The Sound of Friendship

Reading 우리 나무가 아파요 (Our Tree is Sick), I came across the word “바스락거리다.”

“What’s that mean?” I asked Good Man.

“The sound of walking on fallen leaves. 바스락바스락.”

I nodded and continued reading.

A few moments later Good Man said, “When I was seven, I wrote a letter to a friend comparing friendship to the sound of walking on fallen leaves.”

“What does that mean?”

Good Man closed his eyes, shook his head, and smiled, “I still don’t even know today.”

Pencil My Skirt In

Today I made up McCall’s 6038 (Quick and Easy, three women’s skirts) in 6 oz denim I bought at Joann’s on sale for $4/yard.


Working on this project I learned how to insert an invisible zipper, do a blind hem stitch, and blend a curve (I needed one waist size and a different hip size).

I modified this pattern a lot. I took off the hook and eye, blended sizes, stitched in the ditch to get the facing to stay down, and did a blind hem stitch.

But the biggest change was the removal of all of the darts. I have a very short waist and I don’t usually like skirts that sit right at my natural waist. When I try to wear them lower, they ride up. Also, darts tend to highlight the area they’re darting, and I don’t need that! So I removed all of the darts in this pattern in order to get the skirt to sit lower. And it worked!

I only made one “duh” mistake, which was sewing the interfacing on the wrong side of the skirt so that it faced…the right side. Whoops.

Learning to blind hem (well) is going to take some practice. I ended up losing the first battle with the machine, which is why I had to hem it higher than I originally intended. (I was doing version B with the slit up the back, but it ended up more like view A.)

I did the entire pattern in a day (from cutting the tissue to tacking down the facing) with lots of down time included. That makes me happy because something this easy to sew can surely become a staple of my wardrobe and a template for new patterns. Furthermore, since it only took 1 yard of 56″ fabric, I can experiment with fabrics or prints or trends easily, without investing too much time or money.

I need some skirts for work, and I think this one fits the bill. It’s not too tight or too loose. It’s a great length and can easily be made higher or lower. It doesn’t bind or ride up when I stand, sit, or move. I can crouch in it, I can cross my legs in a chair without showing my students too much thigh, and I can tuck shirt into it and it still feels great.

I plan on making several more skirts using this pattern.

And the best part? It took one yard of fabric, which I bought on sale for $4/yd. The fabric, zipper, thread, and facing probably came to all of $8 at the most. I’m sure I bought the pattern when it was on sale for ~$2 (I never pay full price for the common pattern companies since they’re constantly on sale on Joann’s). I could not buy a skirt that fits me like this in the store for $10, lined or unlined!

Rock Tomatoes

“You can’t throw two tomatoes together and call it a rock.”

I love my students.

If you can believe it, that comment made complete sense in our classroom today.

The Things My Students’ Curiosity Teaches Me

Student: What does ‘decimate’ mean?

Amanda Teacher: To destroy, to kill a lot of something.

Student: But you said ‘decem’ means ten. So…what does ten have to do with it?

Amanda Teacher: Hmm. Good question. Let’s find out. Um…apparently in ancient Rome they’d deal with bad soldiers by killing one in ten men in the ranks.

Student: Cool!

Amanda Teacher, to myself: Oh boy, your parents are going to be happy with my teaching today…

“You Look Like a North Korean.”

After battling the epic sleeve cap on my shirtdress, it was smooth sailing until I got to the collar.

I just could not understand McCall’s 4769‘s collar directions. Good Man—always a good sport—actually let me drape the dress over one shoulder so I could figure out how to make the collar work. I finally mostly figured it out after consulting several books, even more websites, and a few other patterns.

When Good Man took these pictures, he giggled and said I looked North Korean in the olive color.

North Korean Me

Stuff I learned in this project:
How to do pockets (pockets!).
How to make a faced front band.
How to attach a collar (I did the best I could with terrible directions in the envelope).
How to ease in a set-in sleeve.
Hand hemming.
How to do notched (?) fold back cuffs.

How to adjust tension on my sewing machine.
How to baste.

And hey, I have great calves. I had no idea.


I did it up in weaver’s cloth (55/45 poly/cotton and made in USA, amazingly) and finished with a purchased belt. I used pearl snaps instead of buttons. Otherwise, I didn’t bother with any alterations. Total cost of the project was abut $25.

Matched Seams

My seams matched beautifully, too!

Next time I’d widen the bicep, shorten the sleeve cap a bit, do a full-bust-adjustment and move the darts a bit, and possibly change the collar into something easier to deal with.

Still, considering I’ve never sewn anything with sleeves and my entry-level sewing skills, I’m really happy with the dress. Heck, it fits as well as anything store-bought would! In fact, it fits better because I positioned the snaps so it wouldn’t put open or gape at the bust!