Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

Sewing with less stress back cover

Sewing with less stress back cover
What my new book is about

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