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My profile – new member from England

MSanders20 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

I have just joined this group and did it wrong!  When I put a question up and looked for answers only saw a message to say that I had not done a profile.  Sorry, girls!  I discovered the group through trawling through Threads website and it looks very interesting.  I live in Derby, England – right in the centre.  I am at an age when I should have grown up and stopped spending a fortune on sewing equipment, but it’s more fun the other way.  I have a wonderful stack of all the Threads from issue 16 and when I was at work I told myself that I would do all the great projects etc., when I retired – but being fit, seem to spend my time out walking on the hills with my husband, and supporting him in charity work for the local Children’s Hospital, the local church (where, as churchwarden he is right now trying to dry out the carpet following the wettest July for yonks!) and many other things.  I started my sewing interest 30 years ago when I did a mature student course on ‘Creative Fashion’.  I then moved over to Machine Knitting where, for the past 25+ years I have been involved in that area – giving talks, workshops, teaching, organising knitters produce knitwear for export (some to America) and selling machine knitting kits.  If anyone has any machine knitting questions, I may be able to help – but I am more experienced in design and construction than techniques on the machine, like jacquard etc!  I am now back with the sewing and loving it.  I have 2 machines – one a Bernina 1260 for main sewing, and a Bernina 180 for embroidery.  I am taking over a machine embroidery class in the autumn so am trawling the web for interesting and useful projects for my students to do.  I am also wanting to go back to sewing clothes for myself – at least the basics.  Having reached the age where my figure does not fit neatly into standard sizes, I have bought Fittingly Sew and will be happy if I can at least use it to make well fitting skirts and pants.  I also have a copy of Wild Ginger’s Click and Sew blouse program, and am trying to compare the 2 – whether to go for WildGinger’s Boutique program, or carry on with the FS.  AT the moment my feeling is – the FS sloper is showing superbly fitting pants – is not as simple to use as WG, but if worked on, could have a greater ability to ‘do you own thing’ with CAD design.  Does anyone out there have any opinions?  Sorry about the above – you asked for a profile – not a book!  Pleased to meet you all – I think that Threads is the most wonderful ‘extra’ in my workroom.  We have nothing of that quality over here – I am torn between telling everyone about it – or keeping it to myself so that everyone thinks I am brilliant!  So many of the things in it have been made, adapted etc., and are now part of my life. 


  1. sanderson | | #1

    Good to hear a new voice and welcome.  I usually spend more time in the cooks talk room here because food is what subsidizes my sewing affliction.  I'm not familiar with either Wild Ginger or Fittingly Sew.  Maybe your critique will inspire me to look into it further.  I too so enjoy my Threads...have every one.  I recently moved them from my bedroom to my studio and had so much fun reminiscing.  I try to spend at least a couple of minutes every day with a random issue and just see what ideas pop out.  I'm trying to see better what styles are timeless and which get old fast and why.  Will you be sharing any of your creations via pictures here?  Hope so.

    1. MSanders20 | | #2

      Dear Sanderson - how nice to get a reply so quickly.  I'm afraid I'm still doing it wrong - when I went into MSANDERS20 the screen said 'this member has not submitted a profile'! or some such message.  I feel like going to stand in the corner!  have now done a blouse with Wild Ginger's Click and Sew.  It fits snugly - not put the sleeves in yet, so reserve final judgement.  A drawback seems to be that you can't save any pattern you do.  Good system for instruction.  The program gives you the order of making each type of garment, and then has a print-off 'Construction Sheets' for all processes - makes you actually work it out instead of finding the right place in the pattern, trying to understand it, and then wishing you had done it differently!  I, too, love cooking.  In a previous existence I had a restaurant, and now have remarried (after being widowed) to a man who loves cooking as well as me (take that either way!)  I always say that I love cooking, but hate getting meals ready, so while I sew - he gets the meals ready.  All the best - Maureen

      1. carolfresia | | #3

        Hi, Maureen! THe profile in question is just an optional bit of information you can submit by clicking on "My Forums," at the upper right in purple, and then at left, "My Profile." You can then list various pertinent (or impertinent!) scraps of data you'd like to share with the rest of us. However, your introductory post is great as is! Welcome to Gatherings.

        I've also used Click and Sew and been a bit dismayed when I couldn't save the pattern I had designed. It hardly  mattered, in the end, as I never seem to have the same measurements from one session to the next, so I just start over till I've really decided what I want to do! Will be interested to hear how your experiment turns out.


  2. JanF | | #4

    Hi to a fellow Brit! - I'm Janet from near Chester and have also recently joined and I think am probably making a few mistakes! I'm 55 and still teaching textiles in a local sec. school and after finding this site and the mag. am slowly realising there is such a lot for me to look forward to when I do retire and also such a lot I dont know - and there's me thought I knew it all(joke- as I have been criticising people on this site for appearing to be "know it alls!"!

    We are not so commited over hear I think when it comes to textile work, as some of them appear to be in the States. Possibly I mean fashion stuff. I use Fittingly Sew at school but accurate measuremnts are a must - which isn't great in school 'cos unless I stand over them they always cut corners! Still want big boobs and small everywhere else! I also have boutique at home and that is ok for pattern drafting - but not as easy as I would like! A great thief of time...mind you writing these letters could become the same - especially as I am in the middle of cooking the Sunday roast!

    Anyway hopefully will speak again - good to hear your wishes for some time are the same as mine!


    Edited 7/10/2006 7:46 am ET by JanF

    1. NovaSkills | | #6

      Hello from across the Pond!

      I've been in Chester and Rhyl, gorgeous area that I very much enjoyed. Sewing is definitely a different world on different continents. I get a chuckle sometimes out of the stuff that Husquvarna-Viking has for dealers and customers, as the "slant" is more European and can be almost comic to some Americans.

      Oddly, I found more clothes I would love to have bought in England than I usually do here. Good old "Marks and Sparks" even had the same skirt in 3 different lengths--unheard of here. American RTW sizes are all over the map, and the last statistically valid garment sizing survey of women dated from the Second World War--seriously. There are some makers who have begun to get together and collect data, but the entrenched attitude is, "Don't tell me what size I have to call it, I'll lose customers."

      What people sew also differs widely in different regions of this country. Here, in Florida, there are less garment sewers, so we have a lousy selection of those fabrics. Quilting is pretty big here, among the retired folk, especially. I, too, teach sewing, but at a machine dealer, part-time. What I find is that no one wants to take a class for a project that isn't nearly instant. There is only so much one can get done in a two-hour class, and that's about all people will come for. The real skill building never gets done.

      Ah, enough griping, although the subject matter for such is unending. 

      1. JanF | | #7

        I'm so glad you enjoyed the Chester area - i actually live in Gresford - abot 8 miles into Wales from Chester - where my daughter lives - abeautiful city! gresford is well known for it's church bell ring - one of the 7 wonders of Wales - you might even have come to look at the church!
        Its lovely to hear from other textiles teachers - I sometimes think we are a dying breed! I'm just off to school now - so will send a longer message later this weekend - and yes i would love to share any project ideas etc that you have. I dont do a lot of quilting myself - but lots of students do in my senior classes. i tend to stick to machine decoration of all kinds with lower school - but i also do garment making with years 10 and 11 (14 - 16 yr old)and I'll try to send some pics of stuff done1 be in touch Jan

  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #5

    You mentioned knitting machines so..... I have a question for you.

    Is it possible to machine knit a baby blanket that does not curl up around the edge?

    I have a cheap "Ultimate Sweater Machine" and have made some cute sweaters for the grandkids but the baby blankets always curl up unless I crochet a substantial edge thus doubling the time required to finish the project!!!  I have tried a light steam press/blocking but fear that the first washing will return it to curl mode!

    Is there help for me?



    PS I tried to post this to you only and the e-mail came back as undeliverable.

  4. thimbles1260 | | #8

    Good morning, Maureen.  I enjoyed reading your post as well as the one from Jan F.  I'm fairly new here myself.  In the past I have done mostly quilting with a bit of costuming for the grandchildren's Halloweens in between.  I'm just getting into garment sewing and only recently subscribed to Threads.  Most of the ladies here, including yourself, are well beyond me in ability, but it gives me something to strive for and a great source for help when I get stuck.  Many of the women also do smaller projects which inspire me to continue trying to learn.  This weekend I plan to make some bags suggested as a Christmas gift in another thread here.

    Welcome to our group.  I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

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