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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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Friday, June 7, 2019

My free sewing newsletter

It has just been pointed out to me that I need to do a post, with labels on my weekly free sewing newsletter. Many of you have signed up (if you haven't received yours please contact me again - we have had a few bounce back with an unknown email message and of course don't have a way to contact you about that) and if you would like to you can do so through the contact form above or by emailing me direct at

A note about the newsletter. It is aimed at new and returning sewists and focuses on the basic need to know stuff that I think pattern instructions leave out.

Happy sewing.


Marie said...

Thank you so much for this! Returning sewer never really had any classes. Appreciate all your efforts.

SheilaM said...

I am getting these and they are sew helpful....... sorry, could not resist!

Julie Kipp said...

Hi Barbara, I just signed up for your newsletter and received the link to #6. Thank you - very helpful!
Is there a way to access #1-5?

Barbara said...

Julie the response to the newsletter has been surprising. With hundreds and hundreds of folks signing on at different stages I have decided that the best thing for me to do to make previous issues available as we go along is for me to put together an indexed collection probably every year, or even every six months of previous issues, does that make sense?

SheilaM said...

You realise that by doing these newsletters you are probably writing a new book?

Anonymous said...

I always learn something from your newsletters (and from your posts over the years.....making a pressing pad or two is now on my list, surely a step up from the rather scorched hand towel I've been using.


Unknown said...

Barbara, I think I have gotten a bit lost on the French seam for the sleeve. Once the right sides are sewn together, are the pieces flipped for the second seam to encase the edges? If so, wouldn't that leave the fully encased seam on the outside of the shirt? Is that what gets topstiched down???

SheilaM said...

In response to the French seams query here is a link to a tutorial that should help you visualise it. I agree it seems counter intuitive to sew with the wrong sides together, but when you trim them, flip it over and the sew again there are no edges visible, they are all encased in the new stitching and it is a very neat way of finishing edges that can unravel. You can always practice on scrap material to see how it works out, but hope this helps.

Barbara said...

Hi Unknown, you are a genius not to mention a born copy editor, you are completely right, I reversed the instructions, wrong and right sides part, in my enthusiasm. Can you have a look at the revised instructions and tell me if they make more sense now?