florida face
  • Then she comes in and pees on the floor
  • Got to come up with a plan before the sleet season starts
  • We will figure it out
  • We are doing so well with everything but the rain
  • Last week she started to play with toys
  • Ran up and down the hall bringing back a toy we threw
  • We were nearly in tears
  • Learning to be a real dog
  • Are you sick of the dog stories
  • Dog recovery has been such a big part of my last few months
  • Ah ha!
  • I need to sew her a raincoat with a hood
  • As with most things
  • The solution is sewing
  • Now off to do those eyelets
These are the new McCall fall patterns I noticed:

I once had a wrap type dress with a dolmon sleeve I liked. Would it make me feel as elegant at 60 as at 25? Always the question. However you can't trust a wrap. This one says it closes with hooks and eyes. Kidding right? I am not trusting exposing my underwear to a couple of hooks and eyes, that's for sure

We all wore these skirts all the time. Like when I was 25 and didn't think I would ever be as old as 60. Funny having more fun now. Back to skirts. These are practical but are they dowdy?

Like this view for work, on my thinking about this list. Have to make the dowdy decision as I will not be wearing marcelled hair with mine.

Like this line drawing better than the picture where the model is bunching it up with a belt. A million patterns like this before but this one has more shape and a peplum version. I have to think ahead to dressing in the sleet.