BACK TO SCHOOL – and a moan

Not literally this time, unfortunately. I have just spent a frustrating week trying to perfect that dreaded thing that plagues us all – fit. In my case it is a bit like searching for the Unicorn [this post is heavy with mythical animals you’ll find]. Last night in frustration I rolled up the latest offering when I got to my third perfect collar which didn’t fit, shoved it into the drawer and muttered something like ‘back to the drawing board’, only not quite as polite and went down for a cup of tea, the panacea of all things. Unfortunately it didn’t work as well as normally and I decided to try something entirely different – buttonholes by hand! So I ‘Claire Shaeffered’ via DVD, Vogued,   You-tubed, beeswaxed and pressed thread, practised, and again and again, and went back upstairs muttering something like ‘back to the drawing board’ only not nearly as polite as when I was coming downstairs.

So, where is all this leading before I get like Ronnie Corbett rambling in a deck chair? The back to the school bit, I suppose [here come some more mythical creatures and ramblings] On my upward steep learning curve in my quest for ever developing skill in sewing [whew!] I had reached a nice sunny plateau. The view was pleasant and I could spend many happy hours picking daisies, i.e. making as many skirts, blouses, dresses etc., as took my fancy – and quite quickly too , quite the little production line and I soon filled my closet. But I soon realised that this was still only base camp and the climb was still in front. It wasn’t daisies that I was after. I  gained some skills of course, you can’t sew that amount without doing so, but the real skills were still as elusive as the Yheti [see?].

Right! enough of all that nonsense. I am not unrealistic in that I do know and understand that many of the skills I yearn to possess have been obtained by those with them after years and years and practise and learning themselves. I also know that although I would love to spend a week/month in class with Susan Khalje or Claire Shaeffer, this is just not possible. However we do have quite a few resources to call upon thanks to on line classes [Craftsy] other website where skilled seamstresses share their skills so generously and those most magical things of all in my. life – BOOKS. Which sadly brings me to my moan.

I own and value the Thomas Von Nordheim tailoring book. It is beautifully and skilfully written and he is clear in his instructions and his skill is unquestioned. The photography alone is worth the cost of the book, his explanations so clear and understandable.

Thomas von Nordheim 001 Thomas von Nordheim 004Thomas von Nordheim 003Thomas von Nordheim 004

So why the moan? His Publishers have let him down! No doubt they felt that such excellent writing deserved a really ‘classy’ look – but this is a book of instruction, a text book. One that you want to refer to again and again  in detail. Then here comes the difficulty, it is almost impossible to read.

Thomas von Nordheim 005

No , it isn’t my photography for once, it is light grey print on glossy paper. Straining to read this print for long can give you eye strain and headache. I shall certainly persevere, it is a lovely book and I can’t recommend the content and photography highly enough – but oh, the print! come on!!!      Rant over.

disclaimer, Ronnie Corbett is not a mythical creature, he really does exist.


I love all things creative and an eternal enthusiast. I am enduringly interested in absolutely everything remotely creative and never happier than when being shown 'how to'.
This entry was posted in dressmaking, handmade, Life a Work In Progress, Sewing. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s