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Sewing with less stress Front
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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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Sunday, April 26, 2015


It turns out this two month stay in Florida has been about two things: teaching my classes and learning new things.

One of the new things is golf. 

My husband would rather golf than eat (he once did 72 holes in the rain after a course was closed and they said he could keep playing). I like being outside and particularly enjoy the Florida landscape. When many outside the state think of Florida they think Daytona and high rises, but we stay in a small place where nothing is more than two storeys and the locals still far outnumber the tourists. 

The lushness and the wildlife make the visit for me.

I decided this year however to start working on being a good golfer. 

You see I started to think about sewers I know who have sewn for a long time. Some will say things like "I have sewn for thirty years" and then complain that things still don't fit. 

I have finally figured out that having done anything for a long time does not mean expertise, in fact it can just mean repeating the same mistakes a whole lot of times. In fact some of the best sewers I know are young women who really worked at it over a short period of time. 

It's about application.

So I had this sort of epiphany after yet another wild shot, that I didn't want to be golfing this exact same way for 20+ more years. I don't want to be one of those women who can golf only with their husbands.

My ambition is to be good enough that I can join in on the Wednesday night scramble where they put you with anyone and you just golf. 

You see they have a buffet for the players after the scramble every week. I have seen them setting up the tables through the window.

It looks pretty good.

The second thing I decided to do is really learn to crochet beyond making crooked dishcloths. I really like any kind of knitted top because they are so comfortable and you don't need to iron them. 

Trouble is I am a really slow knitter. So slow in fact a lady in the waiting room for bloodwork even offered to show me how to knit faster but unfortunately her number was called before she could do that.

I figure in the snippets of time I have available I am good for one sweater a year, which is a pretty depressing number when you consider I have 400+ patterns favoured on Ravelry.

Then I heard crochet was faster.

That was it for me.

I have never really liked the look of crochet however which was a bit of a problem. Then I figured out that crochet culture seems to have involved a high proportion of really stiff polyester yarns and a lot of orange and brown stripes. However the newer designs (you seem to have to look in the crochet magazines to find anything fashionable) are much better.

So I started.

So far one top in three weeks made between teaching and golf and another is halfway there. 

The fast thing is true.

Mind you what I am making is not loopy hole free and it is super simple, but I am starting. I figured if I hadn't just gone on and worn things I had sewn even with the mistakes I would never have kept sewing. 

You have to just do it.

So here is my first project, essentially two giant dishcloths sewn together, but at least the sides are straight. It hasn't been blocked but here it is:

Not a masterpiece but the main thing I enjoyed doing it.

That really counts.