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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 I write a monthly humour/sewing column for 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 Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=barbara+emodi&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abarbara+emodi

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Men's shirts

In between other things the last week I managed to get some overdue shirt making done.

I have a thing going with the men around here that for birthdays and events if they pick out a fun fabric from Hawthorne Threads (best service anywhere) I will make up a shirt to specs.

Here is the one I made for my son in NYC including a picture I received from him this morning on him. Yes I know this is out of the package and needs an iron but my boys all went out into the world with good shirt ironing skills - you know I still can't get over what they pay other people to do for them in New York City, but everything you can you should know how to do yourself.

At least that's my world view.

Back to the shirt:






This was the pattern I used, my standard for this guy, although I am going to flatten the sleeve cap a bit next time to make it easier to set in, more shirt like and less blouse like:


I also made a shirt for my husband the family dinner cook, with a fabric pattern that suits him for obvious reasons:



I used a different pattern for him just to try it out, this one from Kwik Sew that as expected fit together very painlessly:

A couple of things about this pattern. First it is not as fitted as the photo might imply. Think more of the business shirts men where in the southern US, a looser fit, what some call a traditional fit as opposed to tapered.

That is exactly what is popular around here and I will be definitely be making this one again in some other tasteful fabric.

When I do though I will add to the seam allowances. This shirt is drafted with 1/4" s.a. which makes putting in the collar so much easier of course, but I really like to do more with the seams in a shirt than a serge and stitch - my only option here. Mostly I do french seams and top-stitch them down (looks the same as a flat felled but much easier) and I wish I had had the option to do that here.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Great free exercise app

A person needs some exercise.

If you don't do something you will end up having to learn new alterations. That's that.

I know this, but really am too busy to go to a gym I like something I can do at home with only the dogs watching.

However after the big fix-up I was given a list of exercises I was not supposed to do if I were going to avoid another hoist up of the insides (TMI but this is just between us).


In trying to reconcile all of this I found a fantastic free app that is both pelvic floor safe but also really effective.

It covers all the basis, including stretches which are important, and has three levels.

I need to stress however that although these are safe exercises for folks like me that is mainly because a lot of them are done on the exercise ball but are also serious and suitable for the general population.

I have this loaded onto my iPad, the one I dropped and now is held together with Scotch tape to the embarrassment of my children (it still works, so what's the big deal? Your mother has no need to be cool). The workouts are simple and show you a quick video of each exercise if you want before you do it. There is also a clock you watch to tell you when you have done enough.

At any rate this is worth sharing, really a first class and simple way to avoid the need to learn more alterations.

The link for the app is here.