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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 1, 2012

January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year.

My husband went off this morning to three months in Tennessee, with two visits planned for me during that time.

For the first time in my life I will be alone in the house, that is if you don't count dogs. No kid in the basement, nothing.

It occurred to me that for the last few decades with work and family I have had this line running through my mind "If I only had 5 minutes to myself."

Well, you know now I have. Three months to work only on online courses, to be done at the dining room table, babysit as required, sew and blog.

You have been warned.

The first thing I did as soon as I got home from the airport was to cut out 12 pairs of panties. 

I have just made a pair from Jan Bones' Smoothie pattern and I love them. This pattern has been well-reviewed on Patternreview, all raves, so I won't add to it but to say this is a great pattern. Here are the features:

1. Your basic stop just about an inch below your navel pantie, but with the side seams moved to the front so there is no clear discernible seamline.
2. Good solid bum coverage. Right around and tucked in. This is useful if like me this is your biggest and best feature. Nothing hanging out, nothing bisected by an elastic line that shows when you wear pants.

These panties do the job and are nearly identical to a fancy expensive "invisible" pair I bought at Soma last year.

Now store bought panties are cheap. Who would make them and why?

1. See above on style.
2. Possibility of much nicer fabric. I used all my good 2-way cotton, rayon and bamboo knit scraps. So these are sort of cost neutral projects. This particular pattern encases ordinary 1/4" braided elastic so no fancy notions are required, although you could add those if you had a previous reckless purchase of some fancy elastic to write off.
3. They are super quick projects that you can make when you need to see that needle go up and down in some fabric but are not able to fully engage brain.

There are no illustrations as test pair one is in the wash. I intend on making a bunch up tomorrow, with a Jalie bra.

That will give you something to look forward to.

I also have to sound off.

One of those annoying Huffingtonpost over 50 articles recently did one of those truly annoying "things to never wear or do over 50" articles and listed "granny pants" meaning panties that go up near your waist, as one of the no-nos.

Women over 50, it said, should wear thongs, like elderly French women apparently. You know the ones they tell us never gain weight despite a diet of wine and goose liver and would rather shoot themselves in the head then ever run down to the drugstore at 11:00 at night in tennis shoes to get milk/bread/toilet paper without full make-up on over their exfoliated pores.

Listen. I don't buy this thong business so you might as well give it up. That includes my sister Nancy who claims they are comfortable. Look, a string up your privates is a string up your privates. Don't tell me you don't notice.

And if you have a nicely padded seat to sit on let me tell you nothing beats "The Smoothie" for just that.

Great pattern, even if the envelope drawing is a little dull.

Samples to follow.


gwensews said...

I've been alone many times, when my DH work-traveled. I didn't like it. But, I think you get used to your circumstances. Enjoy making your panties, keep busy, and the time will pass quickly. Happy New Year!

Lisa Laree said...

I have an indelible picture in my brain from a gas station stop in trendy Cool Springs, Tennessee a few years back...well coiffed lady who looked to be in her early 60's, sharply dressed in a black and white top and white capris. She was looking very spiffy until she turned her back to me and I found I could very clearly see her black thong through her spiffy white capris. Some things ya just don't wanna know...

Margy said...

Great post, Barbara. I'm not a thong-wearer, either.
I was husbandless Monday-Thursday for 11 years, the last 4 without a child around. It was one of the best, most creative and interesting parts of my life. I learned SO much about myself. I hope you do, too!

shams said...

Hear hear on the thongs!! I'd rather go commando. ;)

I agree with Margy about the alone time. I am almost always alone and it definitely has advantages!

I also have a bag of fabric scraps destined for undies. They are gonna be fun undies since I've used some pretty wild fabrics lately. One of these days...

Jodie said...

Well, I've got two pairs of undies on my sewing table waiting to be finished. I just made a copy of a pair I liked. Although I will suffer through a thong for certain work pants if need be. But not my most favourite, I'll say.
I'm looking forward to your take on the Jalie bra, haven't purchased the pattern yet but am thinking...
Enjoy your time on your own.
Happy New Year!

LinB said...

Hahaha! Yep, a g-string is still a g-string, no matter what the fashion experts tell you. And I have never been a stripper ... oh, wait. Once upon a time I sang "Santa Baby" and stripped down to a full set of Victorian underwear, for a Christmas performance by the women's chorus of Wabash, Indiana. (My preacher was in the audience.) I have the Smoothie pattern, but haven't yet dragged it out of the bag to sew. Your efforts are an example to me, and I hereby pledge to stitch up a pair sometime this year. Happy New Year!

Karin said...

I've never worn thongs. They are not comfortable.

I am looking forward to lots of witty posts, since you will be at "a loose end!"

Have a super 2012!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Happy New Year!

Martha said...

I could not agree more about thongs. They are worse than spanks which are really just girdles and who wears those. And then there are pointy-toe shoes.

Give me something interesting AND comfortable. That's real fashion and that's art.

patsijean said...

Happy New Year to you. I am catching up on blogs missed by changing programs, computers, etc. I read about your troubles with your hair. At the age of 67, my hair has lost some of its ginger glory. It became dry and a bit kinky in spots and there was some thinning ( I think but my hair dresser says it is not bad--some medications do that). Anyway, I decided to try a new product, WEN hair care products (not cheap, but lasts longer than I expected as my hair is short too). Amazing is the only word I have. Kathy, my hair-dresser, got some too as my hair has much improved and hers is dry also. It is not a shampoo and does not strip the oils from your hair. I am in no way affiliated with the company, but do know how miserable one can feel with dry thinning hair.

Calypso Flowers said...

Barbara, I searched for your blog after reading so many of your Australian STITCHES articles, and admiring your writing.
I have to say that the Blog seems to be being written by a totally different person....and I love her writing too ! I've read back through a couple of months and have laughed till tears were running down my cheeks. I very much look forward to getting to know your drole sense of humour better ! Best wishes for the New Year. Denise, Melbourne Australia

Janine said...

I often wish to have a few hours to myself as wel and enjoy the first few hours and then get a bit lonely . My husband bought me a G string bodysuit once because the shop keeper said they were comfortable and he believed her - the most uncomfortable thing ever - not a good look to be forever pulling things out in this region.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I am so late to this conversation but may I thank you for the loud guffaw I had about the string and the backside. Those are my sentiments EXACTLY!