Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

Sewing with less stress back cover

Sewing with less stress back cover
What my new book is about

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About me

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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, 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.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sew distracted

My oldest grand-daughter just turned six. She is a smart girl, good at school but lately there have been some reports of daydreaming, that and folding her math assignments into paper fans, but that is another, creative story.

Of course her parents had The Talk and her response was this:

"If it seems as if I am not paying attention and listening it is because I am thinking about sewing."

She has booked me off for two after schools next week because she wants to start on her Christmas projects. She has it in her mind that she wants to make her new aunt a skirt.

I know where this leads.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

We had a wedding : the Esme top one review

My apologies for the lapse in blogging. We had our wedding in Maryland and I am still in the recovery phase. Bear with me while I ease back into ordinary life with random subject posts.

It was beyond wonderful, a beautiful, beautiful wedding with all my family together. 

There are so many pictures, these ones are of the morning after brunch. Below are my husband, oldest grand-daughter and me, with my daughter and little grandson in the back.

I made a ponte Esme top from Stylearc and a knit skirt (more on that later) for the breakfast. The top was great but as you will see the longer part at the back stuck to the skirt in a way that has put me on a sugar free diet since I got home. There are always pictures like that and I probably should have worn Spanx, but I think they are cruel to body parts that have already been through a lot, like producing grooms.

More of my family and my rear end, oh well. However there is a sewing educational point to be made here and I am making it

Here are shots of the Esme at home so you can see it more closely. A basic T shirt with a collar split at the back and cap or full sleeves. A good basic if you have the sense to wear it over a woven. The designer picture has the collar standing up but my ponte was soft and it folder over just fine.

I am returning to blogging, not to worry, but needed to catch my breath first. Much more to come.

I feel some flypaper thoughts coming on.