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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sew like a crazy person

No one is going to give anyone in this household a prize for photography, that's for sure.

But that's not the point.

Yesterday I decided to make a pair of fleecy pants that did not fit into my SWAP, were not on my sewing to do list, and took me away from priority jobs, like cleaning this house.

After a busy week and much human and dog traffic that included wet boots and paws, trekked-in salt and everyone passing through here on the way to other missions, and not doing much maintenance along the way, what I really needed to do was some deep cleaning.

But I didn't. Chilled in my bones all week (do you know the feeling? Your bones are cold and no amount of hot baths, sweaters and even hot flashes can warm them up) I wanted to sew cozy. Real bad.

So taking the advice of my long ago babysitter who advised "Don't worry dear the dust will wait for you, the little people won't." I sat down and sewed. I used a the yoga pants from Ottobre 2-2008 for the top of the pants and the Jazz pants for the longer legs and this is what I got.

Not what I was expecting because the last time I made anything like sweatpants it was when they were in style and these are almost more like leggings with looser bottoms. Really comfortable (because this is a family blog I am not posting the side and back view) and I will definitely wear them with longer tops and to walk Rascal.

The fabric was weird. Something that Fabricmart called a Sweater Knit but actually is more like an interlock on the right side and a micro fleece on the inside. I also cut out a jacket to to with it. Yikes. I am I starting to sew stretchy pants suits? Senior style here I come. Might get to that today, after I deal with the dust. Mrs. H. was right. It waited for me.

This is leading somewhere.

Last night I braved the cold and went out to a hall to a friend's surprise birthday party. He has had a difficult year with his dad dying, and his sweetheart decided a birthday party with the surprise sister flown in even, would do him good.

It did.

Great big huge party with a live Big Band dance band made up of a bunch of the kids who play and of course mittens.

You see that years ago my friend decided he was bothered by single mitts lost on city streets and on snow banks. He saw that so many of them were hand made and it made him feel bad to see someone's expression of caring for someone else left alone in the slush. 

So he started to bring them home and hang them on his clothesline. The deal was that if you came to his front door with the mate he would give you the partner back. Most winters he has hundreds and hundreds of mitts on his line. People write him sometimes with stories. "My favourite aunt knit me these grey mitts before she died and I think I lost one when I got off the bus and I would sure like to find it." And he sees what he can do.

This friend of mine has had a pretty interesting career in public life and politics but actually the mitts have sort of defined him, that and he is a wicked ballroom dancer. 

So we were asked to each bring a single mitt to the party and when I walked in the hall was hung with clothes lines and thousands, and I do mean, thousands of mitts of all kinds on them.

The next election will likely be my friend's last. And I can tell you from my observer standpoint in a job there, that once you leave government it is as if you have never existed. That's how it works. But in life, and at a milestone birthday you think about these things, it actually is your interests and your hobbies that say who you are, and what people attach to you, are attracted to in you.

It may be your pastimes are what lasts.

So sew all you want. When the phone is ringing, when you should be cleaning, making supper, and doing responsible things. 

Surely a good life is the sum of all the time you have had just doing what you enjoy.


robyn said...

Barbara, I can always count on your blog for a good read! Seems like the issues you are working on are my issues, only you think more clearly than I do. I'm not yet ready to give up the BWOF, though. The fact that you're doing that demonstrates a real commitment to your conclusions!

ACorgiHouse said...

I like thinking that, after I leave this planet, I might be remembered as "the mitten guy." I hope he has a better year, he certainly has nice friends. K

Barbara said...

Thanks for reading. It's all a process, trying to make things when you sew, trying to do what you can with your life. I really appreciate the time you have taken to connect with your comments.

Robyn we will see how long I hold off on the BWF and my friend's year has reminded me that their is no delaying keeping in touch with your friends. Enjoy the week.

gaylen said...

Wow! That's about all I've got. You and your sister are so smart - you are right, the dust will wait, so will most of the rest. But the dogs need walks and the soul needs creativity - for me, either in the form of knitting or sewing. Thanks for commenting somewhere so I could follow the link. g

Reethi said...

Thank you for this post. As I struggle to balance sewing with other elements in my life, this post was especially timely and meaningful.

Barbara said...

Thanks Reethi, and thanks for connecting me to your blog, which was new to me. I love your quilts! They look fun to make and you have great colour sense. Sew all you want, sew all you want, it's you.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.