Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

Happiness is like perfume: You can't give it away without getting a little on yourself.

The skirts are finished! It took 3 hours, but we were able to finish the waistband on Juana's skirt and all of the hems on both skirts. I think you can see for yourself that everyone was very happy with and justifiably proud of the results! :)

After they finished their skirts, I gave each of them a "congratulations gift" of some of the basic sewing tools: a pair of scissors, pins and a magnetic pin cushion, hand needles, seam ripper, tape measure, seam gauge and tailor's chalk. I announced that they were now officially seamstresses; but they disagreed and said that they would be seamstresses after our next two planned projects.

Our plans, by the way, are to make a dress with a zipper and then a blouse with a collar, buttons and buttonholes - using commercial patterns that include instructions in Spanish as well as in English (Simplicity, New Look and/or Burda). After that, I am hoping that they will have enough of the basic skills that I can set them loose on the sewing world! ;)

Every week there is more chatter during our sewing time. They are more and more willing to try to use some English words and our ability to communicate is steadily growing. I made 2 jokes today - one planned and one off-the-cuff - both of which got a laugh.

The off-the-cuff one happened when Ana asked me where my husband was that afternoon. I replied (all in broken Spanish) "at home" and then followed up with "I hope!". That brought about the knowing exchange of womanly grins that often arise during discussions of men... ;)

The planned one is a bit more complicated. I made a disparaging comment about my Spanish and then said that "I know three words." (This is all in Spanish.) I then repeated the sentence, while counting on my fingers and pretended to discover that the sentence had FOUR words in it, so I modified the sentence to say "I know four words." Then I pretended to count again and realize that I had just added another known word (the word for "four") and so I modified it again to say "I know five words." Of course, more exaggerated pretend counting to determine that that made six words I knew... I let it trail off and they both realized that I was stuck in an infinite loop and burst out laughing. :)

Next Sunday - shopping for a dress pattern and fabric! This time I AM going to request, before we even leave for the store, that they try to find a nice cotton print to make the dresses in. No more fraying polyestor for this "teacher"!


Claire said...

I need a clapping smilie. Pretend there are several in line here.
The skirts came out beautifully. If they fearlessly sewed with a sheer, albeit with your assistance, they'll be ready for most everything. I love to read that communicating is becoming easier. To make a joke in another language, and have it understood is wonderful. I think that's supposed to be one of the most difficult things to do.
I agree with getting them to choose a cotton for the dress. I wish I lived close enough to join your class, especially for the shirt class. ;o)
Thanks for continuing to update us with the sewing installments.

SunnyQ said...

Congrats on a successful "Mission Accomplished"!! :-D I'm looking forward to the dresses!! :)

MD said...

These look great - I hope the next project will also be nice with better communication. It sounds great that they are relaxing and are willing to try their English - to be able to make mistakes in front of someone is a sign of trust ;-)