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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, October 16, 2011

Butterick 5533 quick shots

Here is this jacket:

Now on me in the yard in jeans grabbing dogs and not doing the leaves as intended:

I am not really styled here, unless you count wind and dogs, but this is a lined corduroy jacket and this is exactly how I will be wearing it.

I will write some detailed technical notes tomorrow (got a few assignments to mark before I go to bed) and there are definitely some thoughts I would like to pass on with some detail shots, for the benefit of anyone else who might want to make this.

I have one other thing I would like to share tonight.

I got a long detailed email over the weekend from the woman who was my first important boss. She is now 80 and her email was full of her activities and the long list of people she was driving, buying groceries for, supervising their healthcare, visiting, moving, packing and unpacking. It made me tired to just read it.

This woman never married and had a great career where she totally micro-managed us. She once sent me out to buy new panty hose in the middle of the day because the shade I had on were not the right match for my dress. I kid you not. 

She was also the first person we called at midnight one night when a group of us had gone out to socialize/dinner and had left an industrial prototype (one of two sent to North America for testing from the factory in Europe) in a car in the parking lot - where it was stolen - undoubtedly by a competitor - and she actually, somehow, managed to keep the bunch of us from being fired. I would have fired us.

This woman was, and is, a powerhouse.

Reading her email this weekend, and seeing how she has moved from a very useful work life to a very useful retired life, I had an insight and this is it:

It is really important how you spend the older half of your life. It is your one chance to show that you paid any attention at all in the first half, that you did more than just let it all go by. How you are when you are older is your best demonstration that you didn't just have things happen to you, you learned from it.

When you are older, and how you do it, really is your evidence of your life's work.

And doing it in a red jacket is probably a good idea too.

More on this pattern later.


Lori said...

Great looking coat. Thanks for the story about your old boss, I enjoyed it, sounds like a remarkable woman.

Texan said...

Love that jacket! I think I need that pattern.

WTG for your former boss! I love seeing, hearing, older persons who LIVE life! Age doesn't define who we are and what we do, we do!

Jodie said...

Great jacket and great story. I'm still in the first half (raising kids, working, paying off a mortgage, etc.) but I look at my Mom who is busier now doing for others now that she has retired. I so admire her and hope I turn out like her when I grow up!
WEll, I too have some assignments to mark before bed, so I'd best get at it.
Have a good week!
On another "quickie" sewing note, that's where I'm at too these days. I just don't have the time/energy to put into complex sewing. However, in a couple of hours this weekend I cut out and serged together two pairs of flannel pjs for my teen who is growing by leaps and bounds. His surprise that I got them done so quick and hug was worth it. I've made so many pairs....now that's a "quickie" I can get behind!

a little sewing said...

This coat is great and it looks wonderful on you!!
I want one, too!
Powerful observation about LIFE.

Irene said...

Wonderful jacket!

shams said...

That red coat looks fabulous on you, Barbara.

Bunny said...

Love the jacket. She sounds quite formidable and memorable. We can learn much from those who have more years on than we do ourselves, at any age.

Margy said...

I have this pattern and I have been searching for red corduroy...FATE! Love your jacket and love even more your ex boss...

Karin said...

Great post! Nice jacket too!

kbenco said...

A gorgeous jacket, the back in particular looks lovely. It is nice to see it styled "real life" it looks like fun.

gwensews said...

You are so right, and I am there-at the second half. Love, love, love that jacket. I'm looking forward to your words of wisdom about it, because it is in my queue and close to the top!

Patty said...

Love this red, pleated jacket! I have a similar one in khaki corduroy purchased from J. Jill and now I want to make one to with a FBA for a better fit.
Thanks for the insightful words on getting older. At 55, I am in the "2nd half" of my life, and I agree with your words completely!

Giselle said...

Great red coat, love it!
I love being in the second half of my life because I get to be more me than when I was younger. If that makes any sense.
You sort of settle more into yourself, you have got to know yourself better, you're more happy with who that is, and you get to be 'you' - and that's an absolutely fantastic thing in my book!

SEWN said...

The jacket is so amazing with those pleats. Love it.