Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

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Sewing with less stress back cover
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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, May 3, 2018

Combining two patterns

Pardon the closed eye shot. Daisy looks good though. And yes that is a vintage table cloth of the map of Florida on the hall window. I am posting fast because Mr. Billy is on his way over for the day.
I am venturing more and more into pattern hack territory. This is something I feel I should do because everyone else is doing it.

If everyone jumped off a cliff would you do it too Barbara?

Well if it was about sewing I would certainly think about it.

Turned out better than I thought.

Much better.

Here is where this all started.

I decided I wanted a knit dress.

I am going to be with my mother for Mother's Day in a week, first time in a gazillion years, and I thought it was time to have a new dress to go with that.

I had some nice knit from Fabricville down the street, a poly knit that I thought would pack well. I looked through my knit dress patterns and found one I have not yet sewn, this one from Jalie:

Of course I am aware that I don't look exactly like this model. Even though she is standing still I haven't had a stomach that flat since I was a zygote.

However as discussed previously I am a risk taker.

So moving on I thought I liked this dress but I wish it had the neckline from my current favourite sleeveless top pattern:

I also do not look exactly like this, don't have the same bike helmet for example.
So then I had the radical idea to compare the two patterns, both have an underbust seam, and guess what? Perfect match.

This pattern hack business doesn't have to be that hard.

So by using two patterns to make one dress, this is what I came up with. I even made the flounce on the bottom, raw cut edge because it was easier and hung better.

I like too that this dress will work with an sort of stiff ottoman Helene cardigan I had made with sleeves so narrow that it can only be worn over sleeveless tops:

Who attached my grandmother's hands to my body?

Now all I want is for someone to get married soon because I would like to make this again with some lace in the top and in the flounce (the top is doubled at the front which would be helpful).

Wouldn't that look great?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Flypaper thoughts, random Sunday night edition

Miss Scarlett, seated, and the neighbour from next door figuring out a project

Mr. Billy surrounded by sewing girls wanted a job. We disengaged the clutch and took out the needle and let him clean the machine with Q tips. He did very well but got whiny at the end "I want to oil the machine. Why can't I oil the machine? Heidi was allowed to oil a machine." etc.

  • So this was the weekend
  • Son-in-law turned 40 and they celebrated with an East Coast party
  • Which means all kids had a sleepover at Babsie's
  • Folks elected to sleep on air mattresses on the floor beside the beds ready for them
  • Because it was a sleepover
  • And ate Poppa Leo's "the good chicken" for dinner
  • And dug out their own ice cream
  • Arguing over portions so long
  • That it melted on the counter
  • But only one cried about that
  • Not me
  • Next morning we sewed and brought in the girl from next door too
  • Taking over the entire basement with tables and sewing machines has been helpful
  • Random week
  • I am in Jalie's pattern testing group 
  • Been working on the set that is to be released shortly
  • What I can tell you now is that these are technically very clever patterns
  • I am seeing ways of putting things together that are totally new to me
  • I enjoy new construction ideas pretty much more than anything else in this world
  • Just under the pleasure of a long talk on the phone with a far away child
  • Or watching little people who love to sew
  • Back to the patterns
  • Very wearable and different garments than last year's releases
  • Fun to work on something in advance
  • Got to get my skates on this week though
  • Silk arriving for those 7 ties for one son's company
  • Been a hold up at the printer getting the fabric
  • Sometimes I really shouldn't say how hard can it be
  • Because sometimes it is
  • Miss Daisy has only 5 weeks of "cage rest" to go
  • She is feeling better 
  • This means she is trying to vault out of the cage
  • Or get me to spring her with dirty looks aimed at my direction
  • It hurts me more than it hurts you makes about as much sense to a dog and it did to kids
  • Which is zilch
  • Have you been to Portland?
  • I am going there the later part of May to Quilt Market
  • The publisher wants the new authors there to present
  • And sit on a chair as scheduled and sign books
  • I think I am going to have to practice my signature
  • Like you used to in high school testing out boy's last names with yours
  • Did you ever do that?
  • Completely meaningless activity
  • Anyway no one can read my writing
  • And that would include me
  • How many times have I been called from the grocery store
  • "It says 'toes' do you really mean that?"
  • "Tomatoes"
  • "sedw"?
  • "Shredded Wheat"
  • "Ll"
  • Lemons and limes"
  • Question for you
  • When was the last time anyone was taught shorthand?
  • Or took a class in it?
  • Or even said the word out loud?
  • Or knew what it meant?
  • Now there was a skill
  • Not one I ever had
  • When I saw it reminded me of the feeling
  • Of finding something in the back of your mother's drawer
  • That made no sense to you 
  • But gave you a definite feeling that adults understood what it meant
  • Vet has given us a consult to a dog acupuncturist/physio
  • I am hiding this from my daughter who is a human medical person
  • And who says strange things like
  • It's a dog mom
  • And rolls her eyes
  • When I say I would do the same for you
  • Listen if they didn't want me to treat the dog like my child then they should never have left home
  • Let's be clear about this
  • Do you think I am too old to wear a yellow bathing suit?
  • How about a yellow bathing suit with turquoise parrots on it?
  • I am asking you so I don't need to ask my daughter
  • Not sure about her judgement right now