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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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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Good fabric, good family

When I was in university I once did a course in theatrical costume design. It was one of those cases where the elective was a course I really wanted to take.

I remember two things about that class.

First, one assignment I had was to make a men's 17th century frock coat from a pattern derived from a draft of museum coat - original measurements of course and methods of construction. It took quite a bit of work and I was so disappointed when it was finished to find it completely unwearable - you couldn't move in it at all.

My instructor explained that in those days it was a sign of a gentleman to wear clothes that made it impossible to move, lift your arms even, as this implied you were capable of doing manual labour, or of even carrying your own books.

The second thing I remember was having it explained how important lighting was in pictures, or on the stage, and that only silk really came alive and showed a colour in either situation. I remember the prof telling us of a production that made evening dresses out of lining polyester, which looked the right colour and was shiny, and how faded and unsubstantial the dresses looked under the lights.

When I made the four flower girl dresses I used silk satin, at a good price from Mood much to my surprise, and when I saw the pictures I was glad I did.

Here are some shots:

The bride and her relatives with the two flower girls from her side.  I love this picture because the little girls are so cute and because you can really see the effect of the fabric here.
Here are my two grand-daughters with the sewist on the left
And now some more random wedding photos, ones of me in my dress will be coming along but right now here are my family. They really are my whole life and I am so proud of them:

My beautiful daughter-in-law and my son. I like this one because they really look like themselves. 

My niece Sophia and my 88 year old mother dancing with the boys from Halifax. It was a very elegant DC wedding but when you bring down a bunch of Canadians, well you bring down a bunch of Canadians. We shut the place down, my mother included.
My three children, the groom, Nat, and Ben and Katrina. My life's work and they all turned out, pretty happy about that.


Vicki said...

Lovely family - well done! And the flower girls dresses are gorgeous too

Elle said...


Jacq C said...

Looks like a fabulous celebration, wishing the happy couple much joy. You did a fine job, and not just of the dresses 😀

Kathie said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The family and the satin dresses. Congratulations on all of it.

Anonymous said...

These are such beautiful photos of a wonderful family milestone. Everyone looks terrific and like they are having fun. Congratulations on all that you did to make it happen -- beginning with giving birth to the groom! It had been such a long time between posts that I was seriously wondering if something had gone amiss. Your posts and photos have assured us that you were merely in "recovery" mode -- and I hope it was a well-deserved break. The only update that is missing thus far -- how is Miss Daisy?

Summer Flies said...

What great life work! The dresses look beautiful. Can't wait to see yours.
I keep telling my son that no matter what you learn, one day, when you need it, it will come to you, even if at the time you think you'll never use that information!

Digs said...

Those silk satin dresses are beautiful, as are the little models. Congrats on the wedding and your own trio of nicely turned out young adults. :)

Angela M. said...

What a simply wonderful day for your family! Everyone looks so happy. congrats!

Quite interesting about the costume and the choice of fabric. I had never heard that before - that polyester would end up looking washed out on stage, etc. Certainly your choice of fabric was spot on- the dresses look great.

Julie Culshaw said...

Congratulations on your life's work. Your grand-daughter, a face with interesting character. Another work in progress.

Catherine said...

You did a wonderful job on both the dresses and the family!!

Louise Perry said...

You must be so happy, looks like a really joyous occasion, congratulations to the happy couple and well done on those flower girl dresses they are exquisite.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful family! Great celebration!
Beautiful post!

I'm another one who didn't know about the natural fibre/brightness under lights thing! Good to know!


Judi Pinkham said...

Beautiful family!!!!!! I love the sleeves on the brides dress...and the flower girls dresses are perfect!

Helen said...

beautiful. that's a great lesson about the silk. beautiful colour on the little girls. thanks for showing us.

Angela said...

Beautiful family (in beautiful clothes, too)! I'm wondering if your granddaughter is thinking about sewing in that photo;)

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

Congratulations you have a wonderful set of children - you should be proud! I'm so happy for you and your family and so glad that everyone had such a great time on such an amazing day!

a little sewing said...

aww the flower girls look wonderful!
Looks like a fun wedding!
We sure did a lot of dancing, too.
What a coincidence that you were in DC.
My daughter's wedding was right outside of Camp David.
whew! Wonderful memories I bet!!

Laceflower said...

Your GDs are so beautiful, the dresses aren't bad either.

Kelley said...

I love reading your blog. You have such a beautiful view of life.

The dresses are gorgeous, and I loved hearing about the wedding. But you really got me with the line 'My life's work'. I don't cry often, but that line did me in.