Posted in Writing Life

*2009 and Sewing Stuff

Happy New Year everyone! I started my blog in November 2008, and thought nobody would ever read it. But people have and even commented and I cherish every single comment. (Okay not the spam ones by websites that earn money from ads on their sites and have a program to send generic comments linked to

After a week and a half of museum, skating, museum, visiting, skating with kids, I took the afternoon off and stuck my nose into the small squished fabric stores on Queen St near Spadina and that huge one on Queen West in Parkdale. For those not from Toronto, I started out in the once upon a time sewing district of Toronto of which those stores are a relic, later where skinny artists in black hung out. Now there are chi-chi stores and restaurants moving ever further west.

After that I walked for about half an hour at a brisk pace to get to the big store. In the 1970’s Parkdale was where patients with mental illness were dumped out of hospitals under the aegis of “community” support which never materialized. For the next couple of decades it was known for drugs and poverty, as well as community activism, though of late it’s become an immigrant neighbourhood.

After the big store, where I was intimidated by the haughtiness of the woman in charge, I slunk back toward Spadina and the small shop where I got sewing scissors last week. There I bought thread, got instruction in how to make a collar, assurance that everyone has to start somewhere, and forgiveness for my flustered dropping of umbrella, gloves, and assorted small things I was trying to get out of my knapsack.

I also found out from her that “universal” doesn’t mean one size fits all in sewing needles, but has to do with the shape. Ah that makes sense–like people. I wonder if I’m more of a universal, sharpie or ball point.

That is how I’m ending 2009: sewing and hawk sightings.

I have so much to learn.

Happy New Year and thank you for reading!!!!!!!!!


Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

10 thoughts on “*2009 and Sewing Stuff

  1. Happy New Year, Lilian!

    I meant to get back to you about those ancient bobbins, the ones shaped like li’l torpedoes. You asked whether they moved back and forth, and I have been wracking my brains for the image. Something indeed moved back and forth, but I just can’t visualize the works now.

    I have a feeling that if I could sit down at one of the old machines and thread it from the start, it would all come back to me. Y’know how that can happen?

    Anyway, a good new year to you and yours, and thank you for your writing.

  2. Well I’m curious now to see the sewing. (Although can safely say that I won’t be trying my hand at it.) And I can just picture you walking briskly across Toronto. On my only visit there (all of 10 years ago) I was amazed by how far you could walk underground. Happy blogging and reading and writing and skating etc. in 2010!

    1. Pete, it was all above ground. I love walking and looking at old buildings. There are so many neighbourhoods with old (for this part of the world) histories. I will have to post pictures later this month. Of walks and sewing!

  3. How did I miss this one? Sometimes I harbour dark suspicions about bloglines…. It’s a very belated Happy New Year, Lilian, but still a heartfelt one. I do love the way that even the simplest story transforms with your touch. I’m looking forward to a 2010 full of such delightful reading moments here.

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