My Mess

Good Man is INTJ. Good Man I am INTP. I like to start projects. Good Man likes to finish project. (This explains the state of our desks. My desk is covered in embroidery floss cards, Korean books, and various notes to myself. Good Man’s desk has stacks of finished papers on it.)

The living room is currently in Amanda State. Who am I kidding? It’s always in Amanda State. I have multiple sewing projects going on in different stages. I finished a purple dress done with microsuede, but it has some deep wrinkles in it that need to be vinegar steamed out. I haven’t done it yet. I’ve got 16 panels cut out for a gored skirt, but I haven’t staystitched the waists yet. I have a pair of silk pants from Thailand I want to copy and resize, waiting to be traced. A bag of scrap fabric is waiting to be turned into…what, I don’t know.

I told Good Man we needed to clean the living room and he said, “We? Tell me what in here is mine.”

I looked around. “Dammit.”

Good Man grinned and patted me on the shoulder. “It is never my mess. It is always your mess.”

Bowling and Counting Down

Last week at league I scored a new personal best of 148 (my non-league best is 167). I also went over my average series, bringing my average up by one pin (I think). I beat Good Man’s series by 15 pins or so. It’s funny how he’s competitive when he’s beating me, but when I beat him, he’s suddenly in it “for the teamwork.”

I bowled again on Saturday and Sunday. Each day I ended up with one game in the 140s, one in the 110s, and one sub-100 game. Well, I am nothing if not consistently inconsistent.


My grad class ended last night. Thank God. The class got lengthened (tacked on a week) while the due date for assignments got shorted (due a week earlier than originally due) which made me Very Unhappy. Still, the class was worthwhile, and when I get my grade, I should be eligible to actually teach my students by the county’s endorsement. The state endorsement will take one additional class to obtain. I’m looking forward to the break from my classes.

The Problem and Solution Skirt

Problem and Solution Skirt

This whole skirt was one problem/solution after another.

Problem: Sometime before 2006 I bought white, narrow-wale corduroy fabric. It sat in my stash in Atlanta, in Minnesota, and in Virginia.

Solution: Dye it a nice, autumnal wine color.

Problem: Although I wet the fabric completely, the dye pot was too small and the fabric dyed unevenly.

Solution: Make a gored skirt.

Problem: I don’t have a pattern.

Solution: Make a half-circle skirt in four panels to account for the unevenness of the fabric.

Problem: I don’t have enough fabric.

Solution: Do eight panels.

Problem: I can only do eight panels if I flip the pattern over and that makes the pattern pieces run in opposite nap directions.

Solution: Alternate naps in each panel, then any light differences will be intentional looking.

Problem: I sewed four pairs together, and then sewed two of those pairs together and now the down-nap is against the down-nap.

Solution: Make the nap alternate two by two and make sure to put the back zipper between two down-naps for better butt wear.

Problem: I did this and topstitched the seams, and some of the fabric didn’t get caught in the top stitching and I didn’t pink it beforehand.

Solution: Just tack the fabric down to the other seam with a blanket stitch.

Problem: Good idea, I’ll do that later. I need to insert my zipper and I always have a weird method for invisible zippers and no matter how much I iron, I can’t get my zipper to turn out.

Solution: Your method works, even if you have to stitch multiple times. The stitching will show on the wrong side, not right, so stitch it and move on.

Problem: I put in the zipper and discovered this skirt is one full panel too big for my waist. And I’ve already topstitching the seams and don’t want to rip stitches. In corduroy. Which I’ve never worked with before.

Solution: Baste and pull it up under the waistband.

Problem: Ah, yes, the waistband. I don’t have enough fabric to cut bias strips for a waistband.

Solution: Cut four pieces, line up the seams with every other gore, and move on with your life.

Problem: Great idea, but since one edge of each piece was bias, my hem is completely uneven.

Solution: You cut it long for a reason. Hang it up for a week, then use your chalk marker to do the hem.

Problem: The chalk marker keeps giving me different readings and now I’ve cut and I’m afraid I’m going to keep cutting and it’s going to be like a bad haircut—too short.

Solution: Fold the skirt on the center front and center back seam, and make sure the hems line up. Cut, and get over it if the hem isn’t perfect.

Problem: It worked! I have no more problems. Now what am I going to worry about?

Solution: Start sewing something else.


I finished this skirt last night (except for tacking down parts of the seams, which I’ll do later) and I wore it to work today. I got a dozen adult compliments and a half-dozen kid “compliments,” which tells me it’s a win.

Several people asked me where I bought the skirt. I told them I made it and they were rather surprised. When I explained that I did the gores to make up for the uneven dying, they told me they thought I bought it dyed that way.

I solved the white corduroy purchase mistake. I sewed on corduroy for the first time. I drafted a pattern for the first time. I’m pleased.

Problem and Solution Skirt
Why am I standing pigeon-toed? Don’t know.

How Many Gallons

“Ms,” said Alligator, “how many gallons of water do you think would fill my house?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never seen your house.”

He thought for a moment. “How many gallons could fit in your house?”


I expected that when a bunch of gifted kids were in one room, their individual quirks would sort of seem canceled out.

I was completely wrong.

I have several students who prefer to work from the floor. One stands—all of the time—legs wide open, working at her desk. Another one prefers to sit under the desk. Several don’t like shoes. A few wear their shirts inside out because the tags bother them. One simply can not walk looking forward because there are so many interesting people behind him to talk to. I have to warn them that reading books while walking down the stairs is not a great idea.

I dread the day that we have an unexpected fire drill. It will take us forever to get out the door.

Of course, one of my admins walked into my room after school one day to find me with my shoes off, feet propped up on my desk. I was listening to a Korean newscast while working on my grad papers.


My legs flew off of the desk and my feet searched the floor for their shoes while I tried to get myself together. “Yep, getting work done.”

She laughed, “I know you are, put your feet back up.”

One Excitement After Another

I took a personal day today, making a three-day weekend on our legal wedding anniversary. It ended up being a great day.

We stopped at the bank and got $100 in quarters for laundry. I sorted through the quarters and found the last quarter I needed to complete my Philadelphia mint state quarters collection. (Yes, I am a dork. I’m OK with that.)

We also stopped by a thrift store. I’d been in there Wednesday and had seen some trenches in great shape. Good Man tried them on and I learned he has gorilla arms, so no trenches for him. But while we were there, I found a lilac leather coat for $10 and a tan leather trench for $25. I want to learn how to sew leather, but I don’t want to learn on the fabric I want to sew with. I considered how much cheaper it would be to use thrifted leather to practice sewing on. The trench had more fabric but a lot of annoying white top-stitching and shaping. I decided to get the lilac coat because it would be easier to take apart, and I’d get larger fabric pieces from it.

Trick Box
I also found a $2 trick box that I couldn’t open. Good Man said it would be impossible to open. It took me 45 minutes, but I finally figured out the ten steps needed to remove the lid. I was rather excited and pleased. Good Man tried to act unimpressed, but I know he was proud of me. That $2 was some good entertainment. Now I just need to decide what to keep in my trick box.

At bowling, we went up against the team that is at our level. Their team handicap is 194 and ours is 190. We were the ninth and tenth teams for several weeks and had joked that it was a race to the bottom.

We won one game and the series, taking home three points to their four points. I bowled a personal league best of 136 (old best was 128) and a series personal best of 366 (compared to 332). That would probably get me Star of the Week for this week—except I picked it up for bowling a series that was 10 pins over average last week. (That isn’t that impressive since this week I was 63 pins over average.)

Star of the Week

I’m not sure how that happened since our opponent last night also earned it and we’re in the same division. You can only earn one Star of the Week, and I’m pretty sure most people in league earn it by the end of the season because of that.

If you win Star of the Week, you can compete in the Star of the Month tournament. You can compete each month until you win Star of the Month. So people say the Star of the Week thing is just a money-making scheme. But the monthly competition is only $8.25 for three games, which isn’t a bad price at all. You’re trying to beat your own average. So why not do it?

The league secretary told us that sometimes nobody comes in for the month, and sometimes the one person who comes in for the month wins. She said there was one guy who actually bowled below his average, but since he was the only one who bowled that month, he won. She looked at Good Man and said, “I’m not talking about you.”

Good Man had gone in on President’s Day, paid the $8.25 and bowled three games. He did go over his average, but he figured since he hadn’t heard, he must not have won.

Right before we started bowling, they came over the intercom and announced, “Ball and Chain League, [Good Man] won Star of the Month, come on up [Good Man], Star of the Month!”

Everyone started clapping and I caught the secretary’s eye. She said, “He won!” and pointed to his name, written on the board above the entrance.

Good Man looked at me and I said, “Go up, go up to the desk!”

“For what?”

“I don’t know, go up!”

He came back blushing, with a plaque in his hands. Now he’s eligible to bowl in the Star of the Year tournament in May.

Star of the Month