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I am a mother, a new 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 first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, August 31, 2015

Dress sorta done

Well sewed hard since I last posted and with the help of my sewing friend Trudy yesterday got this dress done.

Trudy took pictures of me in it but of course I erased them by mistake so here are some lovely back of the bathroom door shots of the dress finished but yet to be finally pressed.

Of course I pressed as I sewed but handling it again to hem etc. inserted a million wrinkles and it will need a careful going over.

I am not going to do that now, I need a little distance and a break.

My luck held, no major disasters, and it would tempt fate to put it to the iron tonight. 

Best both the dress and I have some time apart before that happens.

I think I managed to interpret the instructions that were not there fairly well and on me I learned a few things.

That weird hanging down part actually looks fine folded up and secured with a brooch like in the design picture on the website. I need a pin that matches the dress pretty well but fortunately when I went into a nice little shop today they told me they are expecting a shipment of many hundreds of 40s and 50s pins from an estate. As soon as they arrive I will tear down there.

So if you have a good imagination, and squint a bit to blur the wrinkles, here is the dress. Proper shots of me in it to follow when I have everything, including my nerves all smoothed out:


Judith Stansky said...

Gorgeous color and intriguing. You will look stunning in this dress. I'm so impressed with the hours you must have put in. What are you doing for accessories? I hope we get to see you in it. Brava.

Mary OK said...

gorgeous -- I love the color! Can't wait to see it on you!

Tracey Siegel said...


Lynn said...

Beautiful dress! Great color, lovely.

Anonymous said...

Stunning! That's my word too. The muslin looked great on you and when you get to wear the real deal – well, you'll be nothing short of stunning.
Vancouver Barbara

celkalee said...

Now that is one really pretty dress. The color is beautiful and the styling is about as good as it gets. Great job.

wendy said...

It's really beautiful, you are going to feel wonderful wearing it I'm sure.

SuzieB said...

That is one beautiful dress! and you're going to look beautiful in it! Love the color & fabrics - and your skill level is very apparent.

It's great that you're passing the sewing experience along to your granddaughter. It will improve her fine motor skills, her observational skills (your hems everywhere reference!), her ability to plan & sequence tasks (think Marfy pattern!), & her ability to think about the infrastructure of objects, not just garments. Hey, it's engineering - not just creativity!

annie said...

As we say in the south, you did good!

Anonymous said...

Oh! That is lovely and a unique design, well done you!, I look forward to seeing you wearing it.

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

Super beautiful, cant wait to see it as the final product. Good job!

Kay said...

Pretty! I agree with others that the color is beautiful and your fabric choices really showcase the design. I didn't really understand from the muslin where and how the 2 fabrics would be used, but now I see that you have exquisitely implemented your vision.

"It will improve her [snip] ability to think about the infrastructure of objects, not just garments. Hey, it's engineering ..." Yes! Many years ago,when my husband and his friend were repairing an old sailboat, they couldn't figure out how to lay the canvas on the deck and up the sides without ugly, dirt-trapping wrinkles and seams. These 2 guys were pilots, who had to understand how things fit together in 3D, so I was really surprised that I had to show them: you just put curved darts in each of the corners as the fabric wrapped up the sides. My husband has a lot more respect for my engineering skills now.

Summer Flies said...

What a beautiful dress... you will look stunning. I love the sparkly bits and the colour is gorgeous. I agree with SuziB re sewing like engineering. I was just thinking this the other day. Like anything it's not impossible to do and learn, but it is a complex task that has a lot going on.

Anne in Melbourne said...

So pretty!

Sharon said...

You will look stunning, love the colour and style.

Louise Perry said...

Think it's wise to give yourself a break before ironing. Well done its a fabulous colour and you will look great.

Anne said...

Lovely colour. I'm looking forward to seeing you wear it complete with accessories!

Bunny said...

Lovely and I know that color will be smashing on you!

badmomgoodmom said...

Gorgeous dress. You deserve a break from sewing after the big wedding push.

I have such positive associations with Home Ec that I wrote a series In Defense of Home Ec 1/2/3.

I didn't write in that series that my officemate at the Joint Inst. of Lab. Astrophysics is the son of a woman who majored in Home Ec (back door way for women to major in chemistry). She went to grad school for a PhD in theoretical chemistry, but got derailed by pregnancy (my future office mate); the father gave her no help or support.

When her son was older and she remarried, she used her skills as a state public utilities commissioner.

Her son and I both did graduate with PhDs in theoretical chemical physics and we are both using out PhDs in our jobs.

At some schools, Home Ec majors were in great demand from industry. Berkeley's Home Ec (later called Nutritional Science) majors landed great jobs in Big Food (the industrial scale food industry). It's the toughest major on campus. They have to take all the classes that the biochemistry majors take AND take a ton of nutrition classes. They are well-respected by peers like myself and employers, too.

I work (indirectly) for NSF (National Science Foundation) and have read more about the history of women in higher ed that the avg person on the street. It appears that schools' decisions about how many women they would accept were strongly influenced by industry demand for women graduates. Thus, for decades, women were accepted into Chemistry and Math programs, but not Physics programs. The echo of those old policies propelled women to make up half of all Chem and Math majors when I was in college in the 1980s, while the % of women physics majors were in the single digits.

My first encounter with meteorology was in 8th grade Home Ec and I'm teaching meteorology today! OK, I'm teaching Big Data with meteorology examples--but it all started in 8th grade Home Ec.

BTW, in the universities I attended:
000 lower division Fr/Soph
100 upper division Jr/Sr
200 graduate 1st or 2nd year
300 advanced graduate (PhD students several years into grad school)

I'd welcome the opportunity to talk to you further about this.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Barbara - that is stunning!

Frenie Agbayani said...

I love the fabric of your dress. Such a great sewing patterns idea!