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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Saturday, September 16, 2017

In celebration of National Sewing Month

To mark September, national sewing month, I have contributed a small sewing project/gift to the C & T site.

Here is a picture of the final project:

And here is a link to the complete how-to's.

Such a fun project.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Baby gift sewing

Last week one of my nieces had her first baby. Alma is a most beautiful baby and after a slow entry into the world has pretty much delighted everyone.

Being long distance on this one I decided to make a baby gift. And being a practical sort of person I decided they most needed a diaper bag with many pockets and a changing pad thingy.

I found just the patterns I was looking for at Peekaboo, a nice company that does a good job with cool family patterns and accessories. 

Here are the patterns I used:

Both patterns were very easy to sew- the diaper changing clutch is one you can file away in the Insta Gift folder.

I used a denim for the exterior fabric and some laminated cotton for the inside. I interfaced all external pieces with a fusible woven and then added a fusible fleece on top of that for support, and in the case of the clutch, so the baby wouldn't be laying right on a hard surface.

I definitely have to make up a few of these clutches to have around for emergency showers or surprise babies. 

It was fun to sew something different!

Inside view of the bag, various open pockets, a key fob, a zippered pocket, and a magnetic closure

The set and although they are made of the exact same fabric they seem to look like they are not here. Interesting.

The clutch opened up with a pocket for diapers and wipes. I would probably turn this around if I was changing someone and lay their head on the pocket.

The clutch closed - even if you don't get involved in the whole diaper bag thing this clutch alone is pretty handy.

Side view of the bag showing one outside pocket and how the interfacing combo holds the whole thing up.

The other side with a different pocket, note all pocket tops are piped for support.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Flypaper thoughts early change of season edition

  • It happened two weeks ago
  • That morning when it had that taste of fall in the morning
  • That definite marker of the change of season
  • As usual I am not ready for this
  • Looks like another year that the to-do sewing list for 2002 will be getting pushed forward
  • Fall sewing doesn't mean what it once did
  • Where are the piles of corduroy or wool flannel
  • When was the last time you sewed wool flannel
  • I have some ready to go actually
  • Ready to be cut out since the fall to-do list of 2002
  • Last night Miss Daisy got under a bush and shot out like a bullet
  • Her little back was covered in wasps
  • Poor thing she must have found a nest
  • I pulled as many as I could off and then she ran into the house
  • My husband has one of those bee sting allergy things
  • So I yelled grab your Epipen and go into the bathroom and close the door
  • Got them all with the fly swatter and Windex
  • Do you know that Windex is excellent for stopping wasps in their mid air tracks 
  • So they fall to the ground and then you can swat them?
  • Well now you know
  • Daisy ran up and down the hall all night apparently stuck in a flight groove of fight or flight
  • Glad that passed
  • What I want to know now is where did this idea of selling fabric by the half yard come from?
  • Just when you think you have finally scored a bargain you multiply by two
  • How does this all make buying fabric a good thing
  • What's next?
  • A house for $200,000 for the half house?
  • Bananas for 15 cents per half banana with 8 halves in a bunch?
  • I have a joke with my middle grandchild, the literal one
  • When I want her to do something and she isn't going along with me and asks why
  •  I say because I say so and I am the boss of the world
  • This makes her crazy and she always shouts at me you are not the boss of the world
  • God is
  • Every time
  • Hard to argue with that one
  • However
  • Well there are a couple of things I am going to institute in the off chance I ever become temporal boss of the world
  • In addition to fabric sold only in full yards and meters
  • Here we go
  • All industrial designers are strapped to chairs and forced to watch videos of real people trying to make their stuff work
  • Grandmothers trying to install car seats in cars for instance
  • Or trying to open one of those strollers with one hand that require the strength of Charles Atlas and a Phd in Engineering to figure out
  • I would also fund research into the development of an eyeliner pencil that would sharpen without the sharpened point falling right off first time you used it until you have sharpened it down to about the last an inch and a half
  • I would bring back sewing in the school curriculum so we stop producing people who think it makes sense to pay $20 to have a hem restitched in plastic thread
  • BTW I once knew I person who ran a tailor shop who had a customer bring in a dress to have the label cut out of the inside back neck
  • No word of a lie
  • And I would ban the manufacture and sale of non woven fusible interfacing, particularly the kind that bubbles
  • I would legislate that someone would start manufacturing Viyella again
  • I would add three inches to the waist measurement of all Big Four sewing patterns
  • I would make university tuition free based on marks and merit
  • I need more students who think for themselves and fewer who let other people think for them
  • I would prescribe Bollywood dance movies for those who worry too much
  • And rhubarb pie to anyone feeling down
  • I would put a dog on every couch 
  • And a sewing machine back in every hall closet
  • And bring back saddle shoes
  • If I were the boss of the world