About me

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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, June 21, 2015

Flypaper thoughts Sunday night

  • Thinking tonight of my dad who died 20 years ago
  • He filled my childhood with humour
  • That lasts
  • A lifetime - his and now mine
  • Marking a mountain of assignments as summer 1 ends
  • These are my rules
  • Never spend more time giving feedback than a student did in writing the paper
  • Take a break when you find yourself wanting to write "You're kidding."
  • It is worth it you know
  • Every once in a while you read something that is so smart and wise it takes your breath away
  • Usually from someone who stayed quiet all term
  • Once this is done I am in heavy sewing mode
  • Shirts and a T shirt for sons
  • Youngest is going off to work for six months in Texas
  • Middle son's fabric just arrived on backorder
  • Then we start the bridal sewing
  • Three adult dresses and a formal skirt for family
  • Four flower girls 
  • Last, whatever I am wearing
  • When I used to show my dad works in progress he always said the same thing
  • "It would look better with sleeves"
  • Or " Are you going to leave it with those threads hanging down on the bottom?"
  • Worst was when you tried to impress on him how much money you saved
  • And you asked him "How much do you think this cost?"
  • "Five dollars" he would say, always five dollars
  • He thought everything in the world should cost five dollars
  • When we ate out he would price the ingredients
  • "Why aren't we eating at home?" he would ask
  • Heidi my middle granddaughter asked me who God was this week
  • Knew I had to get this right but probably wouldn't
  • "Sort of like a grandfather who takes care of everyone" I said
  • "Papa Leo is God?" she said
  • Poppa Leo is my husband
  • You could do worse
  • How long do you think all this sewing is going to take me?
  • Factor in I am taking all kids to tennis and swimming lessons all summer
  • Factor in I am still working until the end of August
  • When my dad went out he would always bring me back a cherry blossom
  • Those are hard to get these days
  • Lump of chocolate with a candied cherry in it
  • They always know when you sneak one in the car because the steering wheel is sticky
  • I'm thinking two days a dress if I don't answer the phone
  • Or check email
  • Or cook
  • Or eat cherry blossoms
  • I am taking all fall right off to teach sewing classes and babysit
  • Need to recharge 
  • That will do it
  • Then back only part time
  • It is hard to mark and hold your breath
  • My dad used to eat sandwiches late at night
  • Made of buttered bread, brown sugar, and Spanish onions
  • That man really knew how to enjoy himself
  • You can't get food like that in a restaurant
  • Not even for five dollars
  • I have shirts I made him hanging in my closet
  • Shirts are always worth making
  • He was a chemistry teacher 
  • You can see the holes he burnt in them
  • Always was a bit sloppy
  • But being funny made up for it
  • As it does most things


Freshlysewn said...

This is amazing. I love your writing, and this really moved me.

Kathie said...

Thanks, Barbara...mas always you make me smile..even chuckle... And it will take nearly twice as long to make the adult dresses as you predict and nearly that ling for the children...always...

Andrea said...

It strikes me that you are writing about your own lovely memories of your dad, while at the same time, writing of the memories you are in the process of making with your own children and grandchildren, some of which involve sewing with each generation. I have fond sewing memories of my mother; your children and grandchildren will someday have those memories of you, as mine will of me (provided there are grandchildren in our future.) I love that you still have your dad's shirts that you made. I am not much of a keeper, and sometimes regret that a little bit.

It also strikes me that onion sandwiches used to be much more popular 'back in the day'. This is the first time I've heard of them made with brown sugar. My parents made them with Miracle Whip, salt & pepper, and white bread. Late summer, when the garden was putting out fresh tomatoes, sometimes a tomato slice and lettuce were added. Hmm, making myself hungry!

Good luck with the dresses. Double the time allotted, and have a backup plan for your dress just in case you are short on time.

Katharina said...

Born and raised in Montreal, haven't lived there for over 25 years. What's the first thing I buy when I visit to treat myself? A Cherry Blossom! Had to smile at your post.

Janome Gnome said...

I love these

SuzieB said...

You certainly have a busy summer ahead! Do you have any available "assistants" to help with the projects or kid wrangling? You're going to be crazy busy!