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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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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Flypaper thoughts illustrated edition

I want to thank all of you for the wonderful supportive comments you left after my last post. You will never know how comforting they were.

It seemed to me the best next post would be a flypaper thoughts, but illustrated edition.


  • My daughter is doing better. The medical details are her news, not mine, but she is getting back on her feet and we are all adjusting to the new normal with energy levels up and down.
  • Life going on.
  • When my mother, an only child, was 16 she lost both her parents within a few months. The aunts put a red rinse in her hair and that summer all got to work and sewed her a new wardrobe.
  • The belief that if you look good you feel good is sort of in the genes.
  • Here is one of the two Adeline knit dresses I made for my daughter while she directs family operations from the couch:

  • The first sign I had my daughter was getting better was the request to redo the neckline because something more open is flattering, and to take off the faced hemline for something more flexible when walking
  • My kid is on her way back 
  • My children have been making custom requests their whole lives
  • You might think a diagnosis will change your life
  • What actually changes your life is finding out how good and kind and generous and caring people are
  • The dentist arranged a crew to make meals
  • Neighbours are walking the dog
  • The kids have started to say things like "who's bringing dinner tonight?"
  • And the folks my daughter works with sent over this one lunch, the boxes are frozen dinners from a restaurant with fancy meals
  • That's me in the mirror taking the picture and two of Katrina's coworkers who set it all out
  • One of the things we have not had to deal with is the why me questions
  • My daughter is a care coordinator in a paediatric oncology department
  • The part she already knows is stuff happens out of the blue to people who were just minding their own business
  • BTW even when I don't have time to blog I always post a lot on Instagram because it's well instant, some, but not all of these, pictures are on there too
  • My Scarlett was over and wanted to chill out on her own down the basement
  • That Eversewn machine is so easy to sew she had taught herself to do whatever she wants
  • There are pictures all over it for threading paths and what to press to make things happen
  • A machine for the icon generation
  • Here is a random bit of sewing she did, layers and layers of knit zig zagged down, creative work

  • She just loves watching the machine stitch
  • I so get that kid
  • I am making more lucky shirts, here is one in bamboo knit from Jalie 3245

  • And here is more family sewing. A denim shirt for one of my much loved sons, this one in San Francisco:

I am thinking that the cap on this sleeve needs to be trimmed down a bit. I pattern alter by iPhone these days


  • On other upcoming sewing is a wedding dress for my youngest sister who is getting married in about 7 weeks. Since she lives in another province I can see more iPhone altering in my immediate future.
  • Do you think there is such a thing as a knit wedding dress?
  • And in a few months a new baby in California
  • Now the question is 
  • What is she going to wear?
  • It all makes sense
  • Stick with it

10 comments:

Carol in Denver said...

https://fitforaqueen.wordpress.com/ knows all about wedding dresses; she alters them and tells about it on her blog, which is fascinating. I'm sure there are knit wedding dresses, and lovely ones, too. There are even pieced (as in patchwork, but artistically done) wedding dresses. See http://zerowastedaniel.com/blog and scroll down, older and older, until you come to them.

bbarna said...

Both my daughter and I had wedding dresses made of knit fabric. Mine was an ivory coloured jersey with bell sleeves and an aline skirt...simple for a justice of the peace wedding. My daughter had a simple empire waist white knit sheath type dress with some sparkly trim...Ironically we both got our dresses for cheap from Sears and I altered both of them to be a bit more fancy. They were both comfy and easy care.

Barb from Prince George.

BarbaraShowell said...

It’s so good to hear your daughter is feeling better! Your Scarlett sounds like a wonderful young sidekick!

Jacq C said...

So glad to hear your daughter is feeling a little better. I just made a quilt for a dear aunt who is sadly very poorly. I was hoping she’d spot a mistake or two, she’s usually very honest so that I can improve! xx

Kansas Sky said...

What an absolute joy to hear from you. You are in my thoughts often and I'm rooting for your daughter from far away. Your garments, as always, inspire!!! My best to you.

Loretta said...

Remember Quinna knit? Late 70’s I believe. My sister’s wedding gown was made with it and it was stunning! Or at least we thought so then. 😜

beckster said...

Hooray that your daughter is feeling better. One must celebrate the good days. I am sure there are knit wedding dresses since people wear most anything these days to get married in. All that matters is that she is marrying someone she loves that loves her. She can wear sackcloth and that will not change that. I an inspired by your sewing for the family. Perhaps someday I will be able to do alterations by iPhone, but I sincerely doubt it. You have so much going on, but I get the feeling you are accustomed to that!

Jean Shaw said...

Thanks for the update!
Love your daughter's perspective--it's hard won, after seeing kids w/cancer, but your description is spot on.

And it's fun to see Ft. Mason. I used to live in the Marina, a million years ago.

Laceflower said...

Good news on your daughter, I'm sure you are all buoyed by that. I love the Adaline, mine is vertical, multicoloured stripes in linen. I also love the Cher, I'm a sucker for a funnel neck and this is a great winter dress with leggings, mine is a cozy napped fabric.

Anonymous said...

The story about your mother losing her parents at 16 and the aunts who sewed her a new wardrobe...
how can you go wrong with women like that supporting you?
I see where you get your indomitable spirit Barbara.
I am a firm believer in looking good to feel good. That's why I love clothes, fashion and sewing!
Hoping your daughter continues to feel better.

Your new fan in Cali