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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Friday, September 8, 2017

Nancy Zeiman

I have just finished three days pre back-to-school with the kids and was all set to sit down and do a catch-up post on my own sewing.

Then I got a McCalls email with a link to Nancy Zeiman's farewell message. I have tried to post the link but every time I do my computer gets hung up - probably is crashing with so many hits.

Nancy Zeiman's cancer has returned and there is nothing more they can do. After I read this I had no heart to write about myself and went to bed. I didn't sleep very well.

Nancy Zeiman is amazing. Her show Sewing with Nancy was a highpoint of my sewing life when my kids were small.

In those days there were few opportunities to connect with other sewers or to learn new techniques. Her show, once a week, and books borrowed from the library were about it.

My children learned early on that when Sewing with Nancy was on PBS if it didn't require the police or an ambulance it could wait. Mom was busy.

Nancy rationalized sewing with calm steady instructions and new ways of doing things that you simply couldn't read in the pattern guide sheets. 

Wrapped corners, pinning and marking in quarters for knit necklines, speed tailoring - her tips have been so deeply integrated into my sewing that in some ways I no longer know where she begins and I leave off.

If you are a new sewer let me tell you past episodes of Sewing with Nancy are worth searching out. You will learn so much.

One of the highpoint of my stay-at-home life then was when I sent in a sewing idea of my own and she read it on her show. They sent me a copy of one of her books too. I remember picking it up at the post office with three small children standing beside me while I unwrapped it. "Does this mean you are famous?" they asked me. 

To those guys Nancy on TV was a giant, and to me too.

I once met Nancy Zeiman.

I was at a sewing show having lunch between classes. A beautiful woman approached our table with a tray. "Hello. Can I join you?" she said. When she sat down she introduced herself "Hi, I'm Nancy."

As if we didn't know.

I wonder about how many women in how many living rooms or family rooms in the basement once a week felt they had a friend who shared their love of sewing like they did, and I did, when we watched her sew on TV.

I wonder how many other women, so busy with other things all day long, all week long, looked for this one half hour to focus on their own real interest. How many of you waited for Sewing with Nancy like I did?

Nancy and I are now old enough to know that life isn't fair. Some stuff happens you just can't do anything about.

We are also old enough to know that the connections you make with other people, and those who shared themselves with you, are all that really matter.

And Nancy Zeiman connected. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Off on a tangent

I don't know if anyone else ever goes through this with their sewing, but out of the blue I have got myself on this underwear sewing thing.

It's like as a sewer you find yourself caught up on sort of a private craze, thinking about it, sewing it, spending way too much time internet shopping, or just internet window shopping about it, and then after a while you feel you have enough and move back to sensible sewing or onto something else.

The thing is you are never sure where these sewing obsession things come from or why they started. 

Maybe someone else's blog post, maybe a morning you decide you have a wardrobe gap, maybe just some more of sewer's optimism - you know that lovely delusional feeling that you have far more time to sew than you actually have.

In my case it might have been golfing in hot weather or not wanting to wear one of my good purchased bras to sweat it out on the stationary bike (something I do use on rainy days providing there is a good series on Netflix - have you seen Offspring from Australia - great show).

I am sure the need to have cotton underwear free of any kind of synthetic might have set me off.

At any rate this mania started with the cotton underpants and moved onto sports bras for some reason.

I have been working on three different sports bra patterns and over the next few days will do some show and tell.

In the meantime tell me, does the idea of an out of the blue sewing craze make sense to you?

What have your own detours and tangents been and what do you think sets this kind of sewing binge off?

I am pretty interested to hear if it is just me who gets these sewing fevers or not.