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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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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Thursday, November 17, 2016

5, 10 20 minutes to sew

Do you all remember Nancy Zeiman's book by this name? The idea was that you could get a lot of sewing done in increments.

Well I have my own interpretation of that. 

I like to do everything else in increments so I have more time to sew.

Take cooking.

 My husband, who does an overwhelming share of the cooking, will spend hours and hours getting something just right (sometimes we eat real late).

I, on the other hand, have a 10 minute rule for most dishes. If I can do it in 10 minutes or less I will make it, if not I don't. There is something about slapping down three meals a day for three kids for a couple of decades that go me to this place.

I have a friend who even sends me recipe ideas, some she labels, as "see Barbara it only takes 10 minutes" other ones she labels as "get Leo to make this for us in Florida."

I have been thinking about this because just this weekend I made a pan of granola bar things so we can have something sweet but trick ourselves into thinking it is OK and they were excellent.I clocked the counter to oven time at about 7.5 minutes. (In a hotel in Maine now will share the recipe when I am home. Oh and by the way this place is an amazing yarn shop, best I have seen in a long time. Worth a detour to Freeport.)

Housework, something I feel was invented only to frustrate sewers who have better things to do, is another place where I try to proceed with time limits and minimalism. In that department here are two of my current time limiters:

  • A battery operated vacuum. Mine goes hard for about 10 minutes which is great because then I can stop, no choice, in the middle of a job and say, well I might as well go serge something now.
  • Disinfectant wipes. Bulk at Costco. I keep these in the bathroom and kitchen and swipe stuff down and then throw them out (I know but I recycle and compost everything else in this house). Behind the taps, in the corners of the floor, the front of the cupboards. Not everyone is like my sweet MIL who keeps a plastic shower cap over her toaster so dust doesn't go down the toast slots. I can head off a lot of real cleaning with those wipes.
Now over to you.

I am super interested in your 10 minute sewing time liberation ideas. 

I am sure we all are.

How to you cheat some sewing time into your own life?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Flypaper thoughts Sunday morning edition

  • Doing Chrismas sewing this weekend
  • Missed my inspiration when I didn't go to the Guild's "Christmas quickies" talk
  • Watch the US election instead from the seat of my exercise bike
  • No Christmas craft ideas there
  • Just blew out my knee from peddling so hard
  • I used to work for politicians
  • Learned one thing
  • Never underestimate either the ego or the ambition
  • Sewing on the other hand is hugely humbling
  • Particularly at that moment when you realize you are actually not going to make all the men shirts and all the women sweaters
  • And you start wondering about serged cosmetic bags
  • OK Babsie do a triple back flip with a twist on the trampoline
  • Sure
  • Close your eyes
  • Ta dah!
  • You missed it
  • Miss Heidi says what she wants for Christmas is for me to move into the other bunk in her room
  • Not a bad idea
  • There's good toys in that bunk
  • Her sister wants replacements for everything I have given her before that she has broken or lost
  • Off to New York with the husband this week
  • He wants to see shows and keep me out of the garment district
  • My 89 year old mother went to a Halloween party dressed as an Olympic swimmer
  • Best thing you can do for adult children is to show them how to age
  • Dumbest thing anyone said to me was that dogs stop developing when they are young
  • Broken hearts by four months, broken forever
  • Best thing dogs do for you is showing you spunky comes back
  • Took Daisy two years to be brave enough to bark
  • Now she bunts the computer off my lap if I am not paying attention to her
  • Ego and ambition aren't everything