Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Confession

Oooh-la-la! OR Fancy (French) Seams...

The only special type of seam that I have ever used is a French seam.

I have never used a flat felled seam, or a bound seam, or a lapped seam...

In addition, I'm not particularly good at determining whether or not to use a French seam... I mean, I know that this is a good choice if the fabric is prone to fraying, but at times I've gotten in trouble using this seam early in my garment construction - it makes later seams difficult to complete. (The Italian chemise comes to mind...)

How about you? Which types of seams do you use regularly? How do you decide which to use at any given time?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Eileen, Toni, Christine, Lindsay T, Summerset, Claire, Caity and Lisa Laree for talking back to my "confession" last Friday! I confessed that I have started shopping simply because there is a sale, rather than only buying when the need for something originates inside of me.

Historically, the responses to my Friday confessions vary quite a bit and include comments from people representing each end of the continuum and many spots in between...

This time, however, I may have stumbled onto our collective Achilles' Heel - SALES!

The general theme was something like this:

"...I can't resist..." - Eileen
"...I am all about the pattern sales..." - Toni
"It's very difficult for me to resist sales..." - Christine
"Yes, I am swayed by sales..." - Lindsay
"Vintage patterns are another story altogether." - Summerset
"...I have started paying attention [to sales]..." - Claire
"...those BMV sales are hard to resist!" - Caity
"Stop??? Is that possible?..." - Lisa Laree

To be fair, most people also mentioned being conscientious about their spending habits:

"To my credit, I have never paid full price for a pattern" - Eileen
"I work very hard at making sure I buy things that I am VERY sure I will end up making" - Christine
"...right now I am on an austerity diet of no more patterns, no more fabric..." - Lindsay
"...I try to buy only what I need in the first place..." - Summerset
"...coveting most Vintage Vogue patterns, but I must curb my spending..." - Caity
"...there is a limit to both finances and storage, so I've applied the brakes and managed to slow down a bit..." - Lisa Laree

So, rather than agonize any more about my "fall from grace", I think I'm going to accept the inevitable and just join the club...

Or, in this case, just enjoy the BMV club! ;)

Thanks again, everyone, for taking the time to leave me a note! I really love reading your comments - this time you all had me smiling from ear to ear!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In the Queue Wednesday

So, here's my haul from the recent BMV Club Sale:

For this dress, I like View C.

For this dress, I'm leaning towards the contrasting bands...

For this blouse, I like view C (again).

No fabric yet... I doubt I'll get to any of these before Christmas. But, don't worry, I'll get to them. They are in my queue! ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Illustrated Meme

Becky tagged me for a meme.
Here are the rules:
  • Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
1. I enjoy rock climbing. Here's an interior shot of the place we climb regularly, Aiguille Rock Climbing Center.

2. I've been married for 26 years to a man who still writes me love songs. If you would like to hear one or two, check out "Still Making it Up as We Go", "Bid Adieu, Gwendolyn", or "I'd Find You" on the music player gadget in the right-hand column of my blog.

3. I'm a baby blood donor. It turns out that my blood does not contain antibodies for a fairly common virus (CMV) and that makes it safe for newborn babies.

4. I just got a new car! A 2008 Volkswagen Jetta, to be precise...

5. I enjoy cryptic crossword puzzles. In fact, my whole team at work enjoys them, and we work on them together every day over lunch! My favorite cryptic authors are Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon.

6. I'm a volunteer literacy tutor. I've been working with this young man (pictured here with his younger brother) for a couple of years and his vocabulary and reading comprehension abilities have soared! ;)

7. I'm the only person in the whole world who can only come up with six things to say about herself! ;)

And now, I would like to pass along this fully optional (but fun!) meme to the following bloggers:

Christine of And Sew it Begins
Caity of Caityquilter
Connie of Couturesmith
Eileen of Side Seams
Wendy of West 38th

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Project: Grandmommy's Potholders

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.
Sam Levenson

As you may remember, my grandmother - with whom I am very close - asked me to make some potholders that she could give as Christmas gifts to her friends. This weekend, I bought enough fabric to make 6 pairs of potholders. I also spent some time playing around with patterns and sizes. I settled on this version (made with scrap fabric):

It is a 9 inch square (if sewn with 1/2 inch seam allowances). After assembly, the middle square is 5 x 5 inches and the border pieces are 2 inches wide. It is a bit larger than my store bought potholders, but I picked those dimensions because they led to a very simple cutting strategy - given the tools I had available - a rotary cutter and 6 x 12 inch ruler.

First, I cut 5 rectangles the same size as my ruler (6 x 12 inches).

Next, I cut one of those rectangles in half width-wise, to give me 2 center squares (6 x 6 inches before assembly).

I cut the other 4 rectangles in half length-wise, to give me the 8 border pieces (3 x 12 inches before assembly).

I did the same set of cuts for the coordinating fabric, and this gives me enough pieces to make two complete potholders, with alternating fabric placement. In other words, I get 2 of these:

And 2 of these:

You'll notice that some fabric is wasted (on two of the border pieces), but for me the savings in time associated with doing this easy set of consistent cuts is worth it.

I am going to make each potholder out of two contrasting squares, rather than making the front and back match. This way, the recipient has three different options for displaying them (both showing side A, both showing side B, or showing contrasting sides).

Here are the other 5 fabric pairs that I picked. There is a real skill to picking good pairs of fabric for quilted things, and I am definitely winging it! The one thing I tried to do was pick one busy print and one simple (primarily one color) print to go with it.

I cut all 120 pieces this morning! By the way, I bought 1/2 yard of each - after washing, drying and ripping the edges to find the grain line, it was just about the perfect amount. And I've ordered the Insul-Brite and cotton batting for the interior.

I hope my grandmother likes my choices! I'll be visiting her for a few days in mid-November, and I'm going to get these done before I go. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Confession

It's official - I've gone over to the dark side...

And it's all because of Club BMV...

What am I talking about? My shopping habits and sales. Prior to receiving my gift membership to Club BMV for my birthday (thanks, Natalie!) I only went shopping when I had an idea for something in particular that I wanted to buy. You know, like "Oh, my Mom's birthday is coming up, maybe I'll sew something for her" or "I'd really love a new summer sun dress" etc.

Then, when I went to the store, if there was a sale on, that was great, and if there wasn't, no big deal...

What I NEVER did was learn about a sale and then go to the store to see if I could find anything that appealed to me simply because of that sale.

But, now, as a member of Club BMV, I get emails alerting me to special deals on Butterick, McCalls and Vogue patterns - for members only! - and next thing you know, I'm browsing the web sites and ordering patterns... Yikes! Something tells me that this is going to wreck havoc with my budget!

Good thing I don't keep one! ;)

So, how about you? Do you pay any attention to sales? Do you find something you want and then wait for a sale before buying it? Does the announcement of a sale lead you into the temptation of shopping and buying stuff that you hadn't already known you wanted or needed? And how do I stop?!?!? ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Talk Back Thursday

Thanks so much to toni, Donna Hodgson, Claire, Lindsay T, Becky, SunnyQ, Lisa Laree, Vicki, Caity, mamafitz and Summerset for "talking back" to my confession last Friday! I confessed that - unlike the Tailor of Gloucestor - I don't really know how to do any of the standard fitting adjustments.

As you might imagine, the responses spanned the continuum... Three or four people reported that, like me, they are not very familiar or proficient at altering patterns. Not yet, that is! ;)

Three or four people are currently, actively working on this skill. (Check out Vicki's blog for an incredibly informative series of posts on a sloper she is making! The series starts here.)

Summerset is quite proficient at the adjustments that she needs to make for her own clothes, and mamafitz studied fashion design in school and has worked in a dressmaking department, so fitting adjustments come easily to her.

I noticed one slightly depressing theme running through the responses - as we get older, our bodies change - and not in the ways that improve their fit with patterns fresh out of the envelope! Three people specifically called out these changes as the impetus for learning about alterations, and it is certainly true for me too! (Still, all things considered, the older I get the more I like myself and enjoy my life, so I wouldn't go back, even if I could...)

Finally, as usual, I got lots of good advice. :)

To help learn about standard alterations, Lindsay recommended Nancy Zieman's Pattern Fitting with Confidence and Caity recommended Fit for Real People.

Donna reminded me that people routinely address fit issues on PatternReview, and you can learn about any adjustments that a particular pattern is likely to require before you use it from that site.

Summerset recommended focusing on the adjustments that I need for my own clothes, and getting comfortable with those before trying to learn additional ones.

Thanks again, everyone, for taking the time to share a little bit of yourselves and your sewing lives with me! :)

Thank you also to Lori and Becky for advising me re. Insul-brite for my potholders! I'm going fabric shopping on Saturday! Yay! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the Queue Wednesday

Christmas Presents for Co-Workers (aka Friends!)
I finally came up with an idea for Christmas presents for my friends at work this year. In years past, I've made aprons, bathrobes and fabric purses. It's getting more difficult every year to come up with another sewing-related idea... But this one is a doozy!

And I can't tell you what it is...

Why not? Because I want it to be a surprise, and all of my friends read my blog.

In fact, I had the idea to simply put a link in this post to a picture of my idea, hoping that they would valiantly resist the temptation to click on the link. Then, you and I would know, but they would still be surprised. I ran this idea by them and the majority responded, "Oh, I'd definitely click on the link."

Well, you've got to give them points for honesty. ;)

So, all I can tell you is what I've already told them - I'm going to ask each of them to pick a bright, colorful, fun fabric that appeals, and it's not an article of clothing. But I'm pretty sure that it will be a hit! :)

Speaking of brightly colored fabrics and sewing Christmas presents, I've been doing some internet research on potholders (for my grandmother) and it sounds like there are two main options for the "filling". Some people use two or three layers of cotton batting (such as Warm and Natural), while others use a special heat resistant material called Insul-brite. If anyone reading this has experience and/or advice with either of these options, I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks! :)

Oh, and as for the mystery Christmas presents for my friends, don't worry, I'll get to them. They are in the queue! ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender

Ana surprised me with the most beautiful gift this weekend. She made a wall hanging for me of a tree branch covered in leaves.

The thing that makes it extra special is that she made each leaf from a scrap of fabric from one of our sewing projects this past year. Every time I look at it, I remember their first skirts, the shirts they made for their boyfriends, the pink pajamas...

And then I will remember those first few lessons last Spring when, if I hadn't written out an appropriate sentence in Spanish ahead of time, I was speechless (and they were constantly and completely speechless) - and how things slowly changed to the point we are at today, where our lessons are full of chatter (both Spanish and English) and laughter and our Sunday afternoons slip by in the wink of an eye... :)

Speaking of our Sunday afternoon lessons, it's kind of ironic that two days after my Friday Confession about not knowing any fitting techniques, I actually was able to help Juana adjust the fit of her dress to minimize neckline gaping!

Juana wanted to pinch the fabric under her arms and make "darts" on the inside - treating the fabric and lining as a single piece. But I thought it through for a few minutes and came up with a better way.

We separated the fabric and the lining around the bottom of the bodice for about 1.5 inches on either side of the side seams. Then I had her open it up and stitch a new side seam (on the inside) that started and ended in the original place, but was about 3/4 of an inch wider at the top of the bodice. Once we confirmed the fit, she closed everything up again.

The result:

Now all we need is a fiesta... :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Confession

I have never done a full bust adjustment (FBA) or an SBA.
I have never rotated a dart.
I have never fixed a case of gaposis.
I have never adjusted for a short waist or a long waist, for a broad back or a narrow back or a round back or a sway back.

Bottom line: I don't know my way around standard fitting techniques.

Some of my "confessions" are really just for fun. This one, on the other hand, makes me feel a bit ashamed, like I don't deserve to think of myself as a "real" sewer. Of course, I quickly tell myself that no one was born knowing how to do these things, and anyone who knows now simply went through the process of learning already - which is certainly something that I can do too. :)

So, how about you? Are there certain standard fitting techniques that are basic staples in your sewing repertoire? How, when and why did you learn them? Any recommendations as to which ones I should tackle first? Which are most useful, easiest, etc.?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to toni, Lisa Laree, Lindsay T, Christine, Mamafitz, Caity, Summerset, Kasey, Vicki and Mary for talking back to my "confession" last Friday! I confessed that I prefer shopping for fabric in person in "brick and mortar" stores, and rarely purchase fabric over the internet.

Almost two-thirds of the respondents (6 out of 10) reported doing the majority of fabric shopping in person in brick and mortar stores. And I'm not the only one who likes to touch fabric when I'm shopping or the immediacy of taking your fabric home with you right away. ;)

The people who rely heavily on on-line stores generally reported not having access to good local fabric stores.

International respondents Caity and Vicki - in addition to being lucky enough to have access to great fabric stores - also reported that the poor exchange rate and exorbitant postage prevents them from doing much online shopping.

As for recommendations for online shops - the one name that popped up the most (four times!) was Gorgeous Fabrics. Also recommended were:, denver fabrics, EmmaOneSock, Michael's Fabrics (Lisa Laree - I hope this is the one you meant!), Fabric Mart and Fashion Fabric Club.

Thanks again everyone! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In the Queue Wednesday

Christmas Gift Idea - Potholders

My grandmother has mentioned (several times) how nice it would be if I were to make a bunch of potholders that she could give to all of her friends for Christmas. Her niece R could really use some, and her friend K would definitely like them, and her neighbor M mentioned just the other day how handy they are... In fact, potholders are just about the perfect gift for everyone, and they would probably be pretty easy to make, don't you think?

Yes, Grandmommy, I think they would be pretty easy to make and a perfect gift for just about everyone. :)

So, it looks like I have been given an assignment. I found this free tutorial on the internet to make potholders. Next up - shopping for fabric! While I'd love to use Christmas fabric, she has also mentioned (several times) that a holiday-neutral fabric could be used all year long... So, looks like no snowmen, mistletoe, gingerbread men or penguins in my immediate future.

I'm visiting her in mid-November, so I'll try to get them done in time to take with me. Don't worry, I'll get to them. They are in the queue...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Project: Bagging It

It's a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional.
Getting down is mandatory.
Ed Viestrus on mountain climbing

I had hoped to post this weekend about (successfully) making my first pair of real pants - following a Threads article on drafting a pants pattern based on your measurements. Unfortunately, my first two muslins were too large and so, in a typical overcompensating move, my third pair is too tight...

So, I found myself slightly at a loss for a post with real sewing content. Out of desperation, I decided to recycle a post I wrote almost a year ago, on my previous blog, about sewing chalk bags. (My apologies if you read it the first time.) Without further adieu, for your reading pleasure:

Chalk bags are drawstring pouches that rock climbers wear at their waists. They contain (wait for it….) chalk, which climbers brush on their hands to keep them from getting sweaty and slippery. (Other athletes do this too – you’ve probably seen gymnasts dip their hands in chalk before starting a routine on the uneven parallel bars, for example.)

It looks like it should be something simple to sew, and I started working on coming up with my own pattern a few years ago. After a bunch of experiments and variations, I think I’ve settled on “the one”. Interestingly (and perhaps foolishly) I never did the most obvious thing to do – I never purchased a commercial chalk bag and took it apart. I probably should have done that ages ago. At first, it seemed like it should be easy enough to figure out on my own, and now that I have a working pattern there doesn’t seem to be much point…

My chalk bags have 3 layers – an inner layer of fleece, an outer decorative layer of whatever fabric the climber chooses, and a middle layer of medium-weight canvas, to give it some structure and make it stand up on its own. All three layers are cut from the same pattern and constructed the same way.

My first pattern for the pouch was a rectangle, sewn into a column, with a circular piece stitched in one end to close up the bottom. But I HATED sewing the bottom on, and as I sewed various purses and bags from commercial patterns, I learned other ways to construct a 3-D pouch. Here is the pattern I use now and some shots of the construction:

(Sorry for the poor quality of the photos.)

While there is no single “right” set of dimensions, here are the ones that I use: Both the long side seam and the width of the body are about 8 inches long and the width of the (centered) bottom seam is about 4 inches long. The incut is approximately 2 inches by 2 inches.

And here is the final version, inside and out:

As I said, using this pattern I make 3 identical pouches, out of fleece, canvas and the “fashion” fabric (typically a cotton print).

The next step is to prepare for the drawstring, by putting metal eyelets into the middle (canvas) and outer (cotton) layers. (You can get eyelet kits at Joanns.) I usually put them about 2 inches below the upper rim, and I interface the outer layer first, because the cotton is too flimsy to hold the eyelet on its own.

Here is one I’m working on now - the three pouches and a closer view of the eyelets:

Now, I insert the loops to hold the drawstring into the inside of the middle (canvas) layer. I only use 3 loops and I make them out of 3 inch pieces of elastic. The goal is to be able to close up the inner (fleece) layer without too much distortion of the outer 2 layers, which is why I make the loop so long and stretchy. For the drawstring, I use about 30 inches of cord and I burn the ends with a match so that they don’t unravel.

Oh, I learned the hard way to stitch the drawstring (at its midpoint) to the middle loop (only). If you don’t, the people that you give these chalk bags to will, at some point in time, pull out the drawstring and then ask you to thread it back through the loops! I can tell you from experience that this is possible, but NOT fun. So, sew that puppy in permanently!

Insert inner pouch into middle pouch – wrong sides together (and toward the inside), keeping drawstring cord in a loop around the circumference of the fleece layer such that it can be used to tighten inner pouch. Baste these 2 pouches together around the top.

Now you’re probably expecting me to slide this combined piece into the outer layer, and baste all 3 layers together, before finishing the upper edge, right?

Well, this is the really cool part of my design. My design is not for just any old chalk bag. It is for a chalk bag with interchangeable covers! In other words, you can make multiple outer layers (cotton prints) for the same chalk bag, and switch between them whenever you want!

So, my next step is to add a loop to this piece, so that the chalk bag can be clipped onto a climbing harness. I use about 5 inches of strap, folded over to make a 4 inch (circumference) loop with a 1 inch tail. Both ends of the strap have to be burned with a match to prevent fraying.

I use 2.25 inch wide grosgrain ribbon to make the binding around the top edge. (As with the cord and the strap, I burn the edges to prevent fraying.) Before sewing it into the pouch, I stitch hook and loop tape (for example, Velcro ®) – the hook (stiff) side – across one length, close to the edge. Then I sew this binding inside the pouch, with the hook tape sticking up over the top. The idea is that the pouch slides into the decorative outer layer (cotton) and this binding folds over and the hook and loop tape holds the pieces together.

You'll notice that by putting the strap on first, this binding doesn't meet in the back, but rather a 1 inch gap is left. This may seem like a design flaw, but I do it deliberately, to account for the fact that my covers aren't always a 'perfect' fit. If a cover is a little bit too big, then this small gap in the binding allows room for the excess fabric, leaving the majority of the bag looking smooth and well fit.

Inside the bag, there is a perfect spot for your label - right over the strap. ;)

That finishes the main body of the chalk bag! So, the only thing left to do is to finish the outer layer. You do this by turning over the top one quarter inch and stitching in place, and then sewing a piece of hook and eye tape – the loop (soft) side this time – all around the top.

And, now, you are ready to 'dress' your chalk bag! Here is a series of 3 pictures, illustrating the process of putting a cover on:

I usually start folding over the top binding in the front center and work my way around each side to the back. If the cover isn’t a perfect fit, you can hide the excess fabric in the small open area in the back, underneath the belt loop. ;)

For the finishing touches, add a cord stop and a small carabineer…And voila! You have a chalk bag fit for a 5.15 climber, with interchangeable covers!

If you happen to climb, or have friends who climb, you are welcome to use this design to make chalk bags. If you find ways to improve the design, please let me know! I would ask, however, that you don't use my design to produce and sell chalk bags with interchangeable covers. Thanks. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Confession

Brick and mortar stores...

I buy many things over the internet, but I pretty much only shop for fabric in brick and mortar stores.

I'm not sure why I feel this odd reluctant to shop for fabric online. Partly, I suppose, my sense of touch plays as much of a role in why I buy a particular fabric as my vision. Hmmm... I wonder how long it will be before our personal computers have a tactile-based I/O device?

Plus, maybe, the immediacy associated with buying fabric in the store suits me and my sewing "lifestyle". ;)

How about you? Do you shop for fabric online? Does it always match your expectations? Do you ever send it back? (Are you allowed to send it back?) Are there online stores that you recommend?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Talk Back Thursday

Thanks so much to Kasey, Lisa Laree, Donna Hodgson, Lindsay T, Galen, Summerset, Becky, Mamafitz, Christine, Caity and Vicki for "talking back" to my Friday Confession last week! I confessed that I sometimes sew over my pins, and asked about pin usage more generally...

Who would have thought that something as little as a pin could generate so much discussion? This is a good illustration of the fact that "small" doesn't necessarily mean "unimportant"!

So, on the topic of whether or not to use pins at all, people were pretty evenly split. Five argued for the control that you get with pins - especially around curves. Three reported either rarely using pins or are trying to reduce their pin usage - especially on straight seams.

As for how to use pins, almost everyone who mentioned an orientation described inserting their pins perpendicularly to the seam for sewing. When it comes to cutting, Summerset inserts her pins parallel to the edge of the fabric and Mamafitz described sticking her pins through the pattern into the cutting board, so they stick up like in a pincushion.

Finally, on the topic of whether or not to sew over them, most people congregated on the "nay" side. Five reported trying very hard not to sew over them and four reported very rarely or never sewing over them. The common concerns mentioned were broken needles and messing up the machine's timing.

Probably the scariest story was Caity's, who once broke a needle, threw off her machine's timing AND damaged the bobbin case when she tried to sew over a pin. Needless to say, she NEVER sews over pins anymore!

The funniest story was Summerset's, who used to have a cat that UNpinned things that Summerset had pinned together! The cat used her teeth and worked her way systematically along the edge of the fabric pulling out each pin one at a time... Maybe the cat was advocating for sewing without pins?

Thanks again, everyone, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with me! :)

PS - I "borrowed" this picture from Christine's blog. I hoped she wouldn't mind, as she made the pin cushion and shrinky-dink pins as a gift for me! Isn't it adorable?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In the Queue Wednesday

You know that look on a person's face when she sees the perfect fabric? The print that calls to her and her alone? Well, I saw that look on my friend Natalie's face when we were in Metro Textiles in New York City. And this is the fabric that put it there:

Well, her birthday is coming up at the end of October, so I bought a couple of yards and offered to make her something in it. Back at the office (over our lunch break, of course!), we browsed the internet and she picked out this pattern:

I think she selected view C, and I'll probably use a solid black for the yoke. I still need to get her measurements and pick the best size - so we'll finalize all of those details sometime this week.
Now that I've finished my Mother's birthday blouse, I'll jump on this pretty quickly. I'm not sure exactly when, but don't worry, I'll get to it. It's in the queue! ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekend Project: Round Up

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya.
Cowboy Wisdom from

There's a whole herd of projects trailing along behind me that I need to show y'all. First, I finished my Mother's birthday present - a blouse in stringed instrument fabric - perfect for a professional musician who plays violin and viola.
I'm not sure how well you can tell from these pictures, but the blouse has a very flattering shape - with vertical darts in front and in back.

I really hope it fits her! She's taller, but much more slender than I am - I doubt she has 5% body fat. (I try to reassure myself that I could last longer on a mountain top if our plane crashed, but then it occurs to me that I would also be closer to the top of the list of people worth eating, so I think it's pretty much a wash...)
In general, I liked the pattern - the only bit that gave me fits was setting in the sleeves. I do this all the time and generally don't have much trouble, but I set in each of these sleeves several times, and am still not really happy with the result.

Next up, a quick and easy project from my queue - aprons for the wait staff at our favorite restaurant. I banged these out in a couple of hours, start to finish. They had to be black, but I added blue trim for Val and red trim for Itzel, to make them special.

Here's a close-up of the trim and my new label. (Once again, blogspot took it upon itself to flip this image and I can't get it flipped back...)

Finally, an update on Ana and Juana. Our sewing lessons continue to go very well! Ana has completed her pajamas, robe and matching slippers. Today she banged out a pillowcase in the same fabric! ;)

Here are her slippers, or "pantuflas" in Spanish. (I've never tried to make slippers, and was pleasantly surprised by how nicely they came out.)

Juana has been working on a halter dress. The original pattern was for a blouse, but she wanted it lengthened into a dress. The only steps left are the back zipper and the hem. (Here she has it on over her clothes - I'll get a better shot when it is finished.)

Finally, Ana made a cute little bolero jacket last week. The main fabric is black with little sparkles. She lined it and added a big sparkly button. She put a lot of work into modifying the fit of the lining until she had it to her liking (i.e., tight) and then I showed her how to use the lining pieces as the pattern for the fashion fabric.

So, that's it for this week's round-up! I've been working on my pants - using the pattern that Susan and I made following instructions from an article in Threads magazine - and they seem to be coming out really well! I can't wait to show you! Next week... :)