About Rivergum

Fashion is for the young, tall and skinny, right? I am none of those, but see if I care. I am the insouciant stitcher, untroubled by the meagre offerings of the garment industry for women of a certain age, weight and height, women like me. I want to express my individuality and creativity in the way I present myself to the outside world, not look like everyone else. Sewing my own clothes is fun and the way I go about it means it doesn’t take up any more time than shopping, everything fits me nicely and caters to my preferences.

In my off-line life I was born in Germany, into a family of expat Austrians, but I went to Australia for a working holiday 40 years ago and never left. I live on the sunny Central Coast of New South Wales with my husband and my cat.


My son and daughter are both grown up and married, and I have two little grandsons and a granddaughter, all of them gorgeous, and another on the way. I am an ex-teacher turned teaching technology specialist, and then director of technology at a private girls college. In 2011 I was retired for a full 5 minutes, before DH asked me to manage a project for his business. That was the end of my retirement, I have been working with him full-time ever since. Stopping work is not even a blip on the horizon, and I very much like it that way.

I am sad to say that in reality I am not at all insouciant. I am nervy, highly strung and intense, even a tad obsessive. That’s why I need to create things with my hands, because when I do I am ‘in the zone’. Time stops. I don’t even think of food. I never fret about all the things I haven’t done, or still have to do, or might have to do. I just am….  … the insouciant stitcher…

17 thoughts on “About Rivergum”

  1. Philippa said:

    Love your style, and LOVE this blog!! So grateful you started one. You have inspired me to stop dreaming and get sewing. More, more, more please!!


  2. Ilse Moore said:

    I just discovered your blog. Love your style. I will copy some of your ideas. I am German and have been living in the USA for almost 50 years. Still have siblings in the “old country”. Thanks for sharing your style ideas on your blog


  3. Karin Carter said:

    I stumpled upon your site and am thrilled I did! Your style is exactly what my thoughts are playing with and it is a great inspirationto see other women not playing by the fashion industry rule books! Thank you for sharing and like Philippa said: I am now more than ever inspired to start sewing my “own fashion line”
    Greetings from Colorado!


  4. Margaret Baylis said:

    I just discovered this from pattern review. I love it and more so because living in NZ our seasons are in sync and yes we are gearing up for El Nino too. I still remember the last one. Thank you for your inspiration.


  5. … you’re welcome to run into another expat down here in the Melbourne surrounds; please yell out if down here one day – I’ll try to do the same the other way round.
    Aeh, ja: just found you via ‘Rums’ and sorry, I’m still better with German.

    Loving greetings,

    Hi Gerlinde,

    I have only just found your comment. Nice to hear from you. I dont come to Melbourne often, but next time I do I will try and get in contact. The fabric shopping is sooo much better down your way than here.



  6. Valerie Strunk said:

    I love your style! I am so glad to have found an advanced sewing blog! Looking forward to hearing more from you! Valerie


    • Thanks for your kind comment, Valerie. I’m doing a lot of blogging right now as I am on holidays, but it probably will slow up again when I am back at work.


  7. Cathy T from Austin Tx said:

    Love your fashion taste. I am a 3X and need some basic classic items. Nothing in the stores look worth wearing. I have a large stomach and smaller legs, but my upper arms are large. Arms look like turkey legs. I so need help with making some classic pieces for my wardrobe. I work in a professional office and what to look nice. Thanks for the inspiration. I don’t know if I sew as good as you, but I hope I can make something that is attractive and fits as well as yours fits you!


    • Hi Cathy, glad my blog has been of use to you. I don’t have any concrete suggestions as My figure is a pronounced pear and yours sounds more like an apple. But taking photos of what you look like in certain clothes can be very revealing and a big help in getting the right clothes. Sewing is all about being able to make clothes that flatter your figure in the colours that are best for you. Good luck with your sewing, Rivergum


  8. Add me to the chorus! I love this blog – your many photos, explanations, commentary, and style. I just discovered the Tina Givens patterns. One thing led to another, and I landed on your blog. I read all of your pages – just about all of your posts resonated with a project I have on my TO DO list, even the portable washing machine (to felt knit wool purses in my classroom?). Thank you all the work you do for this blog!!!


  9. Janet Rodgers said:

    I just discovered your blog and as its almost midnight in Northern Ireland, I forsee me having a late night to catch up on all your blogs……


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s