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Juan y María didn’t cover this stuff.

Answering my phone during painting class, I was confused to hear Husband say “I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I have someone here you should speak to”. My mind raced, a surprise is usually a good thing, so the first thing I thought was “Do we have visitors? Is one of my kids here?”

There was silence on the line and an unfamiliar voce asked me in Spanish what I wanted. Really confused now, I replied that I had no idea why I was speaking to him.

Turns out that Husband had decided to surprise me and buy a dressmaker’s dummy! Telling him about seeing them for sale,I had mentioned the price being around $2400. My big dilemma was deciding what size I needed.

Husband went to the shop and said that he wanted to buy that particular mannequin for me, he knew it was the one because it was the correct price. His Spanish gave out when the man started asking questions since they are available in four sizes.

Juan y María prepared him for eating meatballs or going to the library but they let him down today.Husband speaks more Spanish than he gives himself credit for, however, he doesn’t speak sewing Spanish, let alone mannequin buying Spanish.  After he exhausted his vocabulary, he decided that calling me was a better option than buying the wrong size.

Eventually, after discussing my body with more details than I would ordinarily want to give to a strange man, we all agreed that it would be better that I came down myself.Husband went home emptyhanded and I returned to my painting.

After lunch, we headed to centro and the sewing machine shop. While we stared at the mannequins, a nice young man came out to help us. I told him that while a chico would expand enough to fit my measurements, the back waist  length was an half an inch too long.Also the expansion mechanism expands  outward making the back broader too. The pequeño was short enough in the back waist, but too small everywhere else, it was more suitable to a child. When I was in my twenties I wore a child´s size 16, but those days are long gone, never to return. Conferring with his associate, the young man brought out a size 30  non-adjustable mannequin. The reality is that I have a size 8 frame with a lot of  a bit of extra padding in the front. I decided to make a fitting shell and pad out the mannequin’s front to the correct size. The best part is that that size model has a 14 1/2 inch back waist and was $800 less. They are delivering it tomorrow. On the way home I bought fabric and batting.

María can keep Juan,I have the best Husband ever, no matter what language we’re speaking.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. La Cubanófila, I have some projects in the hopper. A redo of my slip and skin for the mannequin. He is a very sweet person.


  2. I second the motion. This was a wonderful gesture! Looking forward to your next sewing project, Theresa.

  3. Barb, he is a good guy!


  4. ooooohhhhhh…lucky girl!!! Yep, you’d better hang onto that man. He’s a keeper!

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