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Made with cloth, needle, and thread.

Surrounded by UFOs- UnFinished Projects

Are you surrounded by UFOs, UnFinished Projects also know as PhDs, Projects half Done? No matter what cute names you tag them with they silently judge you. Guilt isn’t really my thing, I always say that it’s an unproductive emotion, a point of view not open to debate. Usually, I have one or two things pending, that’s normal for me. The worst UFO I ever had was a stack of toddler shorts I found in my stash, cut out, the pins rusted firmly in place when the said toddler was almost eight; even her little sister was longer toddling. I’ve been taking inventory, part of the great  Sewing Studio/Craft Room redo, and have unearthed more than my share of UFOs. Whenever I walk outside, the recliner sofa barely manages to hide it’s half done state under fabric. All these UFOs were starting to get me down. Then I decided to count the things I have accomplished instead.  I had so ...

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Sewing Studio update part 1

My sewing studio update stalled for awhile. I got enough done so I could sew and took a rest.  Six months is probably a little excessive, even bears don’t hibernate that long.  On Monday, I decided to tackle the job again, I decided that I would spend an hour and then stop. An hour seems a manageable and reasonable amount time. Right? I started at 8 am, when I looked up at the clock again, it was noon.  The huge pile of boxes hidden behind my dressing screen got attacked first. Then the mountain of unidentifiable stuff on top of my dresser. This before photo actually doesn’t show the whole mess, but that’s enough so you get the idea. Here is the screen folded up. One of my friends found that screen in the street. It has been covered with various fabrics over the years. I love the Paris upholstery on it right now. That giant garbage bag is full ...

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Frozen Anna Capes

Frozen, the Disney movie is a big favorite at La Primera’s house (daughter #1) . She says it’s the best movie Disney has ever made and she is a big Disney fan. When I used to take the kids to the movies, both my daughters used to leave the theatre singing the songs! I remember La Primera  entered a singing contest, all the other kids were singing serious stuff, she sang, Kiss the Girl  from The Little Mermaid. As she looked out into the audience she could see the little kids in the front rows look amazed and start smiling. Her singing teacher probably got some flack from her peers when LP won. Now she just sings for her daughters. When I found Housewife Eclectic‘s  tutorial for making a cape just like Anna’s out of polar fleece, I knew it would be a hit with Las Nietas. Back in May it was 90º F in Merida-which made finding polar fleece as probable as finding a ...

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Fabric storage solution

  Dumping all my fabric in a crate was the worst fabric storage solution for me, stacking fabric on shelves was not much better, and leaving it in piles all around the house  definitely put a strain on my marriage. So what’s a girl to do? I turned to pinterest, made a new board titled “Craft room/studio redo” and started looking at pins. All those photos of material lovingly stacked on shelves by color and fabric type made me feel better about my stash. It’s nice to see that I won’t be winning the “largest fabric stash” award after all. The sun is strong here, so leaving fabric out exposed to the light really isn’t an option for me. I needed a way to see what I had, and to retrieve it without making a mess. I know that when I am in the thralls of a new idea, I don’t want to stop to tidy up any messes along the ...

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Inspired by Alabama Chanin

Alabama Chanin style clothes and Lagenlook seems to be what I have been pinning these days.  What do you do when you have chemo brain? In my case, you spend a lot of time exploring Pinterest. I made a decision that 2014 was going to be the year that I defined my style but also I decided that I won’t be buying anything new this year. Well, almost anything, used clothes are still okay, but I want to limit even those purchases. After looking at Natalie Chanin’s book,Alabama Studio Style: More Projects, Recipes & Stories Celebrating Sustainable Fashion & Living and checking out her website, I realized that while it would be great to have all three of her books, it simply wasn’t in the budget. Hard choice, books or chemo? I really rather have books. However, I already know how to do the basics of Alabama Chanin style, reverse applique, embroidery, stenciling, and couching. Last year, I had bought a ...

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Accepting my diagnosis of breast cancer

Everything happened so fast, not even a week after I saw Dr Carla to when I had my biopsy. Looking back at my notes, I see that there was a period of about five days after the biopsy that I didn’t do anything. That is because I was waiting for the results from the pathologist. I fully expected him to tell me that it wasn’t DCIS and only calcifications. My brain shut off as the Dr Sanchez explained that the cells were definitely DCIS and I had cancerous cells in the margins too.  He assured me that DCIS is 100% curable with surgery. I decided at that moment that I would have a tram flap reconstruction immediately after my surgery. The first of my expectations that had to go.  Doctor Sanchez said that he didn’t recommend it being done that way. I asked for a second opinion from another pathologist. Two days later, I dropped off my slides and paraffin ...

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A tale of two tailors

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. BK and I planned our costumes well in advance of the second annual IWC Halloween party. Rightly or wrongly, we feel we have reputations to uphold after last year. That and we just really like to dress up. Our costume criteria this year was to use as much stuff that we had on hand as possible,the costume needed to be cool, comfortable and quickly constructed. I also wanted a costume that didn’t require hair (i.e. a wig). Also, while BK’s husband is less introverted than Husband, we had guidelines for his costume too, comfort being a priority. After discussing it and looking at the fabric stash, we decided to go with Cleopatra and Marc Anthony for BK and JK, a classic couple’s costume if there ever was one. I went as Nefertiti. Sometime last year, in a fit of misguided enthusiasm, BK and I had gone in on some knit fabrics.Lured by the ...

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Fabric hoarding, again.

Hi,my name is Theresa and I am a fabric  hoarder, yes, I am guilty of fabric hoarding. I should buy a tee shirt emblazoned with “She who dies with the most fabric wins.” Remember my vow not to buy any new fabric? Don’t feel bad,seems like I forgot it. I have boxes of fabric again and I find myself fingering new fabrics longingly. I know lots of people who sew and almost all of them have this affliction, the buying of excess fabric. Quilters suffer from it the most. Fortunately, I realized early on that I will never be a quilter,so I guess I can count my blessings there. Last night at the writer’s gathering at MEL, I found myself chatting with the owner of a dressmaking and alterations store. She was there because her boyfriend is a writer, we told her that instead of novia, her name tag should have read support staff. I asked her if she had ...

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Walk like an Egyptian

Here it is mid-September and I’m planning my Halloween costume already. Since I’m on the board for the IWC I’m not eligible to compete in their costume contest, so I don’t feel compelled to keep my idea secret. I want to be a goddess.Preferably from a hot country. Egyptian royalty is god on earth so I can’t decide if I want to be pharaoh in the incarnation of Cleopatra or maybe Nefertiti.I’m not sure that Nefertiti counts in the pantheon but she is considered the most beautiful woman of all time by some people, so that gives her some big chops even if she isn’t actually divine. The actual costume is very simple, it’s the accruements that are going to give it panache. Nefertiti doesn’t have hair, which means no wig so she gets points for that. The tall crown looks easy, adds height and is instantly recognizable.She would actually be the easiest. If someone mistakes me for Cleopatra, that’s ...

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Black gingham and cherry fabrics

Ironing my new black gingham and cherry fabrics really brought home how warm it is here. Pre-shrinking fabric is a recommended step that I usually skip because we don’t have a dryer. I fully realize that it’s not good practice, but I don’t do it. Off hand, I know four people who own dryers, it isn’t an usual topic of discussion among my friends. Since we don’t have a dryer and this fabric is going to be a dress for 3 of 4, I decided to pre-shrink it. Rather than waiting until 2 pm when cold water is not an option, I helped fill the washer with a bucket. Our low water pressure usually isn’t an issue because I fill the washer with warm water, but the hot goes in so slowly that by the time the washer is filled the water no longer is hot. Rather than hang the fabric out, I chose to iron it dry and shrink ...

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