Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Confessions of an Iron Thief: Maytag Digital Smartfill Iron & Vertical Steamer Review

Irons. Am I wrong in thinking they are the bane of many a sewist's existence?

An iron is a mission-critical tool for sewing. But, if you are like me, you probably already have one in your home from your pre-sewing days for pressing shirts and other wrinkly things and cringe at the thought of shopping for and spending on such a utilitarian item. So, it wasn't until my leaky but nice-and-heavy iron gave up the ghost and I was left with nothing but a travel iron to use that I bit the bullet and bought my first iron for the Craft Lounge.  

After polling friends, I decided on the Maytag SmartFill Iron & Vertical Steamer that Oonaballoona reviewed back March 2015. The price was right and Oona liked its features and functioning. So I ordered it. 

Here's my confession: I was sent the wrong iron. 

Here's the thing about being a new parent: I didn't notice.*

So I used my Maytag Digital SmartFill Iron & Vertical Steamer for some time before realizing that it was not the iron I thought it was. More than once I even patted myself on the back for buying the best dang $50 iron ever and wondering why anyone would ever pay more. Then I realized it was an $80 iron. But now I am hooked on this iron and will gladly pay the more that this model cost to replace it when the time comes (and after it's 2 year warranty expires). It's a great value.

Here's are the virtues of this iron**: 
  • digital thermostat with 4 settings gives you a precise and consistent temperature
  • goes from off to max heat in under a minute and beeps when ready
  • if you press at a high heat and then lower it to press cooler, it beeps when it's cooled to the temp you want (this may be my favorite feature)
  • ceramic sole plate heats evenly and glides easily over fabric
  • gunk doesn't seem to stick to the sole plate somehow
  • loads of steam - yay! - and variety of settings as well as steam and spray buttons
  • no leaking - I can turn off the steam and press pattern tissue without fear of moisture even with a full water tank 
  • water tank detaches for easy filling
  • also comes with a cute little pitcher for filling the tank while attached
  • ball and socket sort of cord attachment makes me feel like there is less of a chance of the cord getting loose and pulling away from the iron, which is what did my last iron in. Instead the cord sort of swivels around where it attaches to the iron. (hard to explain)
How cool, right? 

I've been using this iron for about 6 months now, and have pressed silk, wool, cotton, linen blend, rayon and a few synthetics. I've used a variety of fusibles including hair canvas and other interfacings and used the iron to fuse iron-on vinyl to the changing pad I sewed for my sister. This iron has handled every fabric pretty perfectly. When I've needed a really crisp press or just a touch of warmth, my iron has delivered. The MAX heat setting really does a great job on fibers that need heat like linen. And the low setting is cool enough for the most scorch and melt-prone fabrics I've sewn (probably Taco's Halloween costume). And the steam is abundant and non-leaky.

I used my iron on fusible vinyl, cottons and fusible hair canvas for this one project. 
The ceramic sole plate took a little getting used to, but now I really like it. It has a different but good feel as it glides over fabric. 

Honestly, the thing I like most about this iron is that it is just plain easy to use. It heats in a flash, the settings for both temperature and steam are clear and accurate, and it presses like a dream. The tank is easy to fill and doesn't leak. The iron beeps when hot and feels like it's a good weight in my hand. It presses lots of different fabrics well. I always thought of pressing as one of the more tedious chores in sewing, but now it seems like much less of a hassle.

Anyway, this is probably my first "grown up" iron. So, take what I say with a grain of salt. But if you are looking for an iron that is easy to use, does a good job and is a step up without breaking the bank this one is a winner in my book.

* I did try to sort it out when I did notice, but because I was a disorganized new parent and couldn't find my e-receipt, forgot my log in, had already been using the iron, etc. I was told to just keep it. Mwahahahahaha!

** NAYY - I am a totally ordinary schlub. I have no connection or affiliation with Maytag or Amazon or, well, anyone else who might give me free stuff like an iron. Aside from the "discount" I received from being sent the wrong model of this iron, I am an ordinary customer with my own opinion. (My opinion on being sent the wrong iron is, again, Mwahahahaha!)

***Blogger suggested Dschubba as the autocorrect for my misspelling of schlub(b). I found this word so interesting that I googled it: Dschubba is a traditional Arabic name for Delta Scorpii, a star in the constellation Scorpius. Am I alone in finding that fascinating?  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

McCall's Shirt Dress Gets the Silk Treatment

I've already talked about the mojo issues and the photo shoot challenges around these parts. But, I recently had a breakthrough and am feeling back on track and full of ideas that excite me, at least in the mojo department. This silk dress was the breakthrough moment.

It took more than three wearings to actually photograph, which is an unheard-of amount of time for me. And the photos were taken with my iphone, at night, and after all day of wearing the dress. That is to say that both me and the dress look slightly bedraggled and wrinkly. My photographer did an awesome job, especially with the whole leg-lengthening camera angle.


The breakthru moment: I had been craving sheath dresses and could think of nothing else for about two months. However, once I identified that what I was really craving was clothing that made me feel put together and stylish without too much fuss, I was back on track. Anyway, this shirt dress fits both what I was craving and the practical realities of my life right now. And it will most likely still fit a few inches from now once I stop nursing.

This dress is a bit of a departure for me in a number of ways. First, I'm not sure I've ever worn a shirtdress; it's been one of those trends that I've been admiring on other women, but somehow didn't think of for myself. I haven't quite settled on the right belt, yet. Also, I sewed the dress a good 2-3" shorter than my normal hemline. Since I plan on wearing it with tights and boots throughout the winter, this is fine with me and ok for work.

Last, I almost never sew button holes. My first sewing machine wasn't particularly good at the job, but these came out well.  And now...well... the fact that front unbuttons is a big plus for my working-pumping-nursing-a-wee-one lifestyle. (Truth: I'm still pretty uncomfortable with the "mom" moniker. And I think a lot of my mojo issues are that inside I am still Clio and want my style to be mine and not be subsumed by the label "mom." I'm still working through this.)

Buttons and top stitching.
The pattern is M6885, a shirt dress with a few variations. I wouldn't blame you for overlooking this pattern; the one view on the envelope that has a model instead of fashion sketches is in a busy floral fabric with a matching hat. But the pattern has good bones.

M6885 - Easy to overlook, I think. 

It is an "Easy" McCall's pattern, and it actually does deliver on the "Easy." I sewed view A with the sleeves from view D. The pattern has some very nice details like the sleeve tabs and pretty front placket with pleat.

The only problem I ran into with the pattern is that I went up a size - to a 12 instead of my usual 10 - in order to accommodate my larger bust. Shame on me. I should have stuck with a 10 with an FBA or even graded down to an 8 in the back and shoulders. I had to tinker with the sleeves and armscye quite a bit to make it work. It isn't perfect, but it's comfortable and looks pretty good unless you get nit-picky.

See, it's a little large at the shoulder/underarm

I used a silk panel print for the main portion of the dress. It wasn't long enough to cut the full dress, so I supplemented. In the end, I like the effect of the black fabric for the sleeves, placket and collar, and lower part of the dress. I think it keeps the print from really dominating. The black fabric was sold to me as rayon challis, but it has a firmer hand and is thicker than any challis I've ever felt. That said, it did pair well with the silk print.

The only thing to note about the fabric and construction is that the silk was very ravelly. I ended up using an odd melange of french seams and my serger to finish the insides of this dress.

At Taco's first birthday party! The color in this pic is more accurate than the others.  

Anyway, I'll be happy to wear this dress throughout the winter with boots and tights, and into the spring. Silk and rayon are terrific fabrics for multi-seasonal clothing. They are warm when its cold, but breathe. I never get clammy in either. I think this dress will get lots of wear.

Hooray for mojo! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mom Muse's Frosting for Taco's First Birthday!

My teeny tiny Taco is 1 today! I can't believe a whole year has passed.

One year old!

To celebrate, we had family over on Saturday for brunch and cake.

Birthday cupcakes! 

We hadn't given Taco any sweets before. So, I though long and hard about what his very first confection should be. I decided on cupcakes with my family's very favorite birthday frosting. My mom has been making what we have dubbed Mom's fluffy chocolate frosting since I was a child. It gets specially requested for birthdays and other occasions. Essentially, it's a chocolate whipped cream... light and delicious. It could not be easier to make.

Phin is not much of a chocoholic; I am a third generation chocoholic. We were curious to see who Taco would take after.

Clearly taking after me.

I think the verdict is clear. My clever little guy ate all the frosting and left behind some chunks of cake.

Mom Muse's Famous Chocolate Fluffy Birthday Frosting
2 cups heavy/whipping cream
3/4 to 1 cup of confectioners/powdered sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (optional)
4 tsp water (optional)
Mix water and gelatin in a small bowl (optional). Warm in microwave until it is liquid (20 sec?)  Set aside.  Sift cocoa and sugar together. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer or use handheld beater. Begin to whip. As cream begins to thicken, add sugar-cocoa mixture in a few (3-4) batches, beating well in between additions. Beat cream until it holds a peak. Whip in gelatin. Spread or pipe over one 8 or 9 inch layer cake, 9 x 13"

If you don't have or want to use the gelatin, you should just keep in mind that the frosting is basically a whipped cream and will deflate over time. The gelatin just stabilizes it enough to keep its shape.  It was never a part of my mom's recipe, but I added it to give the frosting a longer "shelf life".

An early walker is a mixed blessing. 

What a year it's been! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Photos: It's A Problem!

Just a quick note to say that there's a lot of activity in the Craft Lounge, but very few pictures. I'm much better with my iphone and Instagram than I am with actually pulling out the real camera at a the precise moment that:
  • the sun is shining/weather is cooperating
  • I am dressed for a photo shoot
  • Taco is napping or being watched by another adult
  • Phin is available to take pictures (not watching Taco or trying to get other things done)

You see the challenge we're having, yes? These circumstances almost never converge.

Anyway, here are a few things I've been up to.... 

Mittens for Taco! 

Working on my Clare Coat muslin and pattern alterations. 

A photo posted by Clio (@cliophineas) on

A photo posted by Clio (@cliophineas) on

The fit is worked out, and I've transferred the changes back to the shell pattern pieces. Now I just have to make changes to the lining and interfacing pieces as needed. Since I altered every single pattern piece of the shell - FBA to the front, raising the armscye on the side pieces and sleeves, and narrow back/shoulder adjustment to the back and collar, plus adding 4" length all around - there is quite a bit of work ahead. These are all normal alterations for me. I think this coat will be epic once I'm done.

Pumpkin pie experimentation.

The pie did indeed come out loftier and lighter. Some people liked and praised the lightness of this souffle-like pie while others (mostly me) missed the dense creaminess of a regular pumpkin pie. 

I'm also mid way thru a mini-Craft Lounge re-organization complete with new furniture! Long overdue! Pictures to follow once things are presentable. 

Hope you all had a great weekend! What did you work on?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mojo Retrograde: Transitional Sizing and What to Sew

There have been distinct mojo issues around these parts lately. I've spent a few months in the weeds, not really knowing what to sew and craving all the wrong things. My sewing mojo really felt like it was moving backward.

Taco's 3 month old WTF face. I miss his fauxhawk.

It's pretty annoying to be wearing "transitional sizing" for so long - 10 months of pregnancy and 11 months and counting of post-partum/breastfeeding. I'm sure that in many ways my "old body" is not coming back. I'm cool with that. My body reflects my life's journey. But I doubt that I'll know what my body will look like until Taco and I finish nursing, and that's just irritating when it comes to deciding on sewing projects.

I had been craving sheath dresses and could think of nothing else for about two months. However, not only are sheaths pretty unforgiving when it comes to fit, but I would not be able to nurse Taco or conveniently pump in one. It came down to a struggle between my style and the practical needs of my life right now. I was stuck.

But I recently had a breakthrough. I sewed a silk shirt dress (to be blogged) and am feeling back on track and full of ideas that excite me. As usual, I want frosting. I want beautiful fabric and clothing that is interesting and well made. I'd like the actual sewing to be interesting, if not challenging. Here's what I'm thinking about...

First, I dropped everything, went to Mood with my birthday gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket and bought coating when I saw the new Closet Case Patterns Clare Coat pattern.

View A (right) is TDF! So different!
I think the A-line silhouette and raglan sleeves will be pretty easy to fit and not give me much trouble should my measurements change a bit. Plus it's got welt pockets. I love welt pockets.

Next, I feel like there were several patterns released while I was pregnant that would have been right up my alley, but weren't right for me then, including the Nettie, also a Closet Case Pattern. I've been wanting a sweater dress and Nettie's low, rounded neckline will work for nursing/pumping. Plus I feel like this will sort of satisfy my sheath dress craving while being more forgiving in the fit department. Yay knits!

The other pattern I most wanted to sew while pregnant was True Bias' Sutton Blouse. I've been enjoying wearing easy drapey blouses like Sutton since going back to work. I definitely have silk stashed away for a pretty version.

Next, I wear my blue wool trousers all the time and always get compliments when I do. They were a bit out of the box for me style-wise with their high waist, pleats and full legs. But they feel really luxe on and keep me warm on the cold train platform. I'd love more interesting wool trousers for winter. I have two candidates:

Burdastyle 10/2015-105

I love the BurdaStyle wide legged trousers that were in the October issue. And Sewaholic's Thurlows have been on my "to sew" list since forever. I may hold off on the Thurlows, which I think have a less forgiving fit than the wide legged trousers.

Last, I'm, um, having some troubles buttoning most of my jackets thanks to the extra 3" of bust I have at the moment. (Yes, when I keep saying I don't know where things will settle, that is code for "I have no idea how big my bewbs will be post-nursing." Right now they are ginormous.)  So, if I have mojo left after these other exciting projects, I may try to sew a version or two of Butterick 5567 or another easy to sew jacket or topper.  Wouldn't view A (the green one) look great with some faux leather parts? I think so.

Anyway, your guess is as good as mine about how much of this I'll accomplish or if I'll be distracted by other pretties. But to start out, I have this week off and have already muslined my Clare Coat and prepped my wool coating. So, you will at least see a Clare Coat here.

Also, stay tuned for my silk shirt dress.  I'm already enjoying wearing it. I just haven't had time to photograph it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween: Dragon the Hippo Speaks

Clio and Phineas are both off chasing Taco, now that the little guy can walk. And Clio doesn't let me play on the computer very often because she says Dragon Hippos get into trouble. But luckily, she left her laptop open, so I can tell you about Halloween.

The whole herd loves costumes, so we knew that Taco's first Halloween would be a big deal. And naturally, Taco wanted to dress up as me, his trusty Dragon Hippo! So, Clio made him a costume under my supervision.

Hippo in Charge!

I don't understand why there isn't a hippo costume pattern but Clio used OOP M6812 and made a few changes to it to make it more hippo-tastic. I think she did a really good job with the feet.

Hippo toes

It was very cute when it was done.

The resemblance to me is striking!

But Halloween was a very noisy day. It was a bit rough on Taco. Clio says, he is used to our quiet house and not the mayhem of his noisy cousins.

Can you spot Waldo in this photo? 

Plus, Taco doesn't like wearing hats. Even hippo costume hats!

So, Phin wore it for him.

Not happy!  Phin is a good sport. 

So, Clio let Taco take his costume off and just watch the other children come to the door for candy rather than go trick-or-treating. She says that candy isn't good for knit hippo teeth, anyway, and the sugar makes us hyper.

Taco top knot

So, we had fun playing on the floor instead.  And Taco wore his Halloween bib.  

Wild haired baby!

Next year I think we should add a dragon cape to his costume so he can fly!

Notes from Clio: Errr, thank you, Dragon, for filling everyone in. A few details... This is McCalls 6812, which is out of print, but adorable. I just altered the tail, hat and feet features to make it hippo-like. Thinking that I might have an unwilling baby on my hands, I didn't want to invest too much on this costume, so I used very inexpensive fleece and lining from Hancock Fabrics.  I also cut some corners by skipping steps like stay stitching and using my serger for some parts of the body, as well as busting out the hot glue gun for the felt features rather than sewing them on. We'll see if Taco likes Halloween in the future. This year it was all a bit overwhelming for him and he was happier just to toddle around my parent's house.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Teeny Tiny Taco Booties

Look at these adorable socks I knit for Taco! 

They are Ann Budd's Better than Booties Baby Socks, a free pattern. 

They are designed for a smaller baby than Taco, but I up-sized them a bit by using a larger needle (3mm instead of 2mm) and knitting the foot long enough for his little foot. I think they came out very cute!  


I love the cuff and leg. The whole leg is ribbed, which really helps it stay on, which is important for little feet and little fingers that like to pull socks and shoes off and throw them overboard while cruising in the stroller. I liked the short row heel less. I'm not sure if it's just a matter of technique on my part (it was a different method than my norm) but you can see the little gaps left by the short rows.  They're fine, just not perfect.

I knit these socks up in baby blue My First Regia, a wool and nylon blend designed for babies and sold in mini amounts - enough to knit a pair of baby socks. It's soft and warm, and was perfect for this project. The nylon should help it wear well, which is very good since Taco took his first few wobbly steps a few days before he was 10 months old. Now he's walking (and falling down) all over the house. An early walker is a mixed blessing.

Anyway, I love socks and sock knitting. This was a particularly rewarding make because it knit up fast and looks very nice, despite my little quibbles with the heel. 

Next up: Taco's first Halloween! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Socks! Toe Up, Two-at-a-Time With Stripes

As I've already said, one of the perks of my return to work is that I have time for knitting while I commute. Yay knitting!

I've been wanting to learn how to knit two-at-a-time socks for some time, but never seemed to have a good reason to change my normal sock procedure. However, after picking up some self striping sock yarn when a LYS closed (isn't that sad btw?) I had my opportunity.  A plain knit sock without a stitch pattern tends to work best for striped socks. But it can be a bit dull to knit, leaving me at risk of succumbing to Second Sock Syndrome

The gist is that you cast on two socks instead of one and knit from two balls of yarn - one for each sock - using the Magic loop method, which is already my preferred way. Normally two-at-a-time is done top down, but during my commute I puzzled out how I could knit the socks toe up using Judy's Magic cast on. Later I found corroborating evidence on Knitty, that this is, in fact, a legitimate way to do things. (Isn't it equal parts frustrating and validating to see that someone else invented the wheel before you?) 

Two at a Time Judy's Magic cast on photo from Knitty's very helpful instructions!

Once I wrapped my brian around how to knit two at once, the rest was pretty easy.  The "pattern" is my own Socks a la Clio, my master sock "recipe" which has appropriated the best parts of a few different patterns and grafted them into a glorious frankenpattern.

Basic Socks a la Clio (appropriated from better-than-me knitters)***

There are 2 things I don't love about these socks. The first is the yarn. It's Cascade "Sassy Stripes" superwash, a 75% wool/25% nylon blend. There's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's just a little less soft and cushy than some of the other sock yarns I've used. What can I say; I like the cushy yarns.

Second, after doing the heel, I ended up with one very very narrow stripe that looks sort of like a mistake. At least it looks like a mistake to me. I should have done something about it, but that would have required ripping out two completed heels instead of one. And I really didn't want to do that at the time.

And perhaps that's the rub with two-at-a-time socks. You do finish both your socks at once, which is no small thing. Plus they are identical. But if you make a mistake, you make it twice rather than learning from your first mistake and avoiding it the second time.

So, will I knit two-at-a-time socks again? Probably yes. And I can see how it would be advantageous to use this technique for pairs of things, like sleeves, once you've worked out your fitting issues. But I don't know if it will become my new norm.

What about you, my fellow knitters? Do you prefer to do things one or two at a time? 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Phin is Hot! (Shorts)

Just in time for Columbus Day, I finished sewing shorts for Phineas.

For anyone else, this would be tragically out of season. However, Phin's internal thermostat has always been stuck on high heat and as a result he wears shorts year-round, at least around the house.

The genesis of this project is that Phin's favorite shorts finally sprung a leak. He wore them to a point where the pockets, belt carriers, and other details had a large amount of wear, and finally one area of stress tore.

So, I dismantled the shorts and used the pieces to create a clone. When I started the project, I thought how long could it take to sew shorts? Not long, I'm sure. Afterall, they're shorts! But I hadn't taken into account the amount of detail on these particular shorts. Sewing actually stalled at one point because I ran out of thread from all the top stitching. Also, shorts are really just trousers with shorter inseams. All the work on the fly and waist and crotch is just the same.

What I enjoyed about sewing these shorts was reverse engineering the pockets. The back patch pockets have a very cool pleat in the center which allows them to expand to hold whatever you put in them. The front pockets have a gusset that runs down the seam (the one not enclosed in the side seam) that allows them to expand. The pockets are actually one of Phin's favorite features of these shorts, so I was glad to recreate them. The only change I made to the pockets was to eliminate the smaller set of patch pockets that had been located on top of the front pockets. Phin never used them. However, I did make pattern pieces for them in case I want to include them in future versions.

Here are some of the details:

Back patch pocket with flap. I offered buttons, but the original has velcro. So, velcro it is.

Front slant pocket with gusset. Belt carrier. 

Front fly and waistband. I used hardware for the closure.

I think I may actually be even happier about these shorts than Phin. They really are one of my most beautifully finished projects, with attention paid to every detail. And I feel like my top stitching - and my confidence in my top stitching - has really come a long way. One of the reasons I have not sewn dress shirts for Phin is my lack of confidence with top stitching areas like the cuffs, placket, collar. So, maybe a shirt is at long last in Phin's future. Also maybe trousers...

And this brings us to fit. Another reason I haven't sewn more for Phin is that he doesn't have much patience for trying on and the fitting process. This is a challenge since Phin has some fitting challenges; he has a rather flat bum. But these shorts fit rather well. So I have a template I could use to adjust the fit of any trouser pattern that I might want to tackle for him.

Phin has a rather flat bum

The only other change I made was that the original waistband had a few elastic sections which I replaced with a normal straight waistband.  In order to get a good fit, I sewed the side seams after attaching the waistband, basting first and adjusting as needed. I learned this trick from Simplicity's Amazing Fit collection.

Last, but not least, the fabric is a cotton/linen blend twill from Fabric Mart. With the linen content, I was afraid that it would grow and grow. But is seems like the cotton, plus the sturdy twill weave, keeps it in check. Phin reported that after several hours of wear, the waist was still fitting well. It also doesn't wrinkle too badly, even though you can see some creasing. I assume that with more washes, this will soften.

At the end of the day, Phin seems pretty happy with his new shorts and, when I mentioned the possibility of trousers, he seemed enthusiastic. So, job well done, me!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

40: A Portrait

I am 40 today.

Cantina do Spade in Venice

Watching a small child grow keeps you anchored to the present rather than reflective about the past or contemplative about the future. This portrait, taken by Phin during our first family vacation in Venice, says just about everything I would want to say about my life in the present.

It says I am happy.

It says I have grown.

It says I like crazy pants.

It says I have purpose.

It says there is meaning.

It says I have joy.

It says I am loved.

It says I love.

I've heard that 40 is the place between experience and possibility, and I'm excited. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Did I forget to mention that we are away for a few weeks?

I've just finished a week of work in London, and now we are on our first family vacation. Guess where.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Crazy Pants

I made crazy pants.

Can you tell that I really kind of like them?

I've been feeling like the summer has flown by. Taco's ongoing nap strike along with a somewhat complicated sewing project for Phin (to be blogged) has really eaten into my sewing-for-me time and made me feel, well, a bit depleted. So, a quick win was in order.

You've seen these pants before. They are Ralph Pink's Hareem pants, which I made twice last spring, once in jersey and once in stretch silk. Harem pants are kind of crazy to begin with, and now I've made them out of crazy... aka hot pink and orange snake print cotton jersey.

I've worn the first two pair of these pants before, during and post- pregnancy. The easy fit made them ideal and I always get compliments. Becoming a mom can really leave you in a style rut because almost your whole wardrobe becomes transitional as you gain and then lose weight. Also, your needs change as comfort becomes more of a priority. If you are not careful, you can end up wearing the same baggy yoga pants for days on end. A pair of really fun and casual pants for pushing the stroller around town, chasing after my increasingly mobile Taco and meeting friends for brunch/coffee/ice cream, but that were NOT yoga pants is what I was after. I think I succeeded.

I actually felt pretty cool pushing the stroller yesterday, in my mind if not temperature-wise in this late summer heat wave. I really should have made them sooner since the fabric is pretty light and relatively comfy in the heat.

Honestly, I don't think this is the last time I will make these pants. They went from being a style I was not sure about to a real staple item. And they sew up in a jiffy on my serger. And they look great in different colors and prints. So, I guess these are sort of a "basic" in my wardrobe, if you can consider hot pink and orange anaconda knit a basic...

Anyway, Phin was getting punchy by the end of our little photo shoot. This is my "I mean business, mister" face.  And now, if I could just finish my very summery project for Phin, I could move along to some fun fall sewing.