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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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Monday, September 2, 2019

Big time catch up

It is pretty apparent that I have been AWOL for a bit. I am back now.

Here's what's been going on.

First, as many of you know, I take care of the three local kids during the summer when my daughter, who works alternately three and two day a week needs me. I also like to be able to help out at other times too. It is fun but let's say those guys are pretty busy. I had three myself and so I recognize that stage where each one of the three is at a different place in development, and there is usually one doing something surprising off line too.

But because I also had three there have been many moments when I have sat and watched them, usually at the pool place we hang out at a lot, when I felt the sweetness of children in the summer. All the wet towels, all the fights that needed breaking up, and the many, many bowls that I washed after our baking sessions, were a thousand times repaid by those moments. 

I am sorry to see summer end.

Also on the personal front I retired finally and completely from teaching the end of June. I just felt I was getting too busy to work on someone else's schedule. And decided to leave while I still had something in the tank. 

I have always been an admirer of George Foreman.

Rather than climbing back into the ring one more time he invented the grill. So much better to be that guy on TV with the grill than a shadow of your former self dragged out of the ring because you couldn't think of what else to do.

Man am I deep.

So after my retirement, and with all the yelling one more time on that water slide and that's it we have to get home, I took a while to think about what my grill was going to be or, more importantly, if I even needed one.

I folded fabric a lot and I cleaned my house. I wrote a bit on a sewing mystery novel that is about real things that happened to me.  Some parts I think are really funny and in some still laboured. I found things in my house I had forgotten I had and projects that reflected my high ambitions.

I did some real tailored sewing, will be posted at some point in the Fabricville newsletter, and then I will do some more detail here. In the meantime here is a glimpse. For some reason the light caught my hair and made it look white, can't be true.

I also made and sent off a sleeveless version of the Yari jumpsuit to my daughter-in-law in Berkeley. Amazingly, because I had made this exact same pattern before and it fit perfectly, this one in a slightly looser linen turned out way too long. This makes no sense to me at all.

She is arriving this coming Friday with the rest of the crew (I will actually have my entire family plus one of my sisters here together for nearly a week) for a wedding. I am dying to get my hands on this jumpsuit and shorten it.

All that said, because we know that every sewer always points out the problem before anything else, Maddie looks great in this:

Honestly who would have thought jumpsuits would come back and stay so long? It's getting to the point where I am thinking I even need to make myself one.

It is interesting and exciting to think I have a different sort of life to plan and sew for now. My head is filling up with patterns I want to make. 

Now what are you fall goals for life and sewing? I am making the assumption the two are not too far apart.


patsijean said...

My mother has been gone since 2002. She was active and a bit of a social maven for most of her life, but she slowed down a bit before passing at the age of 84. She always dressed wall and never left the house without making herself "presentable". I remember the khaki shirt waist style jumpsuit she wore in the late 70's & early 80's, which she just loved. Looking at some pictures from that time I noted that she also had a turquoise jumpsuit that looked wonderful with her fading auburn hair. I have yet to own/make a jumpsuit, but back in the early 70's I wore out a purple turtleneck bodysuit that looked quite striking with my red hair. It seems I had more of a neck back then.

Jodie said...

Hi Barb - thanks for that catch up. Glad you had the summer to spend with your grand kids - I'm sure they and their Mom so appreciate the time. Congrats on your retirement and have fun finding your 'grill". I so enjoy reading your path and look forward to your next adventures. I'm a high school teacher who has just traveled the path of a classroom renovation (I'm a foods teacher). The lab was gutted and I got in on Thursday (tomorrow is the first day of school). I leap into the school year knowing that there will be bugs to work out in the new lab and hope that I can find everything as I had help unpacking. My hope is to sew/create for 15 minutes each morning and tonight after supper am going to cut out 2 pairs of boxers for my husband as that is simple sewing I can do at the crack of dawn. I've some mending in there as well. I am the teacher advisor for a school team (volleyball) and that involves being at school 5:30 to 7:30pm 3 days per week. I figure 15 minutes of sewing or knitting will be all I can get to. I tested out a pair of pants this summer and was happy with them. I've notes to change the pattern a bit and want to cut them out of something drapier than my test fabric. This may take me until Christmas but we will see.
Enjoy the last of the long weekend!

bbarna said...

This sounds a bit similar to my summer, but no writing. We are doing a bucket list item (my first and possibly only trip to Europe) in the spring- cycling and cruising the Danube. I am scrambling through my closet and checking fabric and patterns for outfits to wear, all the while trying to do some sewing for Christmas and birthdays. My wardrobe is very minimalist, but I also tend to wear things to a frazzle, so I don't want to travel looking too shabby. My Jalie patterns will be in full rotation. I also don't want to bring anything but a carryon, so the challenge is on.

Anonymous said...

Your grands are getting very tall, and so attractive! And its hard to believe your daughter in law has a new baby! Congratulations on fully retiring - may you enjoy it as much as I do! Fall goals: I'm trying to de-clutter physically and mentally. I find sewing very helpful in both regards. At the moment I am finishing a light flannel jacket and thinking about a flannel shirt. Since it was 96 today and humid with it I assume all this flanneling is anticipatory thinking about fall!

Thank you especially for your newsletters; each one is a treasure.


SMP said...

My grandson, who I raised after raising my three children, has just moved out to attend his first year of university. This morning I cleaned the skateboard marks off the wall in the front hall. I am finally, at the age of 64, an empty nester! I retired from university teaching a few years ago, but now feel as though I am officially retired and will be able to spend my time mostly as I wish. I am wondering if I will move my sewing room upstairs from the basement, but whether I do or not, I know that using some of the beautiful fabrics I recently bought in Toronto (where I was minding my two much younger grandchildren for a few days) is high on my agenda. I am so excited to actually have the house to myself and my husband that I may do a little sewing for the house as well, new pillows, window coverings, etc. September always a time of new beginnings, this time more so than ever...

BeckyMc said...

I've been a fan of your blog for years, and I'm excited by the idea of reading a novel written in your voice, that includes sewing! Perfect! I'm a freelance editor and I'd love to help when you need another set of eyeballs on your story .

jane said...

Hi Barb. We’re you affected by the hurricane?