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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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Sunday, September 6, 2020

The beginning of the hygge collection

 We have had that day this week- the day when you get up to walk the dog in the morning and think "it's changed, I can feel fall."

This year will be a little different. 

For reasons we all know about we are not going to do our regular winter trip to the US. We have been doing that for the last ten years, saving up our vacation when we were both working. It will be weird to be at home for the winter this year, all winter.

Because of our annual trips I always see my fall/winter sewing as half warm weather clothes making. 

This year I will be at home and either in the house or out in the cold, for 5-6 months.

Getting your head into this space requires considering the Danish term hygge very seriously. Canadians don't have an equivalent term, unless you call it hockey season, but we do have an equivalent climate.

Pretty much everyone has heard of hygge these days. It is that sort of cozy, snuggly, comfortable holed up securely at home situation that seems to me to particularly relevant to the times ahead. Workers at home will even be hygge in the office this year.

So with these weighty issues in my mind right now I have decided to do a full on hygge winter wardrobe.

To me this will involve sewing some new clothes that hopefully should feel like old clothes.

I have been thinking about a book these days my kids and I used to read "Need a house call Miss Mouse." Miss Mouse was an architect and she made homes for various animals. We used to look at the pictures and everyone would decide what was our favourite house. I learned a lot about my kids by seeing what house they chose.

This was my favourite, the fox's den. I could totally live there and live like that. Just add a sewing machine.

These are the homes my daughter liked best and they seem to me to be very pandemic relevant. 

First Bear's house, for hibernation:

And Worm's house, well-stocked:

I am pretty sure my winter is going to look like one of the above and I intend to be dressed for it.

To start this I pulled out my favourite old Jalie sweatshirt pattern. I have tried other sweatshirt type patterns but this one is my favourite - I like the high ribbed neckline, the loose but not too loose body, and the fact the sleeves aren't sloppy -a lot of the other ones I have sew had wide necklines too that didn't feel this cozy.

Here is the pattern envelope:

The trick to update this pattern I have decided is to not do the waistband ribbing too tight- just slightly smaller than the bottom of the top is fine and avoids the bloused in look.

I made my version in a french terry with sort of embossed dots on it. I picked this up at Joann's in my travels in the kids fabric section.

Now this, like a few other pictures, was taken in front of my husband's motorcycle. He bought the bike out of nostalgia a few years ago and uses it primarily to run down to the store for ingredients when he is cooking. He is definitely not a biker unless there is a group somewhere called " We are out of cilantro."

However the bike is vintage and shiny and if I want to interrupt him to get a picture taken I have found saying "why don't we do a picture of the bike?" generally works pretty well.

So here I am in the first of many holed-up-for-the-winter tops and my neon turquoise glasses which I guess suit both my top and the prop.


Carol in Denver said...

I like the slim look of your sweatshirt; thanks for bringing to our attention.

Kamchick said...

I love your shirt! You got me started on Jalie patterns and I have really enjoyed every 'make'. I have the sweatpants and matching 'hoodie' all ready to help me through the Ottawa Valley Covid winter! Before this whole lockdown, my daughter and I took a workshop in Ottawa with the Jalie ladies - it was fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Great job working out the appropriate dot placement! The sweatshirt looks good on you.

BTW, Stonemountain is closed for the pandemic. Bummer.

Sydney in Northern California

SewTypical said...

That looks great on you!
Thanks for mentioning the good sweatshirt pattern. I've been looking for one.
:-) Chris

Laurinda said...

That fabric is so fun-my favorite kind! Nice bike, too. My husband has ridden since he was 16, he's 64,& I've ridden since I was 35 (58 now). We don't belong to any group, either. We ride to please ourselves, as it should be. Nice bike, btw

Ria Henley said...

Very nice. Love the fabric.

Kathy Zachry said...

Wow, what a coincidence, Barbara! I just made my college-freshman granddaughter a sweatshirt dress/long tunic from that same dotted fabric. I have to say you look just as fabulous as our 18-year-old. She’s decided hers would also be great for a sleep-shirt in her cold dorm room. It’s still 90 degrees here in the South USA but the light is different - more golden - so I know what you mean. Wish I knew how to pronounce hugge! And I wish I’d known about that sweet book when my girls were little. I think I’d have liked it as much as they would. Stock up on lots of tea and hot chocolate - or your favorite beverage - and enjoy your comfy cozy sewing.

Beth said...

Thanks so much for bringing up “Need a House, Call Miss Mouse” ! We so loved reading that book to our children. All the subliminal messages were loving and empowering to a little girl, and I loved all the houses. The maker in me wanted to make tiny replicas, particularly the one in the pear.. I am still aware of the hole in my heart that used to be filled with picture books. I think my favorite part of parenting was snuggling in a chair a bit to small for three and doing dramatic readings to a deeply appreciative, though squirmy audience. Sometimes my husband will read aloud to me now, which I adore, but picture books, and then the broader vistas of chapter books were the best. It looks like I will probably not get to have grandchildren, so I hold those memories very close in my heart.