Brief update on sewing, work, and life

June sewing updateLife has been quite a wild ride lately!  I haven’t been doing much blogging, but I’ve been sewing, working, worrying, working, stressing out, working… oh, and did I mention working?  As you may recall, I’m finishing up my PhD this summer, and I think I’m entering the infamous end-of-PhD panic mode.  Is that a thing?  I’m pretty sure it’s a thing.  It must be a thing because IT IS TAKING OVER MY LIFE.  Oh the humanity.

Here’s a quick and dirty update from the battlefield:


After all your hilarious and brutally honest comments on my Sarrouel Trousers (aka #diapershorts) muslin, I decided to screw social convention and make a pair for public display.  A beautiful floral rayon pair.  And yes, I displayed them out in public!  My obsession with She Wears the Pants continues, as I’m currently working on a Velour Blouse (check out Stacey’s version) in peach cotton voile with pink rayon accents.  So far so good.  I’m not convinced the style will work for me, but at least my broad shoulders can support the extra wide neckline.

Also, a first for me: I agreed to alter a friend’s bridesmaid dress.  In blue poly chiffon.  (!!!)  Working with the chiffon hasn’t been as tricky as I was expecting, but it hasn’t exactly been easy either.  Plus, since the original dress was several sizes too big, I wound up taking the entire dress apart and putting it back together again.  It was quite a learning experience!  Fun though, and I’m always happy to help a friend.


Post-PhD planning has begun, and what a terrifying prospect this was!  After many months of uncertainty, difficult decisions, disappointment, elation, soul-searching, crying, and endless discussions, I’m happy to report that I can now see the light at the end of this 5-year-long tunnel.

I HAVE A JOB.  (Right here in Boston!)

That’s right folks, an occupation other than “student” is in my future!  Is this really happening??  Honestly, I almost can’t believe it.

For those of you academics out there, I just accepted a postdoctoral position.  For those of you non-academics, a postdoc is basically a glorified graduate student.  Nearly the same job description, nearly the same ridiculously low pay, but hey, you can make people call you “doctor.”  🙂


Every day has been a new adventure lately.  One day I’m exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open long enough to eat dinner and collapse.  One day I’m all smiles and telling everyone how much I love my work and how excited I am for things to come.  One day I’m screaming in frustration at how near-disasters occur and there’s nothing I can do to stop them.  I’m not an overly emotional/dramatic person, and this roller coaster of human experience is a little overwhelming.  I have a feeling things will only ramp up as my defense date approaches, so I’d better learn to hang on.

I’m going to try to take some good blog photos this weekend, so hopefully I’ll be back soon with more sewing and less waxing poetic about the undulations of life.  For now though, I wish you all peace in life and work, and hopefully lots of sewing time this weekend.  🙂

33 thoughts on “Brief update on sewing, work, and life

  1. Yay, Dr. Carolyn!!! :). Congratulations on the completion of your degree AND your new job, AND altering a chiffon bridesmaid’s dress. Wishing you all the best as you move on to further sewing and professional challenges. IMHO, sewing has probably helped with managing the stress.


    • Thanks so much Ellen, but I won’t actually be Dr. Carolyn until early September! Lots more work to do before then, but I’m getting there. 🙂 The new job starts in October. And yes, sewing has definitely been keeping me sane throughout this crazy transitional time. My sewing space is my happy place. 🙂


  2. I love the spirit of wearing exactly what you want, when you want, despite our silly opinions. That independence is great! And, those are pretty colors in the items sewn in the above picture.


    • Thanks! The older I get, the more I realize that life is too short to make decisions based on other people’s opinions. True for sewing and life in general. 🙂 Just do what makes you happy!


  3. It sounds like you are the one who could use the wishes for peace! I quit school after my Bachelors degree so I can only very slightly imagine the stress of dissertations and defending dissertations. I hope everything goes really well for you and big congrats on the new job! I also can’t wait to see those rayon Sarroul trousers. That floral has been on my fabric wish list for a long time and I’d never considered it for #diapershorts!


    • Thanks so much, Teri! This was my first time sewing with one of the new Art Gallery rayons, and it was a dream. I hope they make a bunch more of them! I’ve been trying to get photos of the shorts forever, but the weather just will not cooperate. Blogger problems, LOL.


  4. Congratulations on your job, I understand it’s difficult but hope everything goes smoothly in the last months of your Phd, you know we have a saying here in Greece that says “I ate the donkey, now only the tail remains ” 🙂 so you have just the tail left and it’s done. We have many sayings with donkeys, I wonder what does it say for us 🙂 :).


  5. Yes, end-of-PhD panic mode is definitely a thing! Sadly speaking from experience… Oh oh, how glad I will be when all this craziness is over. At least you still manage to get some sewing time in… Great that you already found a post doc position though! One less thing to worry about. Congratulations! For how many years is the position?


    • Thanks Emmely, and best of luck to you as you finish up your PhD as well! What a crazy time, right?? The postdoc is for 1 year with the option to renew for up to 3, based on funding. Basically I have to get a fellowship for anything over 1 year, so the application process is in my future this fall. Have you figured out what you want to do when you finish?


  6. Congratulations on getting a job (double yay for not having to move for job) You’re pretty brave to make to a poly chiffon bridesmaids dress! Take care of yourself during this busy time and I look forward to seeing your projects when you’re ready to share 🙂


    • Thanks Vanessa! I don’t think I would have agreed to make a chiffon dress from scratch, although altering the RTW dress has been quite an adventure in and of itself. Thank goodness it’s not silk chiffon – what a terrifying prospect!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, sounds like you have a lot on at the moment. I hope the rest of your degree goes as smoothly as it can. Congrats on getting the job – at least that is one less worry for you. While helping a friend is always a good thing, I do think you’re mad for taking on a poly chiffon with everything else you’re juggling!


    • Haha, thanks Claire! I certainly underestimated how much time the alterations would take, but I’m glad it seems to be working out. Getting a job lined up is indeed a huge relief. Now I just have to graduate… you know, no big deal. 🙂


  8. Wow, huge congratulations on your PhD! I’ve spent a lot of time with candidates in my job, so I know how stressful it is! What field areyou studying? Good luck with the bridesmaid dress – I’ve just agreed to alter a friend’s wedding dress, eek!


    • Oh my gosh, good luck with the wedding dress!! Thanks for the good wishes. My PhD is still a few months away, but I’m looking forward to earning my degree after all these years. I’m studying environmental science with a focus on soil microbiology.


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