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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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Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

I have been neglecting this blog, but not neglecting the family. I know you will get that.

So here is a quick catch up before I go make a cake for tonight's dinner.

First off here is a picture of daughter, mother if my three grandchildren, in a dress I made for her.

It is the Ballet Dress by Indie design Dixie DYI. Like many indie patterns it had an illustration and text gush (did I actually write gush, sorry about that) that made it easy for a hip person like my kid to go for it.

As a pattern it had issues and was not particularly well drafted. In the end I lowered the neckline, changed the treatment for applying the binding (which was sweatshirt style not dressy dress style) and re-cut the armhole and sleeves so they didn't bind, and note that Katrina does not have heavy arms at all.

In the end we got a dress that we were both happy with and got a lot of wear over the holidays.

I am usually a fan of many of the Indie patterns, Stylearc, Sewaholic, Noodlehead and Grainline (mostly) produce excellent patterns with good current wearable style. Others demonstrate that the ability to upload a .pdf do not necessarily reflect pattern quality worthy of the price.

That said the great Indie patterns are truly great and I do not intend to miss out on any of them.

Which leads me to my own sewing New Year's resolutions, and I am interested to hear yours:

  • Explore more Indie patterns and report honestly on them. I want to nurture talent but also to protect new sewers who deserve, as we all do, to be facilitated, not frustrated by the patterns they purchase. Every time I run into a problematic pattern instruction or drafting issues I mentally see a picture of some young mother, the woman I once was, getting in a little hopeful sewing time while some child slept. I hate the thought that a pattern issue might cause her to think the problem is her when in fact it is simply in trying to execute the impossible. I don't want anyone to give up on sewing.
  • Blog more. I have a real busy life and often hold off on posting because I don't have super pictures or something profound. However I do think thoughts and see a lot of humour in life so I think that might be enough some times. I am in no competition here.
  • Save some time by coasting by some things on the www. If you blog has crossed the commercial line in my head or if you approach me to ask if I will pay $25 to be your pattern tester (true, this happened this morning) I am moving on. I got a lot more sewing done when there was less to read. I am going to post a blog roll soon of what I actually do read most days.
  • Sew more from my stash, in fact as much as I can. I have reached that critical mass stage where the fabric on my shelves has started to oppress me, feel like a to-do list. How did that happen?
  • Go through my patterns and ditch anything I am not going to sew this year. I have to make room for new ideas.
  • And finally the big one: Sew nothing in 2016 for any other reason than it a) gives me joy to think about it b) can teach me something new.
Now over to you.

What are your sewing resolutions?