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Clothesmaking mavens
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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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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Flypaper thoughts: real commitment edition



  • My current working theory
  • Is that universe has used this pandemic
  • To send those of us lucky enough to be healthy
  • A giant time out
  • As in
  • Maybe you need to go home and think about things
  • How else can we explain NYC and London streets deserted?
  • Doing my part 
  • I have more or less retired
  • Only remaining paying gig is radio work talking politics
  • During which I only express the conversations
  • On my street
  • Lot of common sense on my street
  • Back to thinking
  • Since being more or less retired I have been trying to decide what to do next
  • I have a begun manuscript called "How to be an older woman"
  • Based on thoughts I have walking the dogs
  • Also a cozy mystery based on people I have actually known while I sewed 
  • And things that I know actually happened
  • With the only real fiction addition
  • A real someone who was particularly amoral
  • Who I have finally found a safe way to murder
  • Overdue that one
  • But really this is fooling around
  • When considering more serious and worthy options for my time
  • I decided that apart from my family
  • And my animals
  • The only thing I really, really care about
  • Is sewing
  • More or less since I was eight-years-old
  • So as a person qualified to write about how to be an older woman 
  • I am just going to lean into that fact for the duration
  • With everything I've got
  • Why not?
  • I am now keeping track of my steps
  • According to the NY Times this is important
  • So now I am watching my steps
  • To make sure I don't go over the limit
  • And walk so much I am cutting into my sewing time
  • Got to be careful
  • One of the things about being an older woman 
  • Is that no one really is all that concerned about what you are doing
  • So you have a lot of room to move, self-indulgence wise
  • Which is one thing we have in common with the other end of life
  • When lying on the grass looking for shapes in the clouds
  • And laughing with your best, best friend until you almost pee your pants
  • Is a good and useful way to have spent a day
  • Since I made this decision
  • I have ordered a bunch of online fabric while in the bath
  • And started to organize my sewing room like it is mission control
  • And not just a sideline
  • Or a hobby
  • I am outfitting the bedroom that is most sunny
  • And looks out on my street
  • I don't want to miss anything
  • Even though the street is already heavily supervised
  • Drop your keys on the driveway and the phone rings as soon as you get in the house
  • Mrs. Smith
  • "I think you might have dropped something when you got out of the car"
  • Who needs a security system?
  • My personal favourite
  • "Do you know your husband is on the roof again?"
  • "At his age"
  • No did not know
  • And I am not surprised
  • I can sew and see the boy two doors down
  • Hoping to get into medical school
  • Walking the dog for my 89 year-old-neighbour
  • Who her husband bought for a surprise
  • A golden retriever puppy
  • Yes she was surprised
  • Or the rounds of neighbours who take poor old blind and deaf Garth out to pee
  • So his mom who is working from home
  • At some kind of high level law enforcement
  • Can concentrate on her work
  • No real idea what she does but a lot of shredding in the the recycling
  • She's also a good Italian baker
  • You want an invite to her lawn chair in the summer
  • Presently three rounds of women actually have a schedule to keep Garth going
  • I sit and sew 
  • And watch the daughter of a girl who grew up on the street off to visit Yia-yia
  • Yesterday I used to watch her mother walk to the bus to school
  • In the opposite direction
  • To outfit this sewing room
  • My husband come down from on the roof
  • And I had to move everything into other bedrooms so he could install new shelves and tables
  • Can you explain to me why it takes two other rooms and a hall
  • To hold what I had in one room
  • It's like sewing is an add water situation
  • Watch it and it expands
  • Listen I have a question
  • Part of lining up the life compass on sewing
  • I have come to terms with the things I don't much want to spend time a lot of time on
  • I have faced that fact that in the kitchen
  • I only really really enjoy canning and pickling
  • And some baking
  • The day-to-day stuff I leave to my husband
  • That man
  • He is so precise
  • He actually weighs everything
  • Quarter pound hamburgers
  • You guessed it
  • Every single one
  • That's why he likes to supervise the roof
  • Me I eyeball seam allowances
  • Where we converge is in the eating
  • I love to eat what he cooks
  • But sometimes
  • OK this is my question
  • What are your go tos?
  • I am thinking of what does a person who would rather be sewing like to cook
  • Minimum time
  • Maximum taste
  • This is not too much to ask
  • So I am asking you