When I flew in on Wednesday around 3:00 p.m. my mom picked me up from the airport and took me straight to the mall for food. Given that I’d been up since 4 a.m. and served two packets of pretzels and a cup of OJ, I was ravenous.
At the mall we went into a discount store that had a little magazine stand. There, I found Threads, Sew News, Butterick Sewing magaine, loads of things on crochet and knitting and finally this: Moldes Pasa a Paso (mold — like pattern?, step by step).

A monthly, this is No. 3 of 2007. I see from the website that they are at No. 8 in December. Published in Argentina, it’s just $1.75 US in Panama. There are 30 patterns in the magazine that range from one button of ease to three buttons. It includes blouses, skirts, dresses, capris and some pants.

Like BWOF and La Mia Boutique (an Italian pattern magazine I’ll review later this week), you must trace out the patterns. Unlike BWOF, things like ‘center front’ ‘on the fold’ ‘zipper’ are not in multiple languages on the pattern page.

There is a simple skirt I will try and trace out for my mom and her friend to construct. It’s not a *fantastic* magazine, but has simpler garments than Patrones, trendy as Burda World of Fashion and way cheaper than both.

But, there seem to be some helpful hints and ‘secrets’ on one page to help with construction. Like Patrones, the sizes are every other, 38, 42, 46 and 50. So, if you are in between, you have to guesstimate in your tracing.

I haven’t been to a fabric store yet, but I’ll be asking for other editions of this or other sewing magazines that are available.


The problem with “Learn Spanish in Your Car” is that you might learn how to ask for something, “Tiene las revistas sobre costura?” But, it doesn’t help you understand the response which sounds something like “lalalalalalalalalala, senorita.” Fat lot of good four anos de Espanol between high school y universidad are doing for me ahora….

Yesterday, I gave my mom and her friend Wan Ling sewing lessons. Our task, Butterick 4945, view E. Aprons.

The lesson took about four hours and was based on:
1. How to thread your machine and wind a bobbin
2. Cutting, grain, selvedge, laying out
3. Reading a pattern, Reading directions
4. Sewing a straight stitch
5. Sewing curves and assembling a garment

While I did bring my Rowenta for my mom, I forgot to bring it to Wan Ling’s apartment in Panama City. And since shirts cost 35 cents to launder/dry clean, there is no need to have an iron in the house. Sooooo, she improvised! Yep. That’s a teapot she kept hot on the stove and used to press the seams.

When I left her yesterday, she just needed to make her narrow hems to finish the garment. She called us while in Zara to let me know she was done, was very proud of herself and everyone she knew was getting aprons next Christmas.

Finally, mmmhhhhmmm. That’s right. Dogs. When I was a kid I was NEVER allowed to have pets. My parents decide to retire, leave the US, and Coffee and Cream get a vet who makes house calls. Yeah. Coffee and Cream. I would have gone for Linus and Lucy; Stedman and Oprah; Desdemona and Othello; but no one asked me.

I should point out the floor is dusty because the house is being renovated. There’s a reason home renovations speed people to divorce.

And, I’m not even going to talk about the very odd animal sound I hear outside as I type. Mom says it’s only at night. That’s, um, comforting.

Coming up: Spanish language pattern magazine that is not Patrones, Iglesia / Church and traveling with your sewing machine.