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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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Sunday, June 3, 2018

On genius sewing and the upcoming week of Jalies

You should know that whenever this blog goes dark it is because I have disappeared, head down, into a bunch of sewing. 

When I come to the surface I blog about it.

Sometimes of course, I sew more than keep up with my blogging. Case in point the three pair of maternity leggings that went into the mail to my DIL hot off the machine (three different waistband alternatives - one over, two under) should write about that, no pictures.

Oh well. 

No claim has ever been made that I run a crack operation around here.

But I have been thinking.

Here's what's been going on between the ears this week, and what is going to be posted over the next six days on that subject.

I am interested in the idea of genius ideas.

This is sort of a buzz phrase right now and often is used to refer to things any grown-up should know anyway. Like Dawn dish detergent removes stains or that a can of beer buried in the garden will drown the slugs (although one year some person drank those dug up beers -around the time the boys were teenagers although I can't believe anyone I raised would stoop, literally, so low).

BTW did you ever notice that 110% of all household hints involve either Dawn dish detergent or vinegar?

Bet you are waiting for me to get back on track.

No the real genius ideas I like are the ones that some clever brain has thought up that makes such sense to me but I would never, ever figured out myself.

Like the time I watched Miss Heidi, famous 6 year old chef, cut all the bread in half before she made egg sandwiches (her specialty). When I asked her why she was doing this she had a pretty simple answer:

"Babsie if you cut the sandwiches in half after you make them the filling squishes out. If you cut the bread in half first that doesn't happen."

See what I mean?


Which brings us back immediately to sewing.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what kind of a sewer I am. I know production sewers (substitute sewist in your head if you want) who shame me every Christmas. I know fitting sewers who drape and muslin every garment and have a fine time doing it. I know fabric sewers who make architectural shapes that are almost palettes for great fibres.

But me, it's the process.

Sewing is of course two realities. 

One is the garment you have to wear when it's done. I actually know a few people who say they don't really like to sew but they do like well made clothing. I am still trying to get my head around feeling that.

The other reality is the process. 

This is what I love. The process of sewing.

I am just fascinated by how garments are put together and twice as fascinated when they are assembled in a particularly clever way. 

I am of course equally indignant with instructions that tell you to do things the hardest-most-likely-to-fail way, which is actually why I wrote my book - to tell new and returning sewists (see I remembered) that there is an easier way and don't believe everything you read in the instructions (Big 4 I am looking at you). I get bored easily (one of my sisters has recently told me I must have adult ADHD but I didn't stick around long enough to find out why) and love an instruction that fascinates.

This orientation towards genius ideas is essentially one of the main reasons I love sewing with Jalie patterns.

In addition to the practical, I will really wear that in my real life styles, and the fact I can buy one pattern and sew for four generations from it virtues of Jalie patterns, I just love the instructions.

Every time I sew a new Jalie I feel I get a sewing lesson. With every new pattern I experience a clever mind at work at work and I just enjoy that so much.

This new line-ups of Jalies is a real case in point. 

I was lucky enough to be one of the pre-release sewers. I chose to work on patterns that I knew we would wear right away and also had that hint of intriguing construction. Of course now I see what my cohorts have made from the other patterns I suspect I will be working my way through the whole line-up this season.

But right now I want to share my versions of the new patterns with you, with my own comments on why sewing them was such a neat experience.

I have (because the same sister has given me organizational tips) even come up with a calendar for the week.

Here it is:

Monday: Lisette knit straight skirt and Mimosa Tee, including a maternity hack for the skirt.

Tuesday: Gerald male underwear - yes with real family models. Brace yourselves.

Wednesday: Frederic hoodie, looks like a $100 jacket says my husband who actually regards all garments over $20 over-priced.

Thursday: Clara leggings, very strong in the genius idea category, modelled by my gorgeous niece.

Friday: Melanie kimono and Clara bathing suit and maybe even two more bathing suits for the little girls if they bug me enough this week.

Saturday: Elaine scrub top for my gorgeous but also very hardworking nursing student niece. In vivid colours because she is currently working with dementia patients and the bright colours are welcome.

It's going to be quite a week.


Dot said...

Really looking forward to your comments on all these patterns. I always learn something. And I plan to look more closely at all the new Jalie patterns.

Julie Culshaw said...

Such an enabler! but I am glad to support our Canadian pattern maker.
They continue to give consistent good service and haven't even raised their prices.

Nancy JC said...

Barb, of course that's where you went! I finished your book last weekend and have been waiting to hear from you ever since! I LOVED it! Looking forward to your experience with the new Jalie patterns. I have three awaiting my attention (three that I thought I should try given your kudos). BTW, you have also sent me down the Viyella research path.

Leigh said...

So jealous of all your sewing time! Cant wait to see it all. :)At least it wasn't my book you signed Happy Birthday!!