Enchanted By Sewing
Ench By Sew-027: Festive Holiday Tees and Tes - Our best holiday episode ever!

Socializing at this time of year, sharing a cup of tea and a light meal, admiring something a friend has made, engaging together with a sewing project, and getting advice on it, that’s the kind of thing that keeps me . . . enchanted by sewing.

Our best holiday episode ever!

Of course, every year it's better than the last :-)

Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link



~ OR ~

Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes 

( https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/enchanted-by-sewing/id566370325)



The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser,  (http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com) which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 


My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live. 


This show is created, produced and brought to you by Laurel Shimer. 


This month’s show  is  *Festive Holiday Tees and Tea*


1) Holiday Tees and More 


* Crafternoon - Finishing my beaded cap, started in Vancouver



* Three Tees - Tee Shirts 


i. Rumpelstiltskin Cowl Neck Top (M6078 - tried and true pattern) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/12/spinning-straw-into-gold-my.html

ii. Two versions of the Princess Laurel Tee V8323

FUTURE LINKS UNDER CONTSTRUCTION - When I blog them, I'll add them:-)


1. Floral velour (Test Garment - but I'm wearing it all the time!) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html

2. A plain Red version - still a little work to do finishing up the neckband. Perfect for Christmas and Valentines day, but it will see plenty of other use.




* Ivy –A new shirtdress from my tried-and-true M3623 pattern, Inspired by Mrs. Obama!

- http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/terminado-ivys-ready-for-holidays-raw.html

- Mrs. Obama’s Arms Inspire Shirt Dress Sewing http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/romancing-dress-mrs-obama-arms-inspire.html


- Fabric from a favorite local and online store – Exotic Silks/Thai Silks http://www.exoticsilks.com

- Wrap-up posting about my first shirt dress project, "Peaches and Cream" http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/09/terminado-completing-peaches-and.html


* Julia Morgan – Arts and Crafts movement architect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Morgan

YWCA Hostess House in Palo Alto, built in 1918 and later to become the site of the MacArthur Park Restaurant[17]


*Technicos – Green Sewing Gifts* Covered books and chou chous

Use up those beautiful remnants and scraps

FUTURE LINKS UNDER CONSTRUCTION - When I blog them, I'll add them:-)


I created a pattern for my fabric book cover from a paper bag first. 13 step tutorial http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Paper-Bag-Book-Cover



*Come on over for holiday tea and sewing* In the show, I share lighter holiday offerings, inspired by three sewing and tea parties I've gone to or been hostess at recently. I wish you could have come too!


a. To drink I'd offer Roibos tea with milk and  Easy Microwave No-Sugar Cocoa (you can have sugar if you want!) made with soy milk or non-fat milk 

  I like these cocoa powders (non-sweetened varieties) Cadbury, Schafen Bergen, Ghirardhelli, Trader Joes, Droste

b. Laurel's Holiday Lights Pumpkin Gingerbread 


c. Blueberry muffins (Whoops! Not the Mayo Clinic it's from the Harvard School of Public Health - chock full of blueberries!) 

I substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. Love the texture of the almond meal and the flavors of the orange zest and blueberry. Made them twice in short order. Very popular with my family.  



d. Persimmon oatmeal cookies - I didn't have the psyllium husks and substituted some applesauce for the persimmon when I ran short. They were great anyway!




e. Laurel's London Loaf - A very light schoosh-of-oatmeal and lemon peel bread http://simpleromantic.blogspot.com/2010/08/for-anna-london-loaf.html


f. Harry Potter's Bath Buns, like Hagrid never made


I have the The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook  this Bath Bun recipe came from  (someone else has typed up on this page) and I made these buns for supper one night, along with a nice meaty beef stew. I used golden raisins. Many recipes in the book are heavy on the butter, but this much less so. Delicious, very holiday tasting with the caraway seeds.


g. Laurel's Dried fruit truffles

Quick Recipe Recap, For more description, listen in to the later part of this month's podcast

Food processor -  Take out all pits! 

- 12 dried apricots, 6 medjdool dates, 6 dried plums/prunes

- 2 full graham crackers, 2 t almond meal (optional)

- zest of one orange or lemon 

Pulse the food processor till all broken up

- drizzle in enough honey to get mixture to hold together (maybe 1 teaspoon?)


- Press plain cocoa powder (no sugar or fat added) through a sieve so that it's all a fine powder

- Roll mixture into a lot of little balls

- Roll balls in cocoa

- Store in your cutest tin!


Direct download: FINALcastFestiveTeaAndTeesdec2014.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:33pm PDT


Recently I visited western Canada - Vancouver BC - for a six days trip. My husband attended a conference for GSA. Not being a geologist, I went along for fun!

 I’ve taken four trips to Vancouver in the last six years. It's a place we really love to go. We are all really drawn to the city and the vicinity. We identify with the city as fellow westerners. There is a strong bond of shared history and culture, between people in the western Americas, particularly down along the coast. There's also a lot of ross culture with my home in the San Francisco Bay area. 

That said, there is a spice of difference and Canadian feeling. We feel both comfortable, and excited with the sights sounds and smells(!). 

 In the show I discuss . . . 

On this trip, my sewist's heart was drawn to embellishment. I kept that in mind when I


- Shopped

- Looked for inspiration for sewing projects

- Designed and Worked on a small sewing project


I also included a lot of travel notes. You'll hear about how my interest in very accessible forms of Native American art in Vancouver, 

the out of doors, and local city life affected my sewing ideas and the shape of my travel style.


~ ~ ~

Web Resources

Sunset Inn and Suites – Burnaby St, West End, just off Davie



Button Button - A Unique, Artistic Button Experience


Button Button is on the edge of Gas Town. It's where the Steam Clock is. Yup, it was being renovated when I was there!



DresSew http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/californian-visits-vancouver-bc-sewing.html



Bead store Granville island

In the Net Loft building


5 - 1666 Johnston Street, V6H 3S2

T: 604.682.2323 | F: 604.682.1303

Located in the Net Loft Beadworks is the ultimate destination for all of your jewellery making needs. Choose from thousands of different beads; from pearls to shells to glass and everything in between, and materials for making earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and more. Ask the helpful staff for tips, and you can even create your one-of-a-kind accessories in-store. We also offer classes.






Stanley Park is a huge fantastic city park. Wonderful views of the water, water activities, biking, walking. Woods too - take your pick.


-Native American Art Good locations there

-Behind Maritime Museum Mungo Martin Totem Pole

-Totem Poles, Spirit Park in Stanley Park

-MOA, UBC, carvings, crests on totem poles, bentwood boxes, modern and ancient sculptures






Vanier Park


Museum of Vancouver http://www.museumofvancouver.ca


Through early March 2015, If you’re in the area! Exhibit - From Rationing to Ravishing




Maritime Museum - nearby Museum of Vancouver

Babes and Bathers, History of the Swimsuit



Direct download: CastFINALNov2014VancouverEmbellishmentD6.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:36pm PDT

Ench By Sew-025: Restyling

This month’s show  is “ Restylin’.

It all came about when I started shaking the dreams from my hair. Restylin' is about my transition in sewing and wardrobe style . It involves looking at patterns, and working my brain around how it makes sense for clothes to fit me.

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 


My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live. 

This month I’m working on creating two tee shirts M6078 and V8323. The details are in these blog postings from MeEncantaCoser.blogspot.com

V8323 - Princess Seamed - Katherine Tilton Tee http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html

M6078 - Retro Style Polka Dot Cowl Neck Knit top - Reminiscent of I Love Lucy http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/reworking-retro-style-polka-dot-tee.html


1)Pensamientos Primeros

– (Sewing) For my wardrobe’s sake (How about those red accents!)


Reworking my sewing style/methods. Pattern alteration experiences.

3)Pensamientos Finales

Transitions - Restyling  

David Crosby sang, 

“I almost cut my hair

It happened just the other day . . .”


Redefining what I want to create


* * *

Restyling has me  shaking the dreams from my hair.   That’s just one more thing that keeps me . . . 

Enchanted by Sewing.

Direct download: FINALCastOct2014RestylingEnchantedBySewing.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:36pm PDT

This month I sewed two dresses – a shirtdress for me and a fitted sleeveless bodice full shirt for my daughter. There was a lot going on emotion ‘wise for our family this month and I sewed those dresses for a siginificant family event. Creating something tangible was a way to work through those emotions.


In this September 2014 episode

 1)         Pensamientos Primero s


Entonces/Then  . . .

 2) Technicos 

How I altered a new-ONLY-to-me shirtdress pattern  to fit and flatter me

3)         Pensamientos Finales

Wrapping up Summer and  the Fun Fall Sewing Questionaire – Visit the Show Notes http://EnchantedBySewing.blogspot.com to post your responses to the questions J


Sewing up fall – whether it’s imaginary experience or creating something tangible – is one of the things that keeps me Enchanted by Sewing.


This show is

created, produced and brought to you by me! - Laurel Shimer.


THE Enchanted by Sewing PODCAST IS, An  EXTENSION OF my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing


My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live

Direct download: castFINALSHIRTDRESSINGSept2014.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:34pm PDT

Ench By Sew-023: Capping off Summer, The Tapestry Cap (Technicos/Techniques)

I’ve worked on a couple of different sewing projects in August. Of the four I’ve worked on I’ve finished three - a wardrobe building elastic waist black denim skirt (like the blue one I finished in June and have been wearing so much), another semi-fitted sleeveless cotton blouse (like Amaryllis the subject of last months 'cast - I haven't post about this yet, but plan to soon) and a tapestry cap.


That cap is especially important to me. As you might have noticed in previous shows I am kind of a preacher when it comes to protecting our skin from the elements. I listened back to my shows from the last couple of months, and it seemed like I went into great detail in both ones about wearing my sun screen and a cap whenever I head out the door, whether for a walk or even a ride in the car.


I figured if it was so important to me, it was time to do an episode about the kind of skin protecting garment I’ve made a few times now, sharing the techniques and some of my inspiration.


1)         Pensamientos Primeros/First Thoughts

Why do I need to make my own caps and hats?


Wayne Wichern's Millinery is in the San Francisco Bay Area. I took my first millinery class at Cañada College, from Wayne. He has a lovely private studio where he conducts further workshops and open lab. He's a wonderful man and teacher .http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/09/matters-millinery-making-my-own-hats.html


 2) Technicos/Techniques  


 How I create caps, based on the "Good Hat Day Hat (cap)" in the first One Yard Wonders Book.



3)         Pensamientos Finales/Final Thoughts

Blue Skies Hat Sewing, Ideas for future hats and caps I hope and plan to make


I've got plans to take Wayne's 3 day workshops. Wayne Wichern's Millinery is in the San Francisco Bay Area. I took my first millinery class from Wayne. He also has a studio for more intense workshops and open labs. He's a wonderful man and teacher - http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/09/matters-millinery-making-my-own-hats.html


There's a pretty cloche-esque hat pattern in this magazine, which has a lot of other fun stuff as well.

Direct download: CastFINALAug2014CappingOffSummerENCHANTEDbySEWING.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:36pm PDT

In my slow sewing July, I focused on sewing just one pink and white striped seersucker sleeveless blouse.  Like my  CA Summer skies shirt– (that was blue and white checked seersucker shirt ) I sewed and talked about last months show, my new sleeveless blouse, who I call Amaryllis (in honor of the musical, "The Music Man"),  has quickly become an important staple of my summer wardrobe. And sewing a few more blouses, as a result of what I thought and learned about sewing this most recent garment, is something I’m considering when it comes to more summer sewing.


In this month’s show


1)Pensamientos Primeros

Slow Summer Sewing – Budgeting my sewing time and energy and coming out on top by improving sewing skills. Increasing my wardrobe choices. It’s about Feeling satisfied with my sewing recreation time and output. The show notes (http://EnchantedBySewing.blogspot.com) include links to the slow living movement, including the slow stitching movement.

2) Entonces, Technicos y Mas

i) What’s a shirt what’s a blouse?

ii) About Amaryllis, a summer blouse

iii) Technicos –My Amarylis Blouse

-More Seersucker Sewing

-       Sleeveless blouse facings

-Seam Finishes - Cut and Pink

-Altering a shirt pattern to become a blouse


3)Pensamientos Finales Blue Skies Sewing

I can't sew it all at once, but I can dream

Direct download: AMARYLLISFINALCastJuly2014.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:55am PDT

Ench By Sew-021- CA Summer Skies Sewing


I know your June weather may not be the same as mine. Here in CA it’s time for summer skies, a little more heat, and a vacation feeling whether or not we’re able to leave town. (Hey,  feel free to post about what kind of sewing your climate inspires below!)


Sometimes I’m able to take an actual summer vacation and other years I focus on treating the summer like a vacation, even when I don’t leave the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. This summer I was able to take a mini vacation weekend trip to Disneyland this year. As a matter of fact I just got back☺  I went with my beautiful, kind and funny , young adult daughter. Getting to bond her at this age is really fun!  I took along a newly finished garment from my summer wardrobe on the trip and I’ll talk more about sewing that in the show. I’m going to continue to focus on treating the rest of the summer like a vacation, no matter what I get to do. And I’m going to continue to sew for my summer vacation, no matter how far afield of home I manage to go.


This Month's Topics

- Planning my Summer Vacation Sewing

- What I've sewn for summer so far

- Technicos/Techniques for Sewing Seersucker

Direct download: FINALJune2014CASummerSkiesVacationSewing.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:22pm PDT

Pensamientos Primero  

Reflecting on Making

For some people, sewing is just practical . For another segment of society, and I’m one of them, sewing is an important creative outlet that helps us to stay healthy and happy.

-Entonces /Then

She B. Coole

Live talk from our local Makers Faire includes extempore  interview with professional embroideress (Tapistres?) Barbara Coole (B. Coole)

oB. Coole Shares

•Thoughts on the realities of garment sewers investing both time and money into modern machine embroidery equipment and know-how

•Her advice on choosing an embroidery machine


-Pensimentos Finales:  What I’m thinking now, when it comes to my dream embroidery machine

~ ~ ~

Direct download: FINALMindMakerMay2014.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT

A bustier is an alluring garment, one many women would like to wear - if they dare. When I began to notice that women of all shapes, sizes and ages sewed and wore their bustiers with pleasure and pride, I decided to take a chance and learn to sew this very structured garment, that can be designed to flatter a wide variety of figure types.

Last month I talked about Cut and Cloth

This month I focus on Construction

Direct download: castFINALBustiersPART_2_APRIL_2014ENCHANTEDBYSEWING.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:38pm PDT

A bustier is an alluring garment, one many women would like to wear - if they dare. When I began to notice that women of all shapes, sizes and ages sewed and wore their bustiers with pleasure and pride, I decided to take a chance and learn to sew this very structured garment, that can be designed to flatter a wide variety of figure types.

This episode emphasizes Cut and Cloth. Next month's episode focuses on Construction.


Direct download: castFINALBustiersPART1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:30am PDT


Is that garment you're sewing a shirt or a blouse? Is it the collar stand, or lack thereof that makes you decide one way or another? How about set-in sleeves versus dropped? Maybe it's your choice of fabric.... This month Laurel talks about her experiences creating her No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Shirt, with a Butterick pattern that sometimes says shirt and other times blouse. She also discusses sewing techniques that say shirt, and chats a little about the history of shirts and shirty language (with special attention to a scene from a Harry Potter book ).


 This podcast is an extension of  my on-web sewing life journal Me Encanta Coser, a blog that tells the story of an arty-romantic plain sewist in CA. My blog is written in English. The blogs name, and occasional references, pays tribute to the beautiful Spanish language which is a part of both the history and modern culture of the San Francisco Bay area, where I live.

Direct download: castFINALShirtyRerunFeb2014.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:14am PDT

Ench By Sew-16 Quinceañeras, Weddings and More

An interview with Esther, owner of a local sewing business, Tocci Quinces & More

Highlights of our conversation include:

- How Esther learned to sew on the job sewing in Mexico for a maquiladora in Mexico City and how her desire for a different life for herself and her daughters, motivated her to come to the US, where she trained for and worked at medical jobs for several years. 

- Eventual acquisition of her business

- Esther’s dreams, experiences and plans for the sewing and business education, that are helping her to grow her business.

- Flights of fancy from both ladies in regards to sewing inspiration for specialized Mexican techniques and garments.

Show Notes at http://EnchantedBySewing.blogspot.com, include links to cutural, artistic, and geographic resources.

Direct download: FINALJan2014InterviewEstherDraft1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:09pm PDT