I finished the last wedding event outfit I am going to make a few days ago. A knit top and skirt for the breakfast the next day.
I had of course planned on all sorts of other sewing but when I downed tools on that one I knew I was done.
Like a dinner.
My mojo never leaves me but right now the sewing tank is empty. I counted eight dresses/outfits for myself and other folks in the last six weeks and that's it for me for a bit.
I am also contemplating the first fall, I am taking this term right off except for some grandchild childcare, that I haven't gone to work in a million years.
I have a backlog of life to catch up on and a house with many projects to do. I've gone domestic to cleanse the work palate and even though my husband won't be home for a week, doing a lot of cooking for myself. I will flypaper to follow.
But I have one other longer thought.
Who here remembers home economists? Or is one?
I am probably the last generation that recalls this as an academic discipline, the Mrs. degree my dad used to call it. In fact my own university had a very well regarded home ec. program but that became sort of embarrassing and it was morphed into human ecology or human nutrition etc. and the sewing part quietly phased out. Folks who want to sew are now directed to art schools where they go right from textiles to designers skipping the part where the neckline fits.
Listen I get it.
In the old days smart women where supposed to apply their minds to the current location - rather than become a macro economist they were directed to the economics of menu planning. Rather than running countries and corporations they were supposed to run households instead.
You could see glimpses of what this meant when you watched home ec. grads in action. They were the women who actually measured and weighed when they cooked, who never eyeballed it in sewing, and wore dress shields with silk blouses. Nancy Zeiman.
Of course this was not a good fit for so many women, my highly intelligent mother having to suffer the 1950s and 1960s with zero interest in things domestic, a woman who could debate politics and yet was judged by the dust balls.
And of course this culture denied the world cardiologists and yes macro economists and corporate CEOs who maybe would have said yes tobacco caused cancer.
All this is true but I wonder about the women who are doing other things who really would have liked home ec. and now have no where to go. Except maybe Pinterest, mommy blogs, and indie patterns produced, sometimes with more hope than skill, on desktop printers in the spare room.
Lost home economics grads who are DIY taking beautifully lit photographs of first projects on rail fences. GOMI is not the same as useful assessment and teaching.
Somewhere in the back of my mind there is a project here, a sort of distance program in home ec. free like Kahn Academy that my generation of women should get going so it is easier to get the basics, the intermediate and the advanced - the 100, 200, 300 and 400 level courses. Going to think about that. I am sure many of you could come up with the units.
Is this making any sense to you?
- 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