Clothesmaking mavens

Clothesmaking mavens
Listen to me on the clothes making mavens podcasts

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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Flypaper thoughts after supper edition

  • Thanks to all who offered to be my interfacing purchasers
  • Many thanks
  • I have decided to order Sewers Dream from B.C. and try that
  • And get other stuff ordered when I am next in the US
  • That's plan A and B will let you know
  • Spring here seems to have come and gone before lunch yesterday
  • Judging by today
  • Summer came and went in the afternoon
  • Pretty grey here and wet for more or less forever
  • Hardly notice these things
  • Weather in the sewing room is usually pretty constant
  • But the vegetable gardener is pacing
  • Something about the ants
  • And germination
  • The biggest ants have moved into the house
  • We are conflicted
  • As my husband says they are so big they feel like pets
  • They are always carrying their dead away
  • Like the Marines I guess, none left behind
  • We find this quite moving
  • How can we flush such pathos down the drain?
  • So now we are carrying them out on a wooden spoon to the outdoors
  • The rigid and the loyal
  • Where presumably they go eat the seedlings
  • Until my fusible arrives I am basting in sewn in
  • Kind of like basting
  • Easy on the mind
  • Do you ever get fevers to sew something totally unrelated to the 14 things you have piled up
  • In the next to sew stack?
  • Suddenly I want to make bags
  • Damn that Facebook
  • I was going to swear off it totally ever since my FB acquaintance 
  • Posted that picture of the lost sock she found attached to her sheet from the dryer
  • This is news?
  • This is what social media is adding to my life?
  • I mean isn't that where we all keep our one socks?
  • You know the mates for the ones you just threw out because they had been kicking around the drawer solo for months?
  • Then before I quit 
  • All these groups I joined post pictures of things they make
  • All these handbags now with blush hardware and floral prints
  • That wouldn't go with anything I wear or use
  • My handbags have to be able to live on the floor of the car so kids can walk on them
  • Just under the ice scrapper for the car window
  • Or be thrown in the grocery cart
  • But still these bags are so pretty and I want to make one
  • But I am so behind in my production
  • These days what I give for birthdays are promises
  • Got to deliver or I will get a reputation
  • Speaking of which
  • The nicest thing happened this week
  • One of the kids asked my to take off my jacket so her friend could feel my muscle
  • So I stood there in the schoolyard with seven year olds feeling my bicep
  • Those vintage machines are not light you know
  • And then when we went home the youngest asked me to juggle a jar or peanut butter and a jar of jelly
  • Which I did
  • Let's say if you try this at home
  • May I suggest plastic containers
  • Got a good laugh though
  • And got it cleaned up before the real boss came home
  • I guess I was still excited about the bicep thing and got carried away
  • Which can happen at any age
  • Count on that