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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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Clothesmaking mavens
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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, December 20, 2020

Flypaper thoughts: the persistence of Christmas edition

  • 2020 has sometimes felt 
  • Like topstitching
  • And finding out that the bobbin thread ran out half way through
  • And this happening over and over again
  • Times like this
  • It's easy to say
  • Now what?
  • And to brace yourself for more bad news
  • That's if you are a pessimist
  • Optimists
  • Are like those poor Japanese soldiers
  • They used to find on Pacific Islands
  • 40 years later
  • Still waiting for word from the Emperor
  • That it was all over
  • Their one thought to hold on tight
  • Until they heard the all clear
  • This is tricky stuff
  • We have been at it long enough to admit that
  • Out loud
  • But this is precisely the moment
  • It seems to me
  • To remember
  • Who makes the rules wins
  • And Christmas gives us the tools
  • It gives us little boys
  • Still running across the field in Santa hats
  • Watching your son and granddaughter bite into
  • The shortbread you have been making for your kid
  • For 35 years
  • So what it's on FaceTime
  • You still saw it
  • And hell would freeze over before that shorbread was not baked
  • Didn't break at all on the long mail trip from this coast to that one
  • It's in the lights in my neighbourhood
  • Up early this year and twice as many
  • It's the man across the street
  • 75 and living alone
  • Who adds more lights every day


  • It's my husband making a snowman to surprise me
  • And ever practical with two noses so it has a face from the house and street view

  • It's these two jogging near my house


  • It's my 93 year-old-mother in Manitoba
  • Who has to be alone in her house this Christmas
  • Cooking a turkey breast and a dinner for herself
  • So the house will still smell like Christmas
  • It's the memories of other Christmases
  • When we had the privilege of all being together
  • Making me happy not sad
  • Because I am lucky enough to have those times to revisit in my head
  • When I want to
  • It's the Temptations Christmas album
  • And mincemeat like my dad used to love
  • Who else puts cheddar cheese on a tart?
  • It's seeing an old lame border collie roll around in the snow
  • With joy
  • It's knowing I am one of a million grandmas who sewed Christmas pyjamas this year
  • That little kids still won't be able to sleep
  • And will get up way too early
  • It's knowing that
  • Christmas comes every year
  • And nothing can stop it
  • Don't even try