The post where I bore you with holiday photos

You could be forgiven for thinking that it was just the usual leisurely posting around here, but I have been away. We camped near Yosemite and spent a couple of days exploring the park, then stayed another few days by the Kern River. Yosemite is ridiculously stunning. If they could just lower the temperature by 20 degrees for wimps like me that can't take the heat, it would be perfect.
First attempt at zipper pouches. They came in useful for bribing, I mean rewarding my offspring. My kids get far too excited about the prospect of something new, no matter how boring it might be. I'm dreading the day that they start to compare rewards with their friends and wonder why the tooth fairy has been somewhat more generous to others...
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Translation of the Day:
UK English: holiday = vacation in US English

Stretch

Yet another summer top for her to tear about the playground in. I went out of my comfort zone and made this one out of some elastic-y fabric. I think it's some sort of stretchy suiting fabric. Well, it's about time that I got over my fear, even if an overlocker (or serger or whatever you call it) looks to be a distant dream. I practiced by hemming a couple of t-shirts first (have I shrunk or are t-shirts nowadays about 3 inches longer than they used to be? I really hope it's the t-shirts that are different. I don't have height to spare...).
I even used my bias tape-making metal thing on this one.
Despite the pout, she likes it. I'll be adding another line of stitching to the hem, once she gets home from summer preschool. Hopefully I'll do a better job than I did on the t-shirt that I'm currently wearing. Unfortunately twin needles for stretch fabric seem to be scarce in these here parts.
As for my son, here's some pyjamas shorts that I knocked out, mainly because his teacher sprang a 'come to school in your PJs' day on us at the end of term. Those days always seem to be timed to coincide with the moment that their pyjamas collection looks the most raggedy. I'm guessing that he's had yet another growth spurt, as his PJs all suddenly looked like capris and he's now above the chest height of his vertically challenged mum...

A couple of hours of peace

A few weeks back I spotted some monk's cloth* in the fabric store. I never knew what it was called, but I did recognise it from some embroidery that I did, well, decades ago, while I was in primary school. I think that this peach one was supposed to be a place mat:While this one was a pencil case (complete with an ink stain):
I bought quarter of a yard of the monk's cloth, thinking that it might buy me quarter of an hour or so of peace from my son. I was wrong. Just a scrap of it has already bought me a couple of hours of peace. He keeps asking if he can do some more stitching. Ok, he is bored while his sister is at summer preschool and the alternative is tidying his room, but still...
Monk's cloth unravels, so I did a zigzag stitch around the edge (the unraveling bits in the photos are outside the zigzag line) and put it through the wash (to preshrink it). I gave him a blunt yarn needle to use and I think that the thread is No. 5 Perle cotton (it looked like it would be easier for him to thread than the 6 strand stuff). All it took was a couple of demonstrations of the different stitches, then off he went.
The only thing that I would hear from him before he reached the end of a row was the odd cry for help if the thread got all tangled.
To be honest, I had low expectations of his skill and interest level, but I think that he would easily handle more complicated stitches. Still, some cross stitch, threaded running stitch and back stitch seemed a good place for a beginner to start.
I'm going to sew some fabric on the back and make a bookmark out of it.
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Now I just need to think of some more stitches for his next project.
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Translation of the day:
UK English: primary school / junior school= elementary school in US English
The school I attended from age 4 'til age 11, which was, ahem, decades ago.
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*PS. Look's like Monk's cloth is aka Binca in the UK - thanks!