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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 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 Amazon


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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Handy sewing hint of the day #23

My sister and her husband left at 6:00 a.m. this morning to drive home to Ottawa, leaving their nursing student daughter with me. I am so happy to have a student/kid back under my roof. My ideal zen state is to be in sewing room working away but to have the sound of other people in the house, same as Miss Daisy and Birdie when he stays over - they sniff around at opposite ends of the yard but every once and while look over to make sure the other one is still there.

Some of us are just pack animals, and if you are, you might as well admit it.

Today I will be doing a little cleaning up after a summer of company (my son's in-laws will be here in two weeks and I am looking forward to that a lot - lucked out there) and making pickles.

I am for the first time going to try fermented dills and pickling a bunch of Jalapeño peppers. It is a mystery why someone who doesn't like to spend more than 10 minutes on making dinner is happy spending hours pickling- probably some genetic remanent of my rural background.

I am also thinking of trying a sewing podcast to go along with my Fall of Sewing. If I did that anyone think they would listen?

Now back to the title of this post and a sort, but I hope useful, handy hint.

I have talked about trimming, grading and clipping, and what is left is notches.

Often instructions, particularly for more complex patterns, will tell you to notch. If you don't know the why, many sewers just clip when they read this, but notching is very different.

You cut notches, instead of clips, in any application where you have a convex (curving out) shape that will later be turned inside. 

Now as I continue to explain this you have to take into count that I haven't taken any geometry since Grade 10, being a beneficiary of the marvellous Quebec educational system in high school that allowed you to drop all maths and sciences early on as part of the French romantic languages tradition. This used to drive my pharmacist turned science teacher father nuts and I passed Grade 10 geometry only because he bribed me with promises of pickled herring (my favourite food then in the days before I discovered Creme Brûlée ) if I paid attention during our kitchen table tutoring sessions.

Which explains why I am so proud that I remembered what convex means.

Back to my explanation of notching.

When you have a curve that bends outwards, as you do in a curved collar shape, a curved cuff edge or  more often a round edge patch pocket, once you turn that shape to the right side you are going to have a lot of extra fabric (because the seam allowance is going to have more fabric in it then the shape it turns into) pack into that shape. This means bumps and lumps and weirdness that a iron can't eliminate.

Notching removes this extra fabric so when that patch pocket is turned right side for example, it will lie nice and flat.

Here is what it looks like:

Such an easy idea, isn't it?

And so effective.

Now back to scrubbing cucumbers.


edube said...

Wow, that never occurred to me! I will definiely be trying it on the next jacket project. Thanks.

TinaLou said...

Two thumbs way up for a Sewing on the Edge pocast. ^^

Sewcat said...

I have recently discovered some of the sewing podcasts and (frankly) I would listen to what you had to say. Some of the podcasts that I have found are not very good. Poor information and more of an approach of "stream of consciousness" rather than a reasonable script.

Go for it. My commute will be so much happier if your podcasts are like your blog!

Margaret Delong said...

A sewing podcast would be great- I love listening to them while I sew so I don't have to look up, and I find them more calming than TV. I'm currently listening to podcasts by Thread Cult.

Kathie said...

Podcasts? Oh, yes please! I am curious if your voice will sound anything like the voice in my head when I read your posts! ☺️

Sydney Brown said...

I have recently finished reading your entire blog from start to finish, and I miss you! I just love your writing. So YES, I would love to listen to your podcast!

theresa said...

An effective way to notch in the lighter to medium weight fabrics is to use pinking shears to trim the seam.
Theresa in Tucson

Lydia March said...

I vote "yes" for the podcast. Your blog is so informative and I learn so much. But you're also so funny! Like laugh out loud funny!

Sandra O'Leary said...

I will definitely listen to your podcast!!!
Thanks for all the lessons, I keep a separate file just for them ��

Anonymous said...

I would definitely listen to your podcasts. Love you blog and have learnt so much 😀

Barbara Waterman said...

I would definitely listen to your podcasts. Love you blog and have learnt so much as well as enjoyed your observations on life and updates about Miss Daisy.

rknits said...

Yes please do a podcast! Your blogs are like having a personal sewing tutor each time, but with such warmth and humour.

Anonymous said...

Another pro-podcast vote here. Also pro Creme Brûlée...in fact its one of my life rules that if creme brûlée is on the menu I have to get it.

Looking forward to your fall of sewing - I am hoping for the same for me, once we really start to have fall.


Wendy Rader said...

Yes! Podcast! I can't read blogs while driving.... :)

Tsc said...

Yes to a podcast! Love to listen to sewing podcats while in the car...

wendy said...

Please make a podcast! I love your words and what would be better than hearing them in your voice, Pleeeeeeease :)

Anonymous said...

I love your hints and tips. So yes, to a sewing podcast. Am also with you on the dinner vs pickling time commitment. Same in our house. Best, Abbey

LinB said...

Am also a "pinker" to automatically notch when I trim a seam.

Candis said...

I would listen to your podcast. :-) Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog. I have learned so much from you.