Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday Confession

Over the years I've seen 3 different ways to trim (or clip) curves. The first I ever learned is pictured above - cut little triangles into the seam allowance.

In one of the classes I've taken at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo over the years (and I'm sorry I can't remember which one), the teacher showed us the technique of cutting diagonal slashes into the seam allowance - the trick being to cut each side of the seam allowance separately and from the opposite angle - so that the slashes oppose each other. (Hopefully that makes sense.)

Recently, I used a pattern that illustrated the curve slashing with a lot of little snips that were directly perpendicular to the seam.

So, how do you trim your curves? Do you think it matters much, or do you think any of these methods would be equally good?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fresh from the Queue Wednesday!

A baby is God's opinion that life should go on.
--Carl Sandberg

So, I actually DID get a little more sewing done last weekend than I said in my Monday post - but I had to keep it "under wraps" because I made a surprise gift for a friend of mine - a friend who has just had her very first baby - a boy!

Since he was kind enough to join the world yesterday, I thought I'd post the pictures today. :)

I made another Baby Bubble - this one without ruffled sleeve caps, as befitting his boyness. ;)
I think this may be my new favorite baby pattern. Can you believe that there are only THREE pattern pieces? A front piece, a back piece and the "tab" along the bottom where you snap (or velcro or button) the bubble closed.

On top of that, it's really an ingenious pattern and very interesting to put together, as it is reversible and every single seam is hidden inside!

I like using a simple print for one side and a fun print for the other, because it makes it more like two completely different garments.

My friend chose blues and browns for the colors of her baby's room, so I echoed those colors in this bubble.

One really fun fact - the ribbon I used for a tie at the neckline is the same ribbon that SHE chose as the tie for her pencil roll (the Christmas gift I gave out to friends in 2008). I'm sure she'll recognize it - isn't that cool?

Well, I'm off to the hospital today to see her and meet her son... :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday Morning Quarterback

God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger.

- Fernand Mery

Well, it turns out that not everyone enjoys caressing a tiger, as my story below will illustrate. But first, a quick update on my weekend "sewing". I had to spend a couple of hours in a waiting room while my car received its 50,000 mile service and I used that time to cut rectangles out of fabric remnants from the pencil rolls that I made for my friends and co-workers for Christmas 2008.

Once home, I quickly stitched up a batch of little fabric pouches...

It was a bit of an illogical thing to do, as I have no personal use for 16 little fabric pouches...

But the fabrics are so cute and the pouches are so quick that there's a kind of immediate gratification about the project. :)

Now, on to my somewhat discouraging cat story.

To me, Oliver is so sweet and adorable, that it's difficult to remember that not everyone feels the same way about him, or cats in general. But it is true. My new sewing student, in particular, does not like cats. It didn't seem like it would be a problem, as my (3) cats are not big fans of company and generally keep to themselves when we have visitors. But the last time that Xiaomei was here, Oliver came out to play. She had put on her skirt so that we could determine the best size for the elastic at her waist and,unfortunately, the long piece of elastic was dangling on the floor. To a kitten, it was an irresistible lure...

In the process of jumping for the elastic, Oliver accidentally gave Xiaomei a tiny scratch on her ankle. It was truly small - less than 1/4 of an inch long and shallow. I get bigger scratches several times a week when playing with him and think nothing of it. But because she was company, I washed it off, added a dot of neosporin (an antibiotic) and a bandaid. At the time, she seemed fine.

Once home, however, she started worrying and by nightfall she had worked herself up into a state of near panic that she would contract rabies and needed to go to the hospital for rabies shots. I spoke with her husband and, of course, reassured him that all 3 of our (indoor) cats get all of their shots every year and that there was absolutely NO WAY that she had rabies. But she was, apparently, extremely distraught for the next 24 hours or so - pretty much until it was difficult to even find the place where he had scratched her.

Of course, objectively speaking, her reaction was irrational. At the same time, she really did experience those feelings of panic - and I feel just horrible about that. I would never want anyone, much less a friend, to go through something like that. :(

Needless to say, neither one of us think that our house is a good place for her to spend more time. And so, there won't be any more sewing lessons. I'll still see her during the weekly ESL class where I volunteer, so we'll keep in touch.

It was just something very unexpected and sad... :(

So, I hope YOU had a good weekend and are ready to face another Monday morning! :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Confession

My new sewing student has only ever used an old, foot pedal sewing machine, and I noticed that at the beginning and end of each seam, she stops sewing in one direction, puts the needle down, lifts the presser foot up, and rotates the fabric in order to "reverse stitch" and secure the seam. She keeps forgetting that all she has to do is hold down a switch and the machine will automatically go backwards.

But that reminded me of something that I learned, but don't practice, in a Cynthia Guffey sewing class. (Of course, other people may recommend it as well.) Cynthia said that you should always sew "with the grain" of the fabric and that sometimes the direction of the grain could change within the same seam. When that happens, she instructed us to stop sewing in one direction, remove the fabric from the machine, and replace it in such a way that we could sew from the other direction.

It's like what many sewing patterns recommend when doing stay-stiching along a neckline - start stitching from each shoulder and have your two rows of stitching meet in the middle of the neck. Only Cynthia recommends doing this on EVERY seam and sometimes this mean changing the direction that you are sewing multiple times in a single seam - such as around a collar.

She said that this will prevent those times when the two pieces of fabric start out well aligned, but by the time you get to the end of your seam, one piece is stretched out longer than the other piece.

So, as I already indicated, I don't do this. How about you? Have you ever heard this advice? Do you ever do it? If so, sometimes or always? Also, do you ever have trouble figuring out the direction of the grain and where it changes? Overall, what do you think about it?

Photo credit: Mollybob

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Lady Jenn, Mamafitz, Claire S., Stitchywitch, Lois K., Lori, Gwen, Alison, Cindy, Patsijean, Mary, Julia, CarlaF, Rosa-Draconum, Shannon, Summerset, Elaina, Sarah, Lisa Laree, Faye, Karin and Becky for talking back to my confession last Friday!

I confessed that I unwind any partially filled bobbin at the end of each project and throw the leftover thread away, and asked what other people do in this situation. Man, am I flying solo on this one! ;)

ALL 22 people who responded save those bobbins and use the thread for a variety of purposes, including:

  • hand sewing,
  • mending,
  • machine basting,
  • muslin assembly,
  • stay-stitching,
  • testing decorative stitches,
  • piecing quilt squares,
  • tailor tacks,
  • zigzagging over cut edges and
  • gathering threads.

Some people agreed that they periodically have to empty one when they run out of available empty bobbins – and then they either empty the one with the least thread or the one with the least usable thread color. But no one automatically empties them as soon as a project is complete.

When it comes time to use up that leftover thread on your machine, Mamafitz and Cindy both pointed out that you can use a bobbin on the top of the machine too, instead of a spool of thread.

A couple of people mentioned trying to gauge projects and put “just enough” thread on the bobbin; although many are happy to have full bobbins of certain staple colors, such as black, white, brown, grey, navy, red, etc.

Several people mentioned the storage containers that they use, with the most unusual one being Carla F’s “Jammers Kids Car Garage Case” (an idea she got from Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) – apparently it’s the perfect size to keep her partially filled bobbins and matching thread spools stored together.

Cindy and Lisa Laree both recommended buying clear tubing at a hardware store and cutting individual covers for each bobbin (you need to slit the tube so that you can open it up to wrap it around the bobbin). You can see a picture on Lisa Laree’s blog, here.

Okay, okay, I’m convinced! I went out over the weekend and bought another 10 pack of bobbins and a bobbin holder (of the type pictured above) – from now on, I will make good use of those leftover bits of thread! :)

Thanks again to everyone who commented! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial

This will not be a regular feature, but I have continued to play around making small fabric pouches to hold the "How Much Fabric?" Reference Cards, and I put together this photo tutorial. It's a very simple pattern - you can easily adjust the dimensions to make lined pouches of all different sizes. I'm thinking of including it on my e-store website, so any constructive criticism would be very welcome! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Project: Time for a Change

If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.
-- Charles Kettering

So you have probably already noticed my big project for the weekend - I updated my blog layout! Two years seemed long enough for one background - and I've been wanting to change to black text on white background for a while. I am often torn between wildly, colorfully exuberant and clean, simple lines - this background had a little bit of both. ;)

I hope you like it too! :)

I did get a few other things done. Xiaomei came over and we made a skirt together. We drafted the pattern by following instructions from this book:

We picked this simple, elastic-waist, a-line skirt:

The pattern was simple, so I took the opportunity to show her how to do French seams. She was very happy with how it came out! :)

Finally, I got started working on the LAST set of Christmas kitchen towels. Did I mention that this is my very LAST set?

The first step is to measure out 402, 4 yard long lengths of yarn. I lay out a 4 yard long path on my warping board and then follow it over and over again, as I measure out the lengths that I need. Here is the first third:

One of the coolest bits is the "x" that you build in at one end. This "x" is what keeps the threads from getting hopelessly tangled - when you go to put each thread sequentially into the loom, you can always tell unambiguously which thread is next because it is at the top of the cross. Threads can't "jump the line" and get out of order...

It's a pretty ingenious system - of course, women have been weaving for 20,000 years, so we've gotten a lot of the kinks worked out of the system! ;)

This set of towels (by the way, this is my LAST set!) will be in a bright color palette - red, orange, yellow and bright blue.

The "instructions" that come with the kit tell me how many threads to measure out in each color - this chart shows me that I need 28 threads of red (color A), 10 threads of orange (color B), 6 threads of blue (color C), 10 threads of yellow (color D), etc.

And that pretty much warped - oops, I mean "wrapped" - up my weekend.
I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to start a new week! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Confession

Okay, I swear I've purchased at least 3, 10-packs of bobbins in the last 5 years; but I am lucky if I can ever lay my hands on more than 3 of them. What is happening to them?

I suppose the cats may play a role in this mystery, but frankly I think the sock monster in our drier is diversifying his portfolio... ;)

Anyway, the result is that when I finish a project I usually remove any thread left on the bobbin, freeing up that bobbin for a new project.

Of course, it seems like those times that I remove the leftover thread, a few days later something comes up and I wish I had left it on; and those times when I leave it on, the bobbin sits there for months and never comes in handy again... Some variant of Murphy's Law at work, no doubt. ;)

So, what do you do with your half-empty bobbin when you are finished with a project? Empty it or put it aside for the day when you need that color again?

Photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Lori, Julie, Gwen, Julia, Kristine, Lady Jenn, Waikikimum, Linda, Cole's Corner, StitchyWitch, Tamara, Lois, Faye, Cindy, Alison, Shannon, Mary, Gaylen, CarlaF, Becky, Uta, Elaina, Karin, Claire and Summerset for talking back to my confession last week!

The topic was the relationship between sewing and saving money, and I brought up the fact that there are plenty of stores out there that sell RTW (ready-to-wear) clothes for such low prices that it would be difficult to save money by sewing those garments yourself.

While 4 people did agree that times have changed and sewing is no longer the guaranteed money saver that it was for previous generations of women, most people pointed out (in the nicest possible way, of course!), that I was comparing apples and oranges.

Shannon summarized it nicely, "...when I think of the cost benefit ratio of home sewing, I don't compare it to Target or Walmart. Yes, clothes there are cheaper. They are also poorly made, use low quality materials and are not sustainably produced."

And 15 other people echoed this sentiment in one form or another - the clothes that we make for ourselves and our loved ones are of higher quality, better fit and more personalized than anything we can buy for an affordable price. Sewing may not always be cheap, but when you match on quality and compare apples to apples, you can save money.

At the same time, most people also reported that saving money was not their primary reason for sewing. In addition to sewing for better quality and better fitting garments, a major reason for sewing for many people is that they have a passion for it!

As for whether or not people actually do save money with their sewing, we had a variety of answers spanning the gamut from:

Ah, that would be a "no"...
  • No, I spend way more on sewing than I ever would on RTW clothes (1)
  • I probably could if I tried, but I don't think I actually do (2)

to: I do shop carefully and take advantage of sales, but I don't let money rule my sewing
  • On some garments yes, on others no (5)
to: Yes!
  • Yes I (usually) save money (3)

Finally, Becky and Kristine also echoed Shannon's concern about the production values of the fashion industry and the use of sweat shop labor in third world countries, etc. Kristine mentioned and HBO special on this very topic that I have never heard of, "Schmatta." I'm going to have to check it out...

There were also a lot of great stories about saving money and how much buttons used to cost and other fun stuff like that - that I can't begin to capture here. If you have a few minutes, I think it's worth reading the comments directly (here)! :)

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to talk back! :)

PS - A couple of people commented on the photo I used last week and Gwen asked where I find my pictures. Actually, I learned where to find pictures from a Friday Confession! I got a lot of good advice from commenters, and the method I use most often was recommended by Wendy - I search "Flickr Creative Commons" - photos uploaded to the internet with permission to be used by others, as long as credit is given to the original photographer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

(Possibly) In the Queue Wednesday

When I started weaving about a year ago, my dream was to someday sew clothes for myself with fabric that I had handwoven.

With only one more set of Christmas towels left to go, I was browsing the internet recently for new projects and came across a "kit" to weave and then sew this top:

It is made from a Bamboo fine weight yarn and comes in many different colors. I'm still waiting on some details like how big the loom has to be (mine isn't actually very big, as looms go).

The sewing itself looks pretty easy - there's not much shape to the top. But the woven lace pattern seems classy and beautiful!

What do you think? If my loom is big enough, should I give it a try?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend Project:Waste Not, Want Not

Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, atomies infinity.
--E. Knight

I think I grew up in a pretty typical middle class American family. We didn't have a lot of money - the stuff that many kids today seem to think is "necessary" continues to shock me - but I certainly never experienced true poverty. Scott and I have been doing well for years now, and so it's been a long time since I've pinched any pennies. But I don't think of myself as excessively wasteful. Ana, having grown up experiencing true poverty, sees things in my life a bit differently... And that sets the backdrop for this weekend's story:

A few weeks ago, Ana bought fabric to make baby clothes as gifts for 3 friends who either have newborns or are expecting. After cutting out the pieces for the onesies, she had some fabric left over. It wasn't a lot - I would have been tempted to throw it away. But she didn't want to, and quickly pointed out that her pattern included pattern pieces and instructions to make baby "shoes".

So, we cut out fabric to make one set of shoes to accompany each gift. There were still some small scraps left, and I would have DEFINITELY thrown those away. In fact, I tried to, but Ana quickly saved her leftover fabric from the trash can and announced that she could make even more baby shoes to send to her sister (a midwife in Mexico), to give away to other women with newborn babies.

Saturday we made up our own 2-person assembly line and cranked out 3 pairs of baby shoes to be mailed to Ana's sister in Mexico.

You wouldn't believe the emotional angst she suffered over the decision of whether the penguins on the toes should face inwards (and be right side up for the baby to see) or outward (and be right side up for the mother to see)! Ultimately she went with the mother, figuring that a 3-month old baby wasn't likely to appreciate the penguins... ;)

The penguin fabric was wider, so we got 2 extra pairs out of those scraps and only 1 extra pair from the Curious George fabric:

Here's a side view. You can see that each bootie is made up of 3 pieces and a bias tape casing for some elastic. You actually cut each of the 3 pieces 4x - 2x per shoe - a complete set for the outside and a complete set for the facing.

The one thing I didn't like about this pattern was the fact that they had you assemble both tops (outside & facing) and then assemble both bottoms (outside & facing) BEFORE attaching the bottoms to the tops. Thus, you have the seam allowance "showing" on the inside of the bootie:

Why in the world wouldn't they instruct us to completely assemble the outer bootie and then completely assemble the bootie facing, and then slip the facing inside, before sealing up the top with the bias tape? That way, all of the seam allowances would be completely hidden inbetween the 2 layers of the bootie...

So, returning to the topic of not wasting anything, Ana's frugality and my more nonchalant attitude came head-to-head on this project. First, when I tried to throw away "scraps" that she thought were big enough to use (and she was right!), and then with the bias tape. I quickly wrapped the bias tape around the top of the first bootie, added a generous portion for the overlap at the end, and then cut - and ended up with maybe 1/2 an inch extra to be cut off and thrown away.

Ana saw the leftover and thought it was wasteful, so decided she would cut the rest of the bias tape bindings. I was busy with something else and asked her to wait, but she didn't. Unfortunately, she didn't realize that she needed some overlap and so she didn't cut her piece long enough and we couldn't use it. She was pretty upset that, in trying to avoid waste, she ended up wasting even more than I had. I stood there looking at maybe 20 cents worth of bias tape and just couldn't really understand why she was so upset.

Later on, she tried to explain it to me. I could tell that she had put a lot of thought into how to explain it in a way that I would understand and that wouldn't offend me. She started by saying that she knows that I like to use my money to help other people. Then she said that, if I was more careful not to waste anything, I would have more money that I could use to help people. Her example was that if I only needed half an onion for one dish, but I saved the other half and used it later in another dish, then I wouldn't have to buy a second onion and that would be money saved.

You know what? For such a young woman, she's quite wise...


On the weaving front, I finished the second-to-last set of Christmas kitchen towels! Only one more set to go! I still have a very good shot at being able to give them out in May - before they are officially 6 months late! ;)


Parting Shots:

Remember this picture from last fall of our baby Oliver, snuggling up to his newfound buddy, Sammy?

Well, guess who is growing up?

And to all, a Goodnight! :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Confession

A topic that has come up tangentially in a few of our recent Friday conversations has been that of money - more specifically, sewing and saving money. Truthfully, I sew because I enjoy it, and while I don't walk away from fabric and pattern sales (at least, not empty handed!), I couldn't honestly justify the sewing that I do by saying that I've saved money over clothes shopping at Target or JC Penney's.

Ana, my friend from Mexico, recently pointed out that it is pretty much always cheaper to sew your own clothes in Mexico, but, in her opinion, sewing in the US is often more expensive than shopping at your local Walmart.

So, what about you? Do you sew specifically to save money? Do you think that you do save money by sewing? Does the money matter? I'd love to hear how you think about sewing and money...

Photo credit: Rob Lee

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Karin, Stitchywitch, Julie, BConky, Annaminiac, Meredith, Gwen, CarlaF, Mary, Lois, Debbie, Faye, Claire, Patsijean, Summerset, Cindy and Rosa-draconum for talking back to my confession last Friday! I asked about Fray Check - I use it sometimes, but I don't love it.

Almost everyone who replied (14 out of 17) use Fray Check at least once in a while - although no one called out really loving it. The alternatives that were proposed included finishing seams with either a zig-zag stitch or an overlock machine and using either June Tailor's Fray Block or, from Claire in Canada, H.A. Kidd & Company's Fray Stop 2.

In fact, four people called out Fray Block, and said that it is thinner and doesn't dry as stiffly as Fray Check.

There was strong agreement that you should never try to apply Fray Check directly from the bottle (oops, guilty) - instead, drop a couple of drops onto a flat surface and use a toothpick or pin to apply it very carefully and sparingly! And Summerset said that you can sometimes get it off with rubbing alcohol.

As for when to use it, there was also a lot of agreement on using it along the inside of buttonholes and to secure machine-attached buttons.

Several people also pointed out that it is useful whenever you have to slash fabric close to a seam, such as when setting in a godet or at the slash for a sleeve placket. Along those lines, Rosa-draconum uses it in her historical costuming along the edges of the decorative cuts that she adds to the fabric.

Patsijean uses it on the rolled hems of dinner napkins and Lois uses it to stop runners in panty hose. And Annaminiac used it along the bottom of the organza overlay of her wedding dress, instead of sewing a hem.

As always, I learn so much from you guys! Thanks again to everyone! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the Queue Wednesday

You know how we take a vacation every summer and I post some pictures afterwards?

Well, guess where we are going this year...

It's ICELAND, baby!

I just finalized our reservations and I am so excited that I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait until summer!

This is a huge trip for us and we hesitated about spending the money. But several factors came together and said that if we were ever going to do it, this would probably be the best year... So we threw caution (and some might say common sense) to the wind and are going for it!

We're flying into Keflavik, and after spending a night in Reykjavik (southwest corner) we're taking a small plane to the northern city of Akureyri. From there we are driving the "ring road" (that circles the country/island) down along the east coast and back to Reykjavik before flying home again.

We're skipping some of the Ring Road drive so that we can spend more time at their three national parks: Thingvellir, Skaftafell and Jokulsargljufur.

I dare you to say that 3 times fast!

Heck, I dare you to say it ONE time SLOWLY! I know I sure can't. ;)

(PS - if you happen to notice that any of the park names are misspelled, please just let it go ... and who ARE you?)

So, we should come back with lots of wonderful memories and beautiful pictures to share!

Don't worry, we're definitely going to get to this! It's in our queue! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekend Project: Death by Numbers

No sewing (or weaving) this weekend - I am knee-deep in paperwork, going through my first experience of paying taxes as a (very) small business woman. Yikes, this is complicated! :(

In honor of the season, here is a lighter look at taxes:

"It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta."-- D. Barry

"Worried about an IRS audit? Avoid what's called a red flag. That's something the IRS always looks for. For example, say you have some money left in your bank account after paying taxes. That's a red flag."-- Jay Leno

[On completing tax returns].This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher
-- Albert Einstein

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. -- Will Rogers

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents? -- Peg Bracken

People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women. -- Unknown

I hope your weekend has been more fun and less expensive than mine! ;)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Confession

So, I use Fray Check, although I'm not crazy about it. Sometimes it's messy and I don't really like how it dries hard and lumpy. (Maybe I'm not using it correctly?) I just don't know anything better to use...

How about you? Do you use Fray Check, or some similar product? If not, how do you prevent unraveling, etc.?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to
Wendy, Lois K, Linda, Cindy, Julia, Christine, Anonymous, Christine, Lois, Julie, Becky, Mary, Karima, Alison, Debbie, Faye, Lori, CarlaF, Shannon, Gabby, Meredith and Summerset for talking back to my confession last week!

I asked how people had learned how to sew. The comments are full of wonderful stories and it's definitely worth reading them directly (
here), but, as usual, I'll do my best to summarize them. :)

One thing that I found interesting was how many different influences each person called out as contributing to her love of and skill in sewing. Only one-third of the commenters (7 out of 21) gave a single answer - such as "My Mom taught me" or "I taught myself" - while the other two-thirds of the commenters (14 out of 21), called out at least two different sources of learning and inspiration in their sewing lives.

Eighteen people talked about having mothers and grandmothers who sewed. Most of these people (14) had very happy memories at learning from these family members, although it didn't work for everyone. Alison, for example, compared it to having your parents teach you how to drive when you are a teenager - my Dad "taught" me how to drive a stick shift, so I can really relate to that example! ;)

Still, most of these family sewing memories were very positive. Linda, for example, is transported back to happy times ironing with her Grandmother, whenever she smells spray starch! :)

The next most frequently called out method was through a Home Economics class offered at a junior high or high school, with 15 mentions. Again, there were a mixture of positive and negative memories. On the less-than-positive side, for example, a couple of women have vivid memories of having to stitch in straight lines along lined paper. That does not sound fun.

But 9 of the 15 people had nothing but happy memories. Karima remembers her lime green linen jumper and Julia still keeps in touch with her highschool home ec teacher - even though she is now sewing for her own grandchildren!

Aside from these two main categories, there were a few "odds and ends" mentioned as well
  • 4 people said that they have learned a lot from short courses, workshops, etc.
  • 2 people talked about sewing in a 4H club
  • 2 people learned from friends
And speaking of friends teaching friends, it was being asked to teach a friend how to sew that gave Cindy the idea to start her own sewing school! ;)

Finally, 12 people explicitly called out something that is actually true for ALL of us - they talked about teaching themselves new sewing skills. Moms and Home Ec classes and friends notwithstanding, every time we open a new pattern and study the instructions, read a review on PatternReview, look up a new technique in a reference book or modify a pattern to change the look or improve the fit - we are most likely teaching ourselves more about sewing. Sewing and learning just go hand in hand. :)

Thanks again to everyone - I love reading your stories and hearing about your lives and the role that sewing plays in them! :)