Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

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Sewing with less stress back cover
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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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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The hygge collection continued

 Can you stand it?

I have allowed myself to go a bit nutty on some anticipation of winter nesting clothing, aka my hugge collection, and am cutting out and making simple clothes for staying in.

I am working with random bits of fabric from the shelves, fabric that was long designated for other projects that I never got around to, and simple patterns.

This one, another of my motorcycle shots, was made in some DBP (double brushed poly) that I picked up somewhere.

Now I never really sew or wear polyester. It doesn't breathe and I like to. However this stuff is so soft and cozy. I have made a few tops to wear in colder weather from it that I love. When the girls come over they go into my closet and pull these tops and put them on and generally wear them home. Eventually I get them back.

In keeping with the being home and comfortable I actually made this top out of a pyjama top pattern- the top half of Jalie 4016 Knit PJ set the Jeanne. I liked the high neckline and cuffs. It seems to me that this is a good basewear long sleeved T- shirt type thing that I could wear under a sweater or a cardigan. 

Here is the pattern envelope:

On my lower half, if you are interested, I have on a cropped version of the Jalie Simone wide legged pants. I found them a bit overwhelmingly wide as pants but quite like them cropped. It is a nice pattern and I believe would make good shorts, something I will do for next year. Here it is:

I really should warn you I am pretty out of control in the comfortable sewing department. I made two more tops yesterday during a sewing day with my friend and scrounged up some fabric and pieced together another two today. You can look forward to those pictures soon.

I am pretty sure that this type of sewing is my version of a squirrel putting away nuts for winter. I intend to insulate myself from world events in friendly garments.

What's next of course in the Hugge collection? Knitted slippers? 

Come on. Really?

But funny you should say that. Knit while I watched a Norwegian series which was interesting in itself as I do not speak Norwegian. Or knit particularly well.

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.