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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 12, 2020

Catch up instalment one

 My life has been exceptionally busy lately. I have been sewing a lot but going from one project to the next, a lot for my daughter and mother as well as Halloween costumes and birthday presents, without hardly stopping to take pictures or blog.

So I have a lot of catching up to do.

In the middle of it all, after about 45 years of always having a dog, we have acquired a kitten. Here she is:

As you can see she is completely adorable and right in the middle of everything in our household. She was born in a barn, literally, and came to us with a bit of an infection but has recovered well. However she has tested positive for FIV, which is like AIDS in cats. I am hopeful that is just because she still has her poor mom's antibodies and she will be negative when she is tested again around 6 months. Not that it matters, we will take good care of her, now an indoor cat, with the help of our marvellous vet who also happens to be a friend of my middle son. We think she is wonderful.

Her name is Pepper.

She is now a member of our family. Daisy has given me a few "what were you thinking?" looks over the last few weeks but they have adjusted well. I think that Pepper is so well meaning that Daisy has just decided to accept her.  

Maybe she understands this is another rescue.

On the sewing front one of the things I did was to make two pairs of red ponte pants. I swore I would never make red pants after I saw Anthony Weiner wearing them on the way to jail. But listen I had the fabric and some patterns I wanted to test drive. I am fairly over leggings, but wanted something that comfortable to wear with looser tops around the house.

For some reason I had acquired two almost identical patterns for ponte knit slim pants. They were the Stylearc Parker ponte pants:

And the Jalie Renee ponte pant:

The Stylearc pant is cuffed (I didn't do that in my version because I was squeezing my fabric to get two pairs out of what I had) and the Jalie one isn't.

Remarkably they are nearly identical in fit. The Jalie only slightly wider in the leg, and have the exact same triangular insert piece at the front - sort of a shaping detail not a pocket.

Here they are on me. The Stylearc Parker:

And the Jalie Renee:

 It's pretty hard to tell them apart isn't it?

There is one major difference though, and that's in the waist treatment. It's a difference that has a big impact on wearing comfort.

The Parker pants have a conventional elastic encased waistband, you can see the inset piece in this picture too:

The Jalie Renee pants however go right up to the waist and the elastic is stitched to the top raw edge and then turned under and secured by some ditch stitching at each of the four seams (front, center and sides).

In the interests of science, and not vanity, I am going to share some non flattering pictures of my mature body in these pants, so you can see how this waist treatment sits. It's a good thing the internet is so private:

I just realized as I write this, that I am actually wearing these pants now. Even though the two pairs are virtually identical I find I always, always reach for the Renee version. They are just that much more comfortable. It is interesting to me how much nicer it is to wear a pair without a separate waistband.

Look for more catch up posts shortly, I have been sewing a lot!


Anne Frances said...

Your Pepper is enchanting. Our Pepper - yes that was her name - came to us as an eight week kitten and lived to be 18. She had one ginger foot and otherwise an interesting mottled tabby colour - hence her name. She had a very independent and distinctive personality. I hope yours brings as much pleasure to all the household as ours did. Alas, by the time she died we had acquired an asthmatic son-in-law, and cats were not possible, so she has never had a successor.

Anonymous said...

You look lovely in the red pants; much better than AW in every way possible of course. Great dog/cat pictures - we had a big old barn cat rescue when we got our first puppy many years ago; the cat, a battered tom, cleaned the puppy from stem to stern every night. As the puppy grew (and grew and grew) the job took longer and longer but the cat never gave up his self-appointed task, finally working over a 60 pound German shepherd/border collie cross. There is a lesson there somewhere.


RebeccaHoward said...

Interesting that the pants are so identical in fit. From the line drawings I would have thought that the Parker pants were wider. I love you’re close ups of the waist. Thank you:) and just so you know (and probably already realise) your tummy pictures were zoomed in so I could see in detail the top of the pants. A wonderful thing this very private internet. I think red pants are going to be very cheerful for you during winter. And Daisy and Pepper will see you coming a mile off.

me said...

I have a 3yr old neutered Tom in the house. He came from a barn litter but we saw he wasn't going to make it. I'd not had an inside cat in 45 years! The dogs love him - they chase him, when he wants to be chased. He sleeps in my sewing chairs. I have to have his feeder on a corner of my cutting table, because of the dogs. The minute I'm at the table - up he comes. Sometimes to eat, sometimes to just sit on fabric and pattern. I love him

karenviser said...

I have an FIV rescue cat. It was discovered during bloodwork done before spaying her. The discussion with the vet was whether or not to go through with it since she might not live very long. I'd only had her a couple of days but couldn't give up on her. She is now 5 years old and I'm still waiting for her to grow up and calm down! She races through the house many times every day and spends the rest of her time snuggling up to whoever she can find. Probably my best cat ever!!!

Marcia Swanston said...

I have cat envy...missing my dear ones but I don't think Ella would be as accommodating as Daisy! Pepper seems very sweet. I have the Renee pants pattern on my sewing table, so grateful for the fine review and up close photos!

One who sews said...

Thank you so much for the pants comparisons. I will definitely take note on the waistband and opt for the Renee, too, as I’m always on the look out for comfy pants. I’m working on my first Stylearc pattern, the Sally jeans skirt. For the money, I thought I had paid for instructions, but apparently not! Fortunately there are a lot of tutorials out there for jeans skirts! I really do appreciate your blog and newsletter. Thanks again for all you do!

Anonymous said...

I’m so happy for you and Daisy and Pepper. Your pants look fantastic. I wish I could sew them, but my former sewing space is now my husband’s office. And I no longer have a job to go to, so I don’t really need clothes.
A kitten is perfect for these times. If unfortunately she does have FIV, be aware that she could have problems with her teeth. You could actually get her used to having her teeth brushed as a kitten. I wouldn’t mention it, but I know you have a dog stroller, so I think you might be amenable to cat tooth brushing. I love your blog. Thanks for the kitten shots. Especially the one cozying up to the dog. Love it.