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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
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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, November 20, 2020

A great free pattern

 Before I live up to the promise of the title I have to say two things that are really important.

One is thank you thank you to all of those who left comments, or emailed me with gluten free cooking advice. I have been trying to figure out what has been going on with my body for a while now, a diagnosis is great, but figuring out this day to day has been an adjustment. I felt so helped and supported by your kind interest. It really made me feel better.

The second thing I want to say is that I have decided to just post pictures of the real me in clothes for the purpose of letting you see the details rather than fussing too much about the having folks see what my actual 67 year-old-body looks like. This is me, and that's all there is to say about that.

Now onto the free pattern. As you know I have been doing a lot of sewing for my family. This particular pattern for "Yoggers" sort of jogging pants with some fit, sort of, was something I made 11 times this last month. Three pair for my 92 year-old-mother (for her I left off the cuff at the bottom) four for my daughter and four for me.

The funny thing is that I made the same size for all of us, just with my little mom's inseam 4 inches shorter.

It's a free pattern from Petite Stitchery. Here is the picture and here is the line drawing:


I actually never thought I would make myself some "sweats" to wear around the house, since I am such a well-known fashion icon as you have probably already picked up.

But honestly.

If there ever was a winter to retreat into the homestead and wear comfy clothes it seems to me that being in the middle of a global pandemic would be it.

I found this pattern when I was doing the usual time wasting pattern site cruising. There are a million of this type of pattern around but I liked this one the best because:

1. It was free

2. The leg wasn't too tight. Honestly some of them look like leggings with cuffs.

3. The waist goes all the way up to the waist.

Now this pattern has optional pockets which I should have put in but I was sewing up 11 pairs in periods of time when I was supposed to be cooking dinner so they were out.

The pattern also has a drawstring waistline, rather than elastic, which I wasn't sure I would like but I do. No trying to figure out how long to cut the elastic and they stay up nicely. However for my mom's did put in elastic because I figured she was not at a drawstring stage of her life. For my daughter's I put the buttonholes for the drawstring on the outside of the waistband and for mine on the inside so I could tuck the drawstring in and out of the way.

On a couple of my pairs I made both the cuffs at the bottom and the waistband piece out of ribbing which I thought was extra comfortable. I just made all my buttonholes by drawing the size on a piece of interfacing and making them from the wrong side right through it, which was really fast.

There is a nice leg to these pants. I should tell you that the cuff at the bottom isn't particularly tight, this makes them very comfortable, so you might want to check that if you want something tighter around the ankle.

So here are a couple of my pairs. I will be wearing these in my house until the spring I expect, or a vaccine, whatever comes first!







Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Flypaper thoughts from the animal house


  • My life is currently exactly as illustrated
  • You don't even want to see the Christmas knitting
  • I am now sewing on the dining room table
  • Because the two dogs and cat need to all see where I am
  • Who am I to confuse them
  • The cat has taken a shine to Daisy
  • Stays about three inches from her and sleeps on the dog bed circled up
  • Cats sleep about half the day
  • This is fine with the dogs
  • Because the rest of the time is spent doing horizontal and vertical circuits around the house
  • Broken up by mid air zoom by leaps over Daisy's back
  • Never a dull moment
  • Which reminds me
  • I was just diagnosed as celiac
  • Anyone have recipes for gluten free anything hit me up
  • Looking for, among other things
  • Bread that doesn't resemble a white envelope
  • Is about that tasty
  • And costs $3 a slice
  • Which is more than an envelope actually
  • Including postage
  • I am treating myself
  • Signed up for a surprise box of subscription fabric
  • From Watertower Textiles
  • They have great quality
  • And these days it's nice to have a good surprise every month
  • You need to book it
  • I will show you what I've been sent 
  • Maybe tomorrow
  • How sneaky are cats
  • Very it turns out
  • Daisy likes to sit on the mat while I have my nightly bath
  • And order online fabric
  • She chased the cat out from our private time
  • Now when she hears the bath water run
  • Pepper glides in to hide behind the toilet
  • And then slinks under the vanity
  • So she is in position to stand up under the shower curtain and watch me
  • Daisy doesn't even know she is there
  • Lots of stories like that
  • Maybe I should make a Christmas dress
  • Even though this will be a bubble only year
  • When we were little my grandmother used to give my next closest sister and I
  • Matching velvet dresses
  • Being Christmas they were always red
  • So in every Christmas picture my sister had her mad face on
  • She had red hair and hated clashing
  • Speaking of which
  • I have seared in my memory
  • A craft project in grade two
  • We were cutting out flowers from fabric and pasting them on Mother's day cards
  • "Barbara" the teacher scolded me
  • "You have put red and orange together. You can't do that.
  • They clash."
  • Boy aren't you glad they don't make teachers like that anymore
  • Wonder what she would have done with an eight-year-old Kaffe Fassett
  • Or any body else who was interesting or turned out interesting
  • Don't you wish you could tell your younger self
  • Or other younger selves right now
  • Best not to bloom too early
  • A full bloom takes some time to get ready
  • What a terrible thing it would be to have the prime of your life
  • Be a time no one but you remembered
  • Like say grade six
  • Better to save it for when it can do someone else some good
  • Better to wait until the time that some other girl can say
  • If she can do it I can too
  • Better to wait until an age when you have done so much
  • That the small things are given credit for the big things they really are
  • Like sitting with a cocoa 
  • And a small rescue dog snoozing glued to your hip
  • And a small rescue cat draped around your neck
  • Out of dog sight
  • Like some elderly woman's mink collar
  • Purring because we are all together
  • And together is good as it ever gets