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... :)


SunnyQ said...

Juana looks BEAUTIFUL!! Please tell her I said CONGRATS! :) She is really glowing in that dress!! :>

Summerset said...

How cool is that? She looks beautiful in her new dress!

loopylulu said...

That is an incredibly thoughtful and personal gift. Did you ever post about how you started your sewing sessions with these two women? I'd love to read about it but I can't find the post in your archives.

Christine said...

That wall hanging is such a neat idea! She quite creative!

kasizzle said...

Love the wallhanging. What a special gift.
The dress is gorgeous and she looks thrilled with it.
You must be an awesome teacher!