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Sewing with less stress Front
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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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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Flypaper thought what have I been up to editon

  • Well I am glad I cleared up where fashion is headed 
  • You heard it from me
  • The new fashions are going to be new
  • I have been pondering this wide leg pants thing and looking at the picture of myself
  • It has occurred to me that wide leg pants more or less make all legs look shorter and heavier
  • After I had this thought I tried to think of women I knew who wanted to have legs that looked shorter and heavier
  • Still trying to think of anyone
  • Someone 
  • In addition to being on the leading edge of the fashion prediction business
  • I have been in 1932
  • Also 1948
  • And 1956
  • And 1961
  • These are the dates of some of the sewing machine manuals and accessory feet I have become very involved with
  • Doing a class in Tulsa and thinking of putting together a little booklet
  • Well do I have news for you
  • Progress has not be linear in our world
  • There are so many things some of these bizarre attachments do that new machines can't do anymore
  • Not even the ones that are the size of a large beer cooler
  • A vintage narrow hem foot is a piece of cake
  • Get a raw edge near it and it sucks it up
  • You can close your eyes and put your foot down
  • Next thing you know there's a perfect 1/8" rolled hem with the stitches a hair away from the edge
  • Absolutely no operator skill required
  • And you should see the adjustable hemmer
  • Or the tucker that actually creases the fabric for the next tuck for you while it stitches
  • You can't program that
  • So right now instead of my assignments being marked or my floors being washed
  • This place is draped with garlands of ruffles
  • Lots of time well wasted going on around here
  • Winter was invented for detours like this
  • In my spare time I am also taking a Mediterranean diet course
  • An about this kind of food as opposed to diet
  • I am opposed to diets so this works
  • The teacher cooks us eggplant and we discuss chia seeds
  • Which aren't at all Mediterranean
  • But neither is the teacher
  • She's from Dietetics
  • Love the class
  • The young man with the beard who wants to know where to use hemp powder
  • And the woman who keeps asking where are the sausage recipes?
  • And the runner who is worried about balancing his enzymes
  • While the teacher points out that the 35% of your recommended daily salt intake on the label
  • In the fine print says per 1/8 teaspoon
  • Probably as close as the Mediterranean is going to get to Nova Scotia this year
  • And pretty entertaining
  • Learning new things is good
  • Even when the new things are old
  • What am I going to do with all these ruffles?
  • And eggplant?
  • Will decide in the spring

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Pants pictures

For a start I have to say I married my husband for his cooking and his kindness, not his photographic skills.

Now we have that out of the way let's talk pants.

I had some rayon/ poly/lycra so I experimented this week with some pants.

The first was my favourite Margaret stretch wovens from Stylearc. I like this pattern a lot but lately I have been fed up a bit with the elastic waist thing sliding down when I move.

Remembering that I liked the yoga waist I put on some leggings, I dragged out some heavy supple knit and cut out a band and stitched that on instead. Much improvement in fit and feel although I wish I hadn't grabbed this fabric late at night, it is navy actually I had hoped for black

Here are the pants on me front and back:

It's a pretty nice leg on these pants, but after pondering on the likelihood that pants are getting wider I dragged out my trusty old Jalie pull-on pants pattern. I then made some wide leg pants out of the same fabric, even though that pattern calls for a woven not a knit.

I faced the waist casing with a scrap of poplin, which is the part of the pants I liked best:

As you can see these are fairly gathered in the casing and there is as a consequence a bit of that showing at the top:

These pants are of course very comfortable but I am going to have to get used to the wider legs. Looking is sort of a despairing way at the pictures I am not showing you I am sort of coming to the conclusion that on my body I really need a fitted with a zipper waist and not an elastic casing in wider pants. It seems to me that on me if the legs are wider the top needs to be smoother.

Or maybe something like Stylearc Fifis would be another place to start. I kind of have got used to the comfort and sewing speed of pull-on pants.

Of course a traditional pants waist  means considerable more time spent on fitting and fiddling and I will have to thing of a pattern to start working on. Quite a few other things on the table right now, so you might have to hold on with that one for a while.

And of course wider pants are going to mean new proportions in tops. Of course that means more patterns and fabrics to consider, so I am not seeing that as a real challenge.