Thursday, April 27, 2017

Violet knit jacket by Stylearc

O.K. there is a back story on this. Several in fact.

First it has to do with policy.

I have sort of a policy to try new profiles and shapes every season that are out of my comfort zone. Of course this produces a lot of should have known better garments, but it also has on occasion, useful occasion, helped me move ahead. Which when the alternative is to move behind is a good thing.

So this is what happened.

I have been noticing a general enlargement of shapes recently, as the fashion pendulum swings back from skin tight, and thought I should try some looser garments. In the past these outlines have not been good for me. I remember once trying on a bunch of Sewing Workshop garments at a booth at a sewing show and having the nice lady in the booth sort of agree that I looked more like a flagpole in a flag than a chic person.

However I have been thinking.

The end of May I am going to be doing some flying. To see my mom in Winnipeg and then on the Sn Francisco. What to wear on the plane and in spring is hard so I got the idea to try to make one of the Violet Knit Jackets from Stylearc, because it had that go over everything feel and was, back to where I started, completely outside my comfort zone.

However I didn't have any knit that was a coordinating colour in a weight I considered jacket weight.

About the same time I was pondering this serious issue I went to a sewing guild meeting where one of the women always seems to be snagging great yardage at Value Village (yes Lorna this is you). I however do not find anything good the odd times I have been there - strictly mauve polyester twill.

But then last week I was at VV trying to find a new heavy dish for Daisy since I dropped the last one. On a whim I cruised by the material rack and there it was, wool double knit written down to "as is" for $3.00 owing to a certain history with moths in someone's basement I am sure.

Well, I thought, why not? I can make a non wearable muslin in case I look like a flagpole with a wool double-knit flag. So I bought it, much to the amazement of the lady standing behind me in the line up.

At home I washed and hung it all out to dry and then marked numerous holes with tape so I could assess the situation. (Be assured I had a whole list of much more important life business to be taking care of when I was doing this instead).

This is what I was working with and this is how I had to lay it all out:



Pretty nutty I know and BTW I did press the fabric before I really cut out, these were practice photos.

Of course I didn't have enough fabric to cut the fronts double, as the pattern suggested, although I did cut out the bottoms double, which might have been too heavy in this wool knit. If you are sewing this pattern up yourself you might feel happier with something lighter like a ponte because the fronts and bottoms are doubled anyway.

To finish the single layer front edges I got out some ancient wooly nylon left over from some self-delusional Christmas project and did a 3 thread overlock with the stitches set a bit closer than normal, about a 2.

Here is what that looked like:



And here is the whole thing on me:





Now over to you.

Because this is so much not what I regularly wear I am wondering what you think. 

I can certainly see the utility of a jacket like this but if you think I look like a knucklehead you should probably tell me. 

Otherwise Air Canada here I come.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sewing as a character building exercise

Today my friend Trudy and I had one of our all to infrequent sewing days together.

Trudy made a great knit top and then we both moved on to projects that were unfamiliar to a pair of garment sewers like ourselves. I worked on bags, which meant unfamiliar shapes, and Trudy tried to figure out some stuffy toys for her granddaughter.

My efforts in particular were of the one step forward two steps back variety. The reasons for this were 1) I talked the whole time, once again demonstrating that Babs can't talk and read instructions at the same time 2) I have sewn so much, but not bags, that I skimmed the instructions with the assumption I knew what to do, when in fact I did not and should have been reading every word with full attention (see point 1).

However I didn't give up and improvised a series of fixes on the time honoured principle that most folks would think those extra seams were supposed to be there, and Trudy, being my friend, was wise enough to tell me that no one would notice.

The persisting, which women as we know do, made me think of the things sewing had taught me about lasting through life. In fact Trudy and I discussed various challenging times in the past that we worked our way through, probably because of the way sewing had toughened us up.

To summarize a highly intelligent discussion I think sewing has taught me these life skills:


  • There is no point in freaking out. Cry all you want but that sleeve is still going to be in the wrong armhole anyway. You might as well pick up the seam ripper and get going.
  • O.K. you blew it. Move past that quickly and get onto all possible salvage fixing operations. After all nothing erases a mistake like a good recovery. Or a few extra seams.
  • Sometimes you make a wrong decision but beating yourself up won't transform it into a good decision. Get it out of your sight and think of the next thing. That's what garbage pick-up days are for.
  • It's alright to say you are tired and to take some time out. It will be better in the morning than it will be in the extra half hour you keeping pushing on tonight. As a matter of fact sometimes the  greatest progress is made when you stop pushing so hard.
  • There is always the next one and it may be great. Your bounce back matters. Do enough of it and you will get pretty resilient.
  • It's only clothes. Don't take it all so seriously. Even the serious things in life can be lightened if you ease up.
Now over to you.

What has sewing taught you about life?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review of Jalie's Hélène cardigan on the job

Every once in a while a pattern comes along that is just so useful and clever you know right away it is going to be a winner. Jalie's Hélène  cardigan is a pattern like that.

Last Tuesday I went to my local sewing guild meeting and quickly realized that half the women there had already made this pattern. I was on my own to-do list so the next day I cut one out.

Of course the recommended fabric was for something soft and flowy but I didn't have that, so I just went ahead and cut it out of some cotton ponte just to try it out.

This is an exceedingly interesting pattern, a cool inseam pocket, a sort of peplum at the back and a high neck shawl collar with a simple turned and topstitched edge that I cover hemmed. Since I am tall I added 1" to the body and 2" to the hem.

The sleeves were narrow below the elbow, fine for me because I have thin arms but if you don't, or want to wear it over another top, I suggest you just widen the sleeve below this point, essentially eliminating the distinct taper.

I was super pleased with this cardigan but when I showed it to my husband he said, "very nice but it looks like a lab coat" - due to the fabric of course. I tried to talk him out of this opinion. He retreated of course as husbands do with a "well what do I know?" but of course he had made a point.

A few days later my daughter who is a nurse, a care coordinator in oncology at the children's hospital, and my niece who is currently living in my basement while she studies nursing, looked at it after Easter dinner and they both said to me,

"Great lab coat."

And of course my daughter wanted it to wear to work. The fact the style and the fabric were somewhat tailored, but that as a knit it was comfortable and stretchy, were perfect for her work with the kids and parents.

So here my cardigan is in its new life as a lab coat on Katrina at work today. 

I am pretty proud of it. And of her:




Maybe not the fabric and use the designers intended but a great result. Katrina now wants three more and said she could have taken orders for 10 more from her colleagues. 

So I will be making more of these for my daughter but not before I make a few for me.

Wonderful pattern, just wonderful.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Count down with me

I have just cut out the last two sample garments for my book. If it all goes according to plan by the time the bunny arrives I should be back to my personal sewing. Two more days folks and I can start to share what I make.

I am so looking forward to this.

I am also going to be travelling a bit more in a month, off to see my mom in Winnipeg and then off for a week to get to know San Francisco. Then back home for the summer when I am going to be teaching some summer courses online and for a good part of the week taking care of the kids for my daughter.

I am thinking that I should plan a proper travel wardrobe for this trip and get sewing as soon as I can. I have been playing around with new to me shapes, looser fit stuff, as I feel that fashion is starting to move that way. It is interesting that these shapes sort of erase the distinction between comfortable at home and going out wear. But this is a radical departure for me and I am not sure if I have it right.

I will be interested to see what you think.

Like these new shapes the west coast, San Francisco in particular, is new to me. The kids will be working and otherwise pretty occupied while I am there and besides I would rather explore a bit on my own than put them in the "now what are we going to do with your mother today" mode.

So for those of you who know the area and the city please send on your recommendations and getting to know the city ideas. You know what I like, pretty much the same things you do.

Now off to thread up some machines so I can get a decent start tomorrow.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fashion has you covered

What do you think about this?

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/fashion/covered-up-fashion-style-of-the-decade.html?mwrsm=Email&referer=

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

In transit

just thought I would let you know that while I am in transit and connectivity is spotty I am still posting on Instagram. See you there too.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Dropping down a back neck zipper

I just made a dress that has a neck opening wide enough so it goes over my head. Since the bodice is fitted I still need a back zipper. So I did what I always do in these situations and sewed the centre back seam closed down about 3" from the neckline and inserted the zipper below that. I got this idea from side zippers in vintage patterns- I get a lot of good construction ideas from those. Of course this means the neckline can be faced as one unit like an armhole. So much neater than a zipper top that opens at the top and you have all that business to take care of. I like the way this looks:



Friday, March 31, 2017

How does it feel?

I came back from my last beach walk this afternoon with the thought that we pay a lot of attention to how we look in clothes and style, but we underplay how we feel in them. This is the exact opposite of how we start out - kids care so much about how clothes touch the body. And you know we are still the same inside.

I believe that.

Exhibit A is what I have on today. A pair of light high thread count shorts from shortened Peta pants from Stylearc, and the Renfrew T shirt from Sewaholic with the sides pivoted out to make it looser at the bottom with my own cross over V neckline. The T shirt fabric is light modal from Joann's.It is pretty weightless.

Not glamorous but I am camping, and I was at the beach. I love wearing this outfit, because of how it feels on my body. Like it is not there at all:


I think this brings up a larger issue, something we neglect when we make clothing decisions. Are you a light person or a snuggly person? A hygge person who likes fall and wrapping up with tea and a good book, or an outside and feel the breeze person, like me? I mean I sew outside.

It seems to me that the elements you belong in should be factored into your clothes too.

Of course this is also in my mind because I am heading north tomorrow, out of my element but back to my peeps. I miss them and they need me.

So off I go, like a bird flying north again, but I will miss this, what I see from my door on wheels on the inland waterway, with the beach to my back:



 What is your element, how does it affect what you wear?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Vogues, oh my

I must admit one of my great pleasures some mornings is getting a notice in my inbox that new patterns are up. I love a new pattern.

Yesterday it was Vogue.

I was a bit stunned by this season's collection to be honest.

Increasingly I am only interested in patterns and clothes that I can see  worn in real life. After all a real life is all what we all have and most of us don't have an infinite amount of sewing time. Seems to me to be a pretty clear calculation there.

On this basis I have been increasingly impressed by recent releases from Stylearc, been making some of those looser dresses lately and loving them:





I have also been excited by Jalie's new patterns. Jalies grow on you. I have found  their patterns so often turn into ones you make again and again. Here are some of those I see with that potential in the newest collection:






I mean both the Stylearc and Jalie patterns are stuff you would actually put on.

I wish I could say the same about the new Vogues. I would have thought the business model would include clothes that a lot of people would want to sew and want to wear.

On that basis, in no particular order, are some that caught my eye this week:




O.K. let's start positive. This dress does have potential for an event. It keeps the attention at the top of the body, which is a good thing, and means you don't jam yourself into Spanx for the wedding. I am not knocked out by this dress but it would be wearable and if you could find some drapey fabric would be nice, although finding nice draped fabric is not that easy.



Now this one is a bit of a contradiction in terms (notice too how you can see the model's navel? Wonder what the lining is?) Back to contradiction. The bodice of this dress is designed to show boobs but you can only wear it if you don't have boobs (model with navel doesn't even quite fill this out but is covered which makes my point) and she also seems to get away without side boob problems with that armhole too. This unit would involve a lot of sewing time for something you  would definitely not wear on a repeat basis, only once when you are going to the Academy Awards but not sure if those folks are entirely all sewers.


Now this one is beyond, just beyond. I am not at all consoled by the fact that military breastplate is detachable. How many dumb features can you fit into one dress? Apparently a lot. I wonder if they will sell one copy of this pattern.



Look at the model's face in this one. She feels the same way I do about this knee heavy outfit. She's not taking this one home. Like wearing the duvet.


This is a back to the future number. I distinctly wonder if the next trend is the '70s? Seems to look like it. Quite sure my sister and I made dresses like this years ago and quite sure we tacked that neckline closed halfway up.


O.K. I have already made this bathing suit, when I was about 13. Out of broadcloth with buttons for the top and a zipper in the bottom. In the dark ages swimwear fabric was not available. I can tell you from intense experience then that these bathing suits are a bitch to fit and definitely made only for sunbathing not for swimming. The problem of course is that we aren't supposed to sunbath anymore (any other idiot ever spend time holding a home-made tinfoil sun reflector up to her face to get a tan? Those trips to the dermatologist these days are a riot now aren't they?) and that if you go into the water in something like this it is the equivalent to falling overboard in your clothes (something I have done myself on more than one occasion while trying to learn to sail). Everything gets saggy and heavy and sort of falls down. Not all vintage garments are worth reviving. What's next? Girdles?



Seems to me that on a regular basis the pattern companies try to convince us that mega width pants are O.K. Really? Where would you wear this outfit and not feel like a dork? If you were 7 feet tall and wearing 5 inch heels and just stood there maybe, possibly, but the rest of us would look like Frigidaires.


This seems to me to be more wearable. The wide top is balanced by pants that are slimmer in the hip.


Another back to the future number. If it was 1972 and you were bringing a jellied salad or an onion soup mix dip to a backyard pool party this might work, check your calendar.

Right now the Indie patterns are looking pretty good to me. 

What do you think?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Flypaper thoughts last week here edition


  • If sewing in an r.v. were an Olympic event
  • There would be a gold medal for Canada
  • Older man stopped by and watched me serge on the picnic table
  • My mother died when I was young but I remember her sewing for all us kids, he said
  • Seeing you there brought her back
  • I like doing something that makes older men remember their mothers
  • Told the husband that when the draft goes out he is taking me for a mojito
  • Not much for drinks but like ones that taste like something else
  • Do you know what not once in my life have I ever gone into a bar by myself?
  • As likely to do that as apply lipstick in public
  • Some things date me
  • Taken time to adapt to these things
  • Jackets and coats that are shorter than what's under them
  • Bra straps that show under racerback tanks or dresses
  • Shoes and purses that don't match
  • Why bare veinly legs are better than having nylons over them
  • Calling panty hose nylons
  • Some things don't date me
  • Don't date most women
  • When was the last time you heard a woman say she was a meat and potatoes kind of person?
  • I think fashion and children keep us flexible
  • Think of all the styles we have talked ourselves into
  • Cold shouldered tops this year
  • Thong underwear
  • Coats with only one button at the top
  • Midcalf skirts
  • Hope I haven't offended anyone here
  • Shoes we can't walk in
  • All this sewing has reminded me how energizing it is to go all in on what you are working on
  • I enjoy working hard
  • Forget telling myself that the dusting and hand made pasta are things that I would do if I had more time
  • I would have the time if I really wanted to do them
  • Would just rather sew
  • Golf game much improved
  • Husband double checking my score
  • No date stamp on learning
  • Remember that
  • Have an idea for a new project
  • Response to my friend who flags the "10 minute recipe"
  • List of things sewers can cook so they don't waste sewing time
  • Criteria is that it can be made in 10 minutes
  • Doesn't poison you
  • And has some category of healthy
  • So fish sticks and frozen French fries are not eligible
  • Besides I can already do that
  • You in?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Flypaper thoughts over and underestimated things in life



  • Only two and a half more weeks then we are home
  • Should be back to my real life and posting real sewing then too
  • I have been thinking about the title topics of this post
  • Here we go
  • Staystitching is underestimated
  • It keeps things from stretching so so much
  • Like 2" in a scooped neckline
  • That's why the facing doesn't fit
  • From wide to narrow, down to up
  • Stay stitching really works
  • Best thing I bought all year was 
  • A dog stroller
  • Miss Daisy likes to walk only in one direction
  • But with short legs she doesn't get that this means she has to walk the same distance back
  • Dog strollers are a genius idea for the beach
  • She goes as long as she wants and then I pop her in
  • She loves it, lies and watches the waves and the people
  • Never underestimate the usefulness of really nerdy and embarrassing things
  • My daughter says though if she sees that thing in the neighbourhood she will be mortified
  • Never underestimate the freedom of being at the certain age when you don't give a shit
  • Never underestimate the soothing effect of spending time with your dad's old friend
  • When your own dad died before the internet was invented
  • Do you have any idea how great it feels to sit and talk to someone who knew him and is still exactly like him?
  • Like a quiet gift giving me some time with him back
  • Friendships transcend anything
  • This week my best friend from home made me a sample and sent me pictures the same day I asked
  • We all need pinch hitters
  • And the no questions asked people
  • Remember when you were a kid and life was a cashless environment
  • When your best friend was everything?
  • Well that hasn't changed
  • Only you did for a while
  • But you can get it back at any time
  • I am now friends with my dad's best friend's daughter too
  • Never underestimate the power of a nice hand stitch to go where no machine dares to
  • Wish Jill Scott made more movies
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series was amazing
  • She had these cool cotton dresses too
  • Never underestimate the value of a man who brings you coffee in bed before you get up
  • As a matter of fact that should be a pre-nuptial test question
  • Got to get to San Francisco to see where the kid is living and working
  • Right now I feel I don't know where he is
  • Got to have a picture in my head
  • Like to see where they buy groceries, where he catches the bus
  • That's what matters
  • Those are the picture I want
  • More possessions than you can fit in an rv is probably overestimated
  • Only thing I have missed is...
  • OK can't remember what that is
  • Where we are I see flamingos flying in the inland waterway
  • All pink with dangling long legs
  • With all these gifts there are no things to miss
  • Only people

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Flypaper thoughts Sunday morning edition


  • For the past month I have been doing nothing but sewing, writing about sewing, and thinking about sewing
  • I have been so happy all month
  • Makes me think two things
  • How lucky I am to have something that makes me feel that way
  • How hard it would be if all you could think of doing was say dust
  • Or watch TV
  • BTW at what moment did anyone invent reality TV?
  • Seems to me that we used to watch shows so we didn't have to deal with that
  • Haven't watched anything but the news in months
  • Second thing all this sewing related has made me realize
  • I haven't lost it, not one bit
  • There is zero difference between late middle-aged me when I sew as when I was 17
  • I can do something that totally connects those two people
  • At 7 Miss Scarlett feels the same way when she sews
  • Wonder if she knows she is right now connecting with her 80 year-old-self
  • Going to see those guys tomorrow
  • They are on the Gulf Coast with the other grandparents who I also love
  • We are going over to have the girls sleep over in the RV
  • Those guys are a zany bunch
  • Daughter texted me that the trip down was the worst trip in her life
  • 10 hours with three kids up since 3:30 a.m.?
  • How is that possible?
  • Every one has to have somewhere to put their love
  • That's why all rv folks who are older like us have a small dog
  • Spend all those decades
  • Listening in your bed to hear if that cough sounds like croup
  • Or to hear the car safely glide into the driveway
  • Or standing with the world's stupidest school supply list at Staples
  • Wondering if the lines on the music teacher's requested exercise book are 3/8" wide
  • Instead of 1/2" 
  • Will really matter at all
  • But think maybe someone else has the right exercise books
  • After all it is your kid
  • A person doesn't just come to a standing stop on that stuff
  • And then the big kids tell you Mom your job is done, enjoy yourself
  • Which of course is why you need a dog
  • Who will never say anything like that to you
  • And lets you coo while you watch them eat
  • And lets you brush their teeth
  • Nothing wrong with it
  • Have to let the flow keep going
  • What a wonderful feeling to know that I will never have to retire from doing what I really do best
  • This is the primary difference between sewers and professional athletes 
  • Imagine if someone had said 
  • You're 32, your best days of putting in zippers are behind you
  • Proved to myself this week that my best zippers are now
  • Watch out

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Running on the beach

I heard today that the rescue organization where we got Miss Daisy has just gone and picked up 250 dogs from a puppy mill that was busted in Jacksonville. I heard too that those dogs are right now pretty low and scared. If I wasn't in an RV I would be over there right now and getting another one.

So I was thinking today about Daisy when we got her. Never been out of a cage, all flat and closed into herself.

Well today here she was at the beach. May those other dogs get a chance.


Here's to second chances everywhere https://youtu.be/oWwLaRANW9s





Thursday, February 23, 2017

We have to talk

Listen blog readers I have not forgotten you. 

Thing is I have this book writing thing going on and have a deadline. I am not sure if anyone will read it but I sure am putting my heart into it. So many sewing thoughts of a lifetime. I don't want to wake up in a few months and think I haven't told you something I need to. 

So bear with me. Lot of production going on in the RV.

So until my sewing goes public again are we fine with flypaper thought? Let me know. Here we go:


  • Time off for golf lessons
  • Pro is an elderly Irishman who might have had the odd cocktail or two
  • Slouches in the cart and just nails what I am doing wrong
  • No reaction when I say to him "this is just like life isn't it?"
  • Makes sense to me
  • Tells me to stand tall and just trust the swing
  • Of course this is like life
  • But maybe he has heard this one a lot
  • Jalie patterns are the bomb
  • Everyone new one has been turning out for me lately
  • If my husband keeps feeding me like this I am going to have to expand the fitting chapter
  • I think the three step zig zag is the most neglected stitch on the machine
  • Keeps that long zig zag thread from catching
  • It is making me unbelievably happy to have nothing to do but write and sew
  • Why did I ever think anything else is important?
  • Next weekend are going to the other coast to see the kids and grandkids and the other grandparents
  • Really looking forward to it
  • Promised the girls they could sleepover in the RV one night
  • Decided next winter we are going to drive across the country to San Francisco
  • No kid is going to get away that easy
  • Taken the southern route I think
  • Saw a pink flamingo in flight today
  • My niece is still digging out the driveway at home
  • I doubt if I will ever sew any zipper again except an invisible one
  • Why would you?
  • You can restitch and restitch them until you get it right
  • And none of that shows on the right side
  • Try that with a lapped zipper
  • I walk down to the inland waterway at night just to hear the fish flip out of the water
  • Miss Daisy listens for them too
  • Got to write tomorrow and then practice golf
  • Want to show I've got the life part down 
  • So we can move on to the slice
  • That's part of life too

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My halftime flypaper thoughts


  • OK I am not watching football but am aware it's on
  • Daisy is fast asleep too
  • Sewing on the road working well
  • Iron outside, cut on a cardboard mat on the bed, and machines on the table
  • Works if you keep your elbows tight
  • Times are changing
  • Nylon stockings are out whatever the temperature and leg veins
  • Eyebrows are in, coloured eye shadow is out
  • As far as I am concerned tailor tacks never go out of style
  • Saw an ad for a food preservation system that means you can eat food you made 35 years ago
  • Think about that
  • Who was a better cook 35 years ago?
  • Let's add water and rehydrate tuna casserole made with a can of mushroom soup mix with crumbled potato chips on top
  • You can tell a lot about a man by the look on his wife's face
  • Been to enough office Christmas parties to have figured that out
  • Riding my bike on the beach in the mornings
  • Watch the pelicans glide like masters of the universe
  • Pre-historic faces and all that grace
  • Consider that peacocks don't fly
  • Hope girls in high school are holding that thought
  • Not much is nicer than a row of perfect buttonholes
  • Any body figured out why it takes a dog 20 minutes to find the exact right place to pee
  • I wish I could play the clarinet
  • Ended piano when the teacher said come back when you have rhythm 
  • Good news Mom I said
  • I don't ever have to go back
  • But really
  • The clarinet is the musical equivalent of a shawl collar wool velour coat
  • You know what I mean?
  • Any one want to split a Key Lime pie with me?
  • Not many of those in Nova Scotia
  • Pies or splitters
  • My turn for dishes
  • Catch you later

Monday, January 30, 2017

Full disclosure

We are still in transit to St. Augustine and will be there day after tomorrow. Since we last spoke I have been sewing my brains out at various state parks (shout out to the amazing state and national parks service and rangers for many reasons) and I sometimes run into times where I am so busy sewing I don't seem tear myself away from the machine to blog about it.

Hope you understand.

Plus I am sewing a lot of samples to deadline for my book and am pretty sure I am not supposed to be blogging about those garments in the meantime. My intention is that when I have enough made so I can get through the night without waking up at 3:00 thinking about my to-do list I can then start sewing more things to share.

Just think when the book is finally out you will be among those who will look at the pictures and know there was a good chance they were put together in an RV or on a picnic table in some state park.

In the meantime, until I am back on track and my out basket looks bigger than my in basket, I want to share some sewing thoughts:

  • Jalie's dropped pocket cardigan is a wonderful pattern. Made two, will make more. Not a cardigan so much as something you can wear over a T shirt to disguise the extra body parts and also sort of pockets with sleeves. Excellent for dog walkers, who carry a few poop purses.
  • Louise Cutting's instructions are terrific. Every new sewer should sew at least one for the insights. Bear in mind though that her shapes are over-sized and sort of boxy and choose sizes accordingly. I mean who would have thought I would be an  X small. But really great, great instructions.
  • To sew in an RV one of those cardboard cutting maps is essential. You can put it on the bed or a picnic table. Hanging toiletry bags with compartments are good too for notions, mine dangles from the hooks for the ladder to the over the bulkhead bunk.
  • A husband who cooks and cleans is also handy.
  • Dogs have no idea why we are doing any of this or why we just didn't stay in the nice yard back home.
  • My serger has given up the ghost on my. 20 years and innumerable services later I can't complain.
  • OK I did.
  • Already on the phone trying to get one lined up for when I arrive in Florida.
  • I love American grocery stores. I haven't exactly come from the Gulag but really there is so much stuff. We walk the aisles and marvel.
  • People leave interesting books in campground laundry rooms. Finished the one I picked up in Tennessee and leaving for the next reader here in South Carolina.
  • A small black dog in a dark state park at night is a challenge. We had to get one of those light things for her harness.
  • No idea if she was peeing or not
  • The man next site is a musician from New York
  • The lady working the next dryer is from the woods of Maine
  • Her kids have sent them south this winter.
  • Last winter there was so much snow she had to snowshoe across the lake to get coffee and the kids said enough
  • Stayed put one night on a mountain because my husband had a feeling
  • Turns out the place we were headed to was evacuated because of a tornado
  • Us we stayed alone on the mountain until some lost hikers saw our light
  • Husband took them down to the ranger
  • Two RVs of families home schooling on the road
  • RVs are not that big for a family of 6
  • Those are some tough mothers
  • Off to bed now so more later
  • Pictures should be next


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Flypaper thoughts somewhere in Virginia version


  • Stopped for the night and tomorrow will keep heading south
  • The right direction to go for a Nova Scotian in January
  • Had a magical visit with the son and daughter-in-law in NYC
  • Poignant because this is probably the last one before they move to San Francisco
  • Which will also be good
  • But snow falling as you walk in New York streets, past the doormen
  • Past the older people out and about 
  • Who in any other city would be holed up at home because you need a car 
  • Past small bright bars and dogs in coats
  • Past facades that are just the way they were 50 years ago
  • New York is its own time capsule
  • And for a while it has been mine
  • Now on to the next thing
  • With kids, of any age, it there is always a next thing
  • Even if the last thing is perfect
  • But we all need next things 
  • And some times we even know it
  • Have passed the time on the drive plotting my sewing
  • Tell me
  • What's with all jackets right now being presented as unlined?
  •  As if that was a good thing
  • Truth is linings cover a lot
  • And keep you from feeling you should do fancy seam finishes which take about 47 hours
  • And such a pain to draft your own lining pattern
  • Which just goes to show these patterns are no time savers
  • Do you think if I attempted a knit moto jacket, lengthened I could do it without losing my mind?
  • We will see
  • I have decided it is easier to sew more jackets than it is to lose weight
  • I want some Indie designer to hire me to help with the instructions
  • Just ran across a poor new sewer posting she was having trouble with step 117
  • Listen there is research on this
  • The mind can only hold onto 5, maybe 7 points, max.
  • You need to stop and give headings
  • Things like telling folks what they are actually doing and why they are doing it 
  • And when they are done you write "You have now completed the body of the dress and just need to put in the sleeves"
  • Or words to that effect
  • So they can breath out
  • 117 steps
  • That's just not fair
  • Is there any thing more annoying than that voice on the GPS
  • Unlike perhaps it is your own voice saying that GPS is annoying
  • When you are not the person personally stopping traffic in Manhattan 
  • With a large RV with a car attached behind it
  • Not to worry
  • That nice lady from New Jersey just went around us and drove up on along the sidewalk
  • After she had a talk with us
  • Didn't know you could drive there
  • We don't do that at home
  • Tomorrow we are getting a new GPS that tells you what roads, bridges and tunnels you are allowed to drive an RV on
  • Seems like a good idea
  • Also tomorrow
  • Driving far enough south so the water lines are not at risk of freezing
  • And I get my running water back
  • Also a good idea
  • We wait all year for these trips
  • It's our big excitement
  • Now off the bed with a small mad black dog
  • Real grass tomorrow Daisy
  • Real grass