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I am a mother, a 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 book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Flypaper thoughts early change of season edition

  • It happened two weeks ago
  • That morning when it had that taste of fall in the morning
  • That definite marker of the change of season
  • As usual I am not ready for this
  • Looks like another year that the to-do sewing list for 2002 will be getting pushed forward
  • Fall sewing doesn't mean what it once did
  • Where are the piles of corduroy or wool flannel
  • When was the last time you sewed wool flannel
  • I have some ready to go actually
  • Ready to be cut out since the fall to-do list of 2002
  • Last night Miss Daisy got under a bush and shot out like a bullet
  • Her little back was covered in wasps
  • Poor thing she must have found a nest
  • I pulled as many as I could off and then she ran into the house
  • My husband has one of those bee sting allergy things
  • So I yelled grab your Epipen and go into the bathroom and close the door
  • Got them all with the fly swatter and Windex
  • Do you know that Windex is excellent for stopping wasps in their mid air tracks 
  • So they fall to the ground and then you can swat them?
  • Well now you know
  • Daisy ran up and down the hall all night apparently stuck in a flight groove of fight or flight
  • Glad that passed
  • What I want to know now is where did this idea of selling fabric by the half yard come from?
  • Just when you think you have finally scored a bargain you multiply by two
  • How does this all make buying fabric a good thing
  • What's next?
  • A house for $200,000 for the half house?
  • Bananas for 15 cents per half banana with 8 halves in a bunch?
  • I have a joke with my middle grandchild, the literal one
  • When I want her to do something and she isn't going along with me and asks why
  •  I say because I say so and I am the boss of the world
  • This makes her crazy and she always shouts at me you are not the boss of the world
  • God is
  • Every time
  • Hard to argue with that one
  • However
  • Well there are a couple of things I am going to institute in the off chance I ever become temporal boss of the world
  • In addition to fabric sold only in full yards and meters
  • Here we go
  • All industrial designers are strapped to chairs and forced to watch videos of real people trying to make their stuff work
  • Grandmothers trying to install car seats in cars for instance
  • Or trying to open one of those strollers with one hand that require the strength of Charles Atlas and a Phd in Engineering to figure out
  • I would also fund research into the development of an eyeliner pencil that would sharpen without the sharpened point falling right off first time you used it until you have sharpened it down to about the last an inch and a half
  • I would bring back sewing in the school curriculum so we stop producing people who think it makes sense to pay $20 to have a hem restitched in plastic thread
  • BTW I once knew I person who ran a tailor shop who had a customer bring in a dress to have the label cut out of the inside back neck
  • No word of a lie
  • And I would ban the manufacture and sale of non woven fusible interfacing, particularly the kind that bubbles
  • I would legislate that someone would start manufacturing Viyella again
  • I would add three inches to the waist measurement of all Big Four sewing patterns
  • I would make university tuition free based on marks and merit
  • I need more students who think for themselves and fewer who let other people think for them
  • I would prescribe Bollywood dance movies for those who worry too much
  • And rhubarb pie to anyone feeling down
  • I would put a dog on every couch 
  • And a sewing machine back in every hall closet
  • And bring back saddle shoes
  • If I were the boss of the world


Jessica said...

You've got my vote!

Anonymous said...

You got my vote, Barb!
Donna E

Patricia said...

Well you got my vote!! I miss viyella, but I did make two garments from wool flannel this year - and I live in tropical Queensland. However, we are off to Canada for three weeks at Christmas and I made a dress and black pants. All set to go. Yay with extra 4" on the waist, which would suit me to perfection. And that crazy half yard (or in our case, half metre) just has to be stamped out, by legislation if necessary.

wendy said...

Oh yes! Pricing fabric by half metre or even in the case of one French online shop, by the 10cms! Craziness.

BarbaraShowell said...

A pretty good list! I have read the reason that some sellers use 1/2 yard increments is because it was considerably harder to make 1 yard standard and be able to sell less than 1 yard. You can sell 2 halves, but not half of a whole. It does give a lot of us sticker shock when we add the two halves after thinking we transported to a time before they named fabric "collections".

Jane M said...

You have my vote....if I can become one of your ambassadors;-) Love the cool weather change but yikes, my sweaters are still in the attic and there's linen sitting on my cutting table.

annie said...

I am on board with your complete platform. Shall we now address you as BBOW (Barb, Boss of the World)?

Joanna said...

My vote too! I want Viyella back and I'd even put up with this crazy 'half' business to get it. And why can't eyeliner pencils be made like mechanical pencils? I'm sure there's a way....

Vancouver Barbara said...

God has other worlds to worry about – I think letting you be boss of this one would be a good thing.
Good to know about the Windex thing. Is it only Windex or would water work in a Windex bottle?
Yup, the 1/2 yard thing makes me gasp – every time.
Viyella would be nice to have back – I like to wash my clothes.
You definitely get my vote.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I HATE fabric sold by the half yard. I've pretty much stopped buying at one of my fave spots for the that reason. It almost seems like bait and switch!

Anonymous said...

Hell yes to Viyella, the most brilliant fabric ever.

Lyndle said...

Yup, I'd vote for you.

Anne said...

I would vote for you only if you would include a law that requires all sheets to be sold with the size PERMANENTLY printed on the sheet. Not on the package that is thrown away. I'm fed up with trying on 4 fitted sheets until you find the correct size to fit your son's x long twin bed🤨

Anonymous said...


Karine said...

Yes please, be the Boss of The World. We need you.

Marianne said...

Well you have my vote too, except for the adding inches to the waist thing... could we subtract them instead?

I know my voice is not necessary to defend the practice of selling fabric in half yards, but still, the computing soul in me just wants to point out that this is most likely a software issue, nothing more. Fabric sellers want to allow customers the opportunity to buy partial yards and the available software does not support this. When you see a seller that allows partial yards, you know that they are either using customized software (Emma One Sock) or perhaps more expensive software (no examples, I'm just guessing). I say all this because I feel for the small sellers who are sometimes accused of subterfuge when really their software options are limited. I can't quite figure out why the software has not yet progressed to allow orders of partial yards, but I don't fault the small fabric sellers.

/anne... said...

I bought some cotton/wool Liberty recently from the Fabric Store in Melbourne (I think they have it online too) - it's not as fluffy as Viyella was, but as I haven't washed it yet, I'm hopeful!

Annie said...

Make mine a pug, please.