and now for something completely different…


My first collared shirt (and I can actually wear it).

I generally try to keep my rambling to science, nature and my garden, but I have a little secret, I dabble with sewing as well. Since I was given a sewing machine last winter, I’ve been interspersing short sewing sessions with my science to keep on track.

I’m excited that an essay I wrote about science and sewing is appearing in this month’s Seamworks magazine. Check it out here.

0 thoughts on “and now for something completely different…

    • I have to admit that I pick the best angles to take a picture from – perfection is only an illusion. That being said, it is a perfectly wearable shirt and thank you for the complement.

  1. Great to discover your blog via your great article in Seamwork. I’m a Victoria-based sewist and gardener too, although my “garden” is not much more than a scattered work in progress at the moment! I, too, carve out time to sew in the nooks and crannies of life to keep me centered and boy can I relate to your multiple muslin blouse experience!. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with Seamwork readers like me.

  2. Hello Jeannette, I just read your article in Seamwork and found it very relatable and helpful. I work full-time during the day, attend school in the evenings (or have homework), and am 1 yr. old newlywed. I feel pulled in so many different directions and worry about everything suffering from inattention that I end procrastinating all of it. Then I really never get to sew because I’ve been so unfocused on everything else. Your article has presented a most interesting to use sewing as a break and not another “to-do.” Thank you for the inspiration. Good luck on the rest of your ph.D. and sewing endeavors.

  3. Hi Jeannette. I discovered your blog via seamwork. I just wanted to thank you for your article. I am also a PhD student (in history of the ottoman empire). I’ve been sewing for a long time now, and what you describe in the article echoes perfectly what i feel. Sewing complements my research in a way that is hard to explain to my friends who only see it as a ”hobby”. I use the timer as well, and whenever I study from home, I use the 5 minutes breaks to sew a zipper, a hem.. It’s amazing the number of projects I was able to finish thanks to this method. I have to admit that sometimes I get carried away and the 5 minutes break end up in a whole afternoon of sewing. Anyway, ”producing” something concrete helps me keep the pace of research. It has also given me the confidence i lacked to get on bigger projects in my lab, or in my personal life. Good luck for both your PhD and your sewing journey!

  4. I loved your article in Seamwork (which is how I found my way to your blog) I lived in Victoria BC too 🙂 I returned to sewing a year ago (after a 40 yr hiatus!) and so resonated with your article on sewing I had to say hello. I had to laugh at your description of sewing 8 ill fitting shirts. I haven’t sewn shirts (because they do seem a little daunting at my present level) but I’ve taken on several projects and I’m batting about 30% (wearable versus learning experience). I too have discovered so many joys and benefits of sewing from focus to strategizing – it’s done wonders for my brain! Thank you for sharing your experiences AND successes. Your orange blouse is lovely AND so precise!

  5. Found your blog through Seamwork as well, really enjoyed your article. Your shirt looks fantastic. I’m also new to sewing and really enjoying the steep learning curve. Since I also want to learn to sew a collared shirt I’d love to know which pattern you’ve used? I have my eye on a Grainline Archer…

    • The shirt in the picture is the Sewaholic Granville shirt which has worked well for me as it is more-or-less my shape. I didn’t know the Grainline Archer existed when I started or I would likely have tried it (I still might). I’m now playing around with the Mila Shirt by Itch to Stitch as a more casual option (the instructions for the Granville shirt are much easier to follow than those for the Mila Shirt).

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