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Sewing with less stress Front
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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, September 6, 2014

Can summer possibly be over and the Renfrew top

Well hello again.

I am back at school again with very large classes and what looks like some interesting students. I am going to be trying a few new things this term in a course I have taught fairly often. We will see how that goes. I always try to make my classes better every time I teach them. This is of course not always how it turns out. This intention means new ideas, some are good ones and some are dumb. Generally this works out overall but we will see how it goes this round.

This will be my last full time year teaching. After that my plan is to do one course a term and try to make it as near perfect as I can and just enjoy myself. No admin or all the rest of that stuff after this year - I have a feeling I am going to live without meetings just fine. More than fine.

My summer was so busy. 

I had family staying with me or visiting me for two and a half months straight and of course Billy the kid showed up too as the latest addition in July. All the folks allowed me to perfect develop my skills in cooking like I was running a restaurant, but while that was going on I caught up with everyone. This was good.

I really enjoyed having my nephew with me this summer a lot. It is kind of nice to have the good part of a teenager in the house (he is 17) without the responsibility of it being your own kid. Remember when you look back at your own children growing up and wish you had worried less and just enjoyed having them around more? That's what my summer was like.

He is a great conversationalist and I really miss him. When we said goodbye he cried and said I was his second mother which made me cry too. We will both remember the summer when he was 17.

Now we are back in normal life business I actually have a lot to tell you and am not sure where to begin.

Maybe I will start with some sewing and continue tomorrow.

One of the new things I will be doing this fall is teaching some classes at a new sewing studio/store called Patch Halifax

One of the classes I am doing is intro knits, a topic dear to my heart. Here is my sample of the Renfrew top in a high quality bamboo knit from the shop.

Of course this looks lousy as a hanger shot but is amazing on. I can't say enough wonderful things about this pattern. At first I figured that hey it's just another T shirt and I have sewn a million, but this is one well drafted, well fitting pattern. You will note that the hem issues that worry beginners have been eliminated by bands, not really gathered bands like we would have made old school, that finish the edges nicely. The cowl is cut so it hangs properly and interestingly and is so much nicer than the usual big rectangle from the Gang of Four.

I am going to be making one for myself soon in a stripe and that should produce a shot of myself in this pattern so you can judge for yourself.

Hope all is well with you.

So many people say fall is their favourite season but I have to tell you I am not one of them. So many people say that the return to a schedule makes them happy but I think I am built more for the random life.

You get more sewing done.