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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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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dark November flypaper thoughts


  • In the background my husband has the TV on
  • Impeachment hearings take me back to ironing
  • When it was Nixon's turn we used to go home to my friend's house after school
  • We watched her mom, an ashtray on the ironing board, doing her ironing and watching
  • Like many Eastern Canadian families they had family in the States
  • Including the famous Auntie sister who was such a drinker she set her alarm to get started
  • There was also a person called Uncle Brother who retired early. Real early.
  • So when I hear the TV voices I am thinking I should get out the ironing board
  • But am not likely to do the sheets
  • Or the underwear
  • Like my friend's mother did
  • I am also thinking about craft
  • My youngest son's girlfriend takes picture but uses film
  • She waits for them to be developed
  • Waits
  • These pictures are gorgeous
  • This girl knows craft
  • No digital
  • No editing
  • No filters
  • No tricks
  • No instant Instagram fame
  • I gave away my top-of-the-line machine
  • And now sew on old machines that rely on my hands
  • Not a circuit boards
  • This month I put the knits on hold for a bit
  • And made bound buttonholes
  • French seams
  • And careful binding
  • It was stress less not stressful
  • Like yoga breathing
  • Or ironing

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Red boiled wool coat



Before you all fall over when you see a blog post from me let me show you a red boiled wool coat I made. 

Despite my vacancy from the blogosphere I have been family event busy and sewing my brains out. So much of what I have made is off to the recipients, unphotographed. Sometimes real life makes it to the front of the line before recorded life.

Not shown here are the yellow wool socks I made for a new girlfriend up from Texas. We didn't want her to go into cold weather shock and write off Nova Scotia just because it was November, a fairly miserable month outdone only by February, you know that time of the year I personally will be thawing out in Texas. I figured if her feet were warm she would feel at home here. This is something we want.

There are few issues in life I do not think have a wardrobe solution.

Also not shown are mended snow suits, a cross back apron for my florist sister's nice co-worker at the home and garden store, a birthday dress for the now one-year-old in San Francisco, and two warm velour pullovers for my daughter.

If you come to this blog I am sure you have given up a long time ago that you would find beautifully coordinated outfits photographed on a regular basis and more likely to find flypaper thoughts from a life dressed for those kind of thoughts.

So here we go.

I had some neat patterned boiled wool from the local Fabricville. I decided to make a cozy sweater coat thing out of the stand collar version of this pattern:

In recognition of the loft and texture of this fabric (essentially this jacket is a high grade polar fleece jacket) I decided to make bound buttonholes. I have a no brainer method for these that makes them easy - got to get instructions done).
For the same fabric reasons I also sewed the pockets on by hand (backstitch on the wrong side, slip stitch on the right side).




Also because the fabric was thick I put in a false hem and a chain to weigh the hem down.




Really a nice cozy coat and this time of year that's essential.

Now I am up for a breather watch this space for more posts. They will be coming!