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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, December 8, 2018

The last week in sewing *if you are a member of my family do not look at this post, or else

It has been a busy week.

I ended my term, marked all the last assignments, and submitted my final marks.

The rest of the week was in a high level of activity - I am leaving for San Francisco to meet the new baby on Wednesday. and am going to have only less than a week before Christmas when I get back.

So pardon the lack of carefully edited text in this post (which makes it not unlike all other posts) but there are a few nice easy patterns I want to share before this person, full of mincemeat piece, pickled herring (my most favourite food in the world - my dad used to bribe me to do my algebra in high school with promises of pickled herring) and borscht needs to have her bath and get to bed. 

Tomorrow is a do or die sewing day before I take off.

I am kind of tired. 

Not able to find anything interesting on Netflix last night I sat up and started writing a novel - a mystery set in a fabric store to be called "Death at the cutting table" (what do you think so far?) to be continued, although not tonight. So far it's all a true story except maybe the death part which I have yet to make up.

So with that smooth introduction here is how the safe side of my sewing life went this week:

Last Saturday I taught an all day class on how to make a traditional kimono from your measurements. Great class and great kimonos. Here's one:


Next I made my daughter's Christmas dress using the pattern I made by copying her favourite GAP T-shirt dress:


It will look better on her than it does on the bathroom door. 

I bound the neckline, stitched, turned and hand-stitched under because I thought that was the best finish for the fabric. I liked how that looked so much I also did binding at the bottom of the sleeves and all along the hem. This turned out to be a good idea for the hem. It added weight and saved me from doing any other kind of hem, like a cover hem (too informal) or a hand hem (stitches might mar the velvet).


Of course because I am incapable of not doing extra of anything, just in case (if we have 5 for dinner I always cook for 25 and make three desserts) I over bought way too much of the green fabric so made my son-in-law a sort of fake bow tie:


And I made the two little girls circle skirts from Lovenotions free skater skirt pattern (I think you have to sign up with their Facebook group for the free code), essentially a circle skirt with a knit yoga band -impossible to be any easier:


Using the same pattern I also made a shorter version of this skirt for my youngest granddaughter to wear for the talent show section of the dinner with my son-in-law's extended family.

She plans on doing roller skating and has a big plan to come roaring into the dining room on her roller skates in a roller blading fancy outfit (I had to make a short sparkley skirt to go with the gymnastics leotard she has planned to go with it) and do a quick circuit around the table to great applause and appreciation.

After all of this I also had enough left to squeeze out a Dashing Vest (that's the name of Lovenotions free boys vest pattern) for my grandson:


And of course for the new baby on the West Coast I made a few more sleepers and another sleep sack, this one lined and in fleece since it was pointed out in a very helpful comment here that San Francisco can still be chilly. 

All of these from patterns from Peekaboo patterns:




Of course all this sewing required some more of my regular fabric store trips.

On one of these I met a fellow grandmother who had just scored some perfect dog buttons for a grand child's Christmas  sweater. 

Perfect because she had spun the yarn herself. The brown stripes are from the fur from her standard bred poodle and the white stripes from yarn made from the fur combed off her Samoyed husky. 


All a day in the life around here.

Speaking of which, regular blog readers will know that my family has had its challenges this fall.

But I have to say that family is the part where you all know it's all going to be fine.

This picture, of my youngest son visiting my youngest granddaughter today in Berkeley, was there when I woke up this morning:


Enjoy this season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Meet the author


When I was last in San Francisco C&T, the publishers of my book, filmed this little interview. I am actually not going to watch it, never do always think I sound like a flake, but in case you do here it is.

Now back to my Christmas production!