So here I am bragging about how my sewing is getting better and it turns out that I'm exaggerating a bit. I'm working on a dress now and I've got the sleeves in and something is wrong. They're supposed to be a little poufy, but they wound up looking like mutton legs. Part of the problem is that the shoulders are about an inch and a half too wide but that's not all of it. I think the sleeves are too poufy for me. Sigh. I'll have to take the sleeves out and recut both the shoulders and sleeves.
After I finish this dress, I'm not going to work on more dresses until my new (vintage) patterns arrive. I do need to work on the messenger bag, but I also want to try using these other patterns before I do anything else.
As for fixing pants that have worn through: duct tape is one solution. However, a better one would be to get some denim that matches the colour and shade of the jeans as possible and then darn them (or zigzag, or drop the feed-dogs and move the patched area around, on a machine) in place. The patch will be a little bit noticeable but not as noticeable as duct tape :)