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

Clothesmaking mavens

Clothesmaking mavens
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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 24, 2015

Fay pant

As promised here is one of my Stylearc pants patterns, the Fay.

A ridiculously easy knit pants pattern with darts front and back to avoid the bunchy thing. I am sort of ready to let go of narrow leg pants after all these years and like the wider leg of the Fays without palazzo sloppiness.

In the interest of science here are some shots including the ever popular middle aged midriff that shows the darts. You can make your own assessment, but I think I will be making quite a few more of these.

The twist you see in the legs is the twister not the pants, so just look at the darts.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sewing challenges

I belong to a local sewing group. Last time we got together the idea was put out there to challenge ourselves to sew something we have never sewn before.

Now I have done a lot of sewing, and messed up some pretty weird projects over the years, so to tell you the truth not sure what I would do in this category.

Gloves? Dog coats? I am going to have to think this one through, and add to it the criteria that it actually would be something I either want or need. Might be a time for rut jumping.

Now question for you.

What would you make if this challenge was tossed to you?

Deviating a bit from this I have been thinking a few personal, if not now whens might be in order.

For instance Stylearc pants really fit me. As a result me and Mr. PayPal have been quietly collecting a number of Stylearc pant patterns.

A couple of days ago I got this crazy idea that maybe I should actually sew a bunch of these up to see how they turn out.

Sort of radical an idea I know but hey why not?

Additional random thought.

On the subject of the decluttered life and super organized dream sewing rooms maybe there are some of us who don't actually need or like it that neat, particularly in process.

Am I the only one who throws things over her shoulder in the thrill of the chase or sort of enjoys the nice surprise of finding strange and/or forgotten things in their very own house?

Some pretty heavy things to think about tonight.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Crochet etc.

The fact is a week or so ago I had what they call a sort of medical crisis. I got through it fine, and the details are typical, but what matters here is that I have lost more than a little good sewing time in various doctor's offices. BTW specialists are great but a shout out to wonderful family doctors like mine who say things like we know what to do for your body, but tell me what you are doing to heal your spirit. Seems to me that seeing the whole person is a speciality of another kind.

One of the conclusions, since I had a serious clot that moved up too far, was that I definitely will be wearing those heavy duty support units (I refuse to write hose) the rest of my life.

This will be a fashion challenge and to make me feel better my means-well husband said "well I guess your vanity days are behind you."

I am pretty sure that the look on my face, or the pot flying across the room in the direction of his head, made it clear this was not the right thing to say.

I mean - ha. Like that's going to happen.

We are actually going to be retaliating by ramping up the style, in fact.

Watch this space.

Which does not bring me in any way to what I want to write about next, which is crochet.

A while ago I started to crochet. I really like to knit but in these hands it is too damn slow. All I can do is about a sweater a year, and I mean, really.

So far since I have been crocheting I have made a couple of sweaters, two for me and one for a grandchild, two sort of afghan things, a market bag for my new daughter-in-law and started on a new sweater - all over about the four months.

I rest my case, speedways.

I also find crochet pretty easy and more relaxing than knitting, and definitely easier to rip out which I have done a lot of.

However there are some real differences between the knitting and crochet cultures. For instance garment patterns are no where near as easy to find in crochet as they are in knitting (any leads on good women's sweater/cardigans would be much appreciated).

Also, somewhat weirdly, whereas knitting really is into the yarn, the crochet world seems to be pre-occupied by synthetic yarn. Red Heart super saver for example seems a real favourite. These yarns of course coupled with the stronger structure of crochet can make for some stiff old fabrics and maybe this has resulted in the poor reputation crochet clothes have in some places.

So the less elite standards of crochet, and the fact crochet is so much faster, seems to have produced a culture that does a lot of nutty stuff, at least if you look at Ravelry. 

I mean who has the time, or mind, to think up stuff like I see in crochet patterns and do it? Knitters would never in a million years go down these roads.

Which maybe might be one of the most interesting things about this craft.

Illustrations of my point:

Crocheted poop. Who sits down and says, I think I will crochet some poop with some of my precious time on this earth. I want to meet this person.

A Marg Simpson hair hat. Of course.

When this child grows up they will kill you.

A decorative crochet cactus, assuming a crochet cactus would be decorative. Not something you would give as a gift. Not even a teacher present.

This might be a good time to share any of your own crochet related thoughts and insights. And of course good patterns.

In case you missed it: our new prime minister

Yup, this feels more like us, which maybe says something itself

Random dog picture: Daisy and her trainer and protector