imageI’ve been thinking a lot over the past couple of weeks. I love sewing. I don’t mind alterations. Custom sewing is ok. I hate not having time to do my own sewing anymore.

I’m taking a step back. One year in business has taught me some things.

  • If people don’t want to pay me what I’m worth, don’t take the job. I’m not a sweat shop employee.
    Don’t price myself like you’re a box store. I’m better than that and so is my work.
  • I can explain everyone has a different sewing style and people may or may not get it. We just might not mesh.
  • Don’t go all out on business tools. I don’t need top shelf accounting programs for a tiny business. Use something small and practical. I like Wave.
  • Cut out doing work you don’t want to. I work full-time, so this side gig had best make me happy. I lost my happiness so I’m changing my business model.
  • From here on out, small alterations and my creativity rule. I make what I want for my shop. I sew personal things when I want, it comes first from now on, not last.

With my chronic illness I have to learn to say no. This will be that year. I’ve been lucky, my clients are great. I just bite off more than I can chew. It’s time to re-evaluate and move forward!

Difficult year

I’ve been pretty ill this year and still seeking diagnoses. I’ve had an IV in my hand too many times for my comfort this year. I know I have autoimmune issues but no answer so far to the newest problems.

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I have gotten a couple of things finished for me, in addition to my client work, like this denim Lisette shirt dress. The pattern was pretty easy although I didn’t do the hip pockets. I’m afraid it will draw too much attention to an area that just doesn’t need more attention. I also made a modification to the closure. I did decorative stitching on the placket up to mid-chest so I can slip it on and off during flare times when my hands don’t work. Put that on the list of shit you don’t usually worry about at 45.

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Sewing catch up

Been a busy summer! I've been very sick and had to cancel the first vacation my hubs and I would ever take together, even no honeymoon. I've been in a thyroid flare which set off a lupus flare. I've also been unable to eat for part of the summer. Good news? I could still do some sewing.

The Lucy top by Schwing for the grandbebe. Love the puppy buttons.


Aubs in her cupcake Geranium dress.


Cupcake Geranium dress and chevron dress for my daughter.

Tropical print maxi skirt for me.

Cujo on the Michael Miller Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilt.


Baby gift quilt. Simple patchwork.


Half Moon Modern and Pezzy quilt

Knitting tip: Do not knit after eye dilation when you are keeping your eyes closed. This is what you get. A giant mess of dropped stitches. I will be tearing this out and starting over again. Maybe I’ll go ahead and knit in the round for this. It will be some handwarmers for my little frozen hands. In the AC my hands get really cold. My poor fingers turn purple and are like Popsicles, without the benefit of great taste.
This is my next sewing project. I’ve gotten my squares together and need to get the quilt top all put together. Oh, and IRON. I used Half Moon Modern and Pezzy Print, with a few random squares from my stash thrown in. I think I want a gray binding but am not quite sure yet. This will go on the couch for movie snuggle time. I bet Cujo will think I made it just for him.
Sewing this week is really help keep me calm. My uncle passed and my father is at Mayo, possibly for an entire week. Being creative and productive helps distract me. Does anyone else do this?


Stressful times

Today is a difficult day. We are attending our uncle’s funeral, who passed suddenly in the night with an aneurysm. Also, my father leaves for testing at Mayo Clinic today as he has been very ill this year and his doctors have no answer.
Due to the high stress this week, I am having a terrible flare. I’m trying to knit some as it eases my hand pain and gives my mind something to focus on. Does anyone else do creative activities for pain/stress management?


almost caught up

It’s been so hectic lately! Tuesday I almost had a meltdown.  It was a day of major catastophes.  First, my teenagers were well, being teenagers.  We can leave it at that.

Then, we had a torrential downpour.  I was sitting on the couch waiting for a dr. appointment and heard “drip, drip…..drip,” and wondered what it was since I’d shut the windows.  Oh, hey, it was this. Water running in the ceiling fan. GAH. Turns out it was from where the porch attaches to the house. So, we’ll have to get that fixed. Good thing-maybe I can get a new ceiling fan.  We have those ancient 80’s fans with rattan. Yuck.


Ok, fine. Off to the rheumatologist to get test results.  I’d had an echocardiogram, EKG, blood tests and X-rays.  I’m a lab rat for UCTD/MCTD.  They were checking for pericarditis since I’ve been short of breath and having my arms go numb. It’s really frustrating because this time last year I did a half-marathon AND I’ve lost weight. Come to find out my test results were normal. The problem-too much stress and not enough sleep was causing me to flare like mad. Verdict-get more sleep and less stress. That gave me a tickle.  I am trying though and told the teenagers they need to help me out. So far, so good. I slept like a rock last night. Yay!  I  almost feel normal today.

After the dr. I went to Joanne’s because I live in a small town and our only fabric place is Wally World. Like that’s a great option on a continual basis. I usually order online or wait until my appointments. I loaded up. I got a beautiful charmeuse, which terrified me, some knit and lots of supplies like snips, batting, etc that needed replaced or replenished.  We won’t say the total out loud in case my hubby ever reads this. ;)

I know, does this day ever end?  Where is the sewing?  Don’t worry, it’s coming. On my way home another downpour hit.  The kind where you can’t see-to drive or pull over. Scary.

It only lasted a few minutes but when the sky cleared a bit I saw this.

That’s right, a funnel cloud dropping. OH MY GOD…..get me outta here.  The problem was all the people slowing down and gawking.  Hey folks, did it occur that might drop right down on us?  Let’s move it. By the time I was passing it had dropped to the field across the 4 lane and was getting bigger.  I had a panic session and hauled it outta there. Deep breaths…..

Needless to say, I had several glasses of wine that night with dinner. Lowering my stress with grapes, right?

Now, the garden is getting a lot of attention right now, as it should.  I’ve got my snow peas, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers (4 kinds), tomatillos, garlic, carrots, rosemary, lavender, basil, cilantro, and lettuce in.  Still need to plant my kale, beans, and cucumbers. I really love my garden. It’s so nice to go grab stuff fresh and eat it.  So, even if it’s a pain to do, I do it happily.

Here’s a corner of it with my labels on it.

I can’t wait until it starts coming in.  Of course, the weeds will want to come in WAY before the veggies. Stupid weeds. I consider that part of my exercise-weeding. Only fair.




Of course, since it’s been so gorgeous after the rain and I am behind on my Spring/Summer Wardrobe sewing and Colette Palette challenge, I whipped up a quick Anda last night.  I needed some instant gratification for my sewing and a simple dress was perfect for the charmeuse I bought.  I still need to put in the waist but until I do that tonight I  made a sash for it. I’ll like it even more when that defined waistline is in it.  It is very comfy though and perfect for the 85 temps today.


Humidity=curl activator
I tried to hide the hair up above, but you should get to see what humidity does to me. Crazy hair!







Bonus-it matched the sandals I bought in January.  Yes, I bought sandals in January.  I’m optimistic like that.






I did get a muslin done of the Cynthia Rowley pattern I’m doing.  Learned a lot in that one.  My first pockets, zipper and it was fitted.  I’ll need to make the skirt a little bigger, it just isn’t quite flowy enough.  I also muffed the sleeves.  Practice, grasshopper, practice. I can’t decide it I want to tear the thing apart and fix it so it’s wearable.  I hate to waste it, so I might. That means I have one garment done for the challenge, another one muslined, and a bonus piece.  I still have the black Meringue, red Pastille and New Look 6723 to do.  Those are more intense pieces for me, so I’d better get on it.

Quilting want

Holy crap! I just found the Accuquilt Go. Now,I’ve only made 2 quilts but my mom and aunt quilt all the time. I have quilts my grandma made, both of them. It’s in my blood. I just can’t seem to cut many pieces because this UCTD/MCTD thing makes my hands unreliable at cutting. This is for sure going on my wish list.


No Upgrade Necessary, Thanks

I had an appointment with my rheumatologist on Friday and thought it would be routine.  Obviously, I haven’t had any of these problems long enough to know what is routine and what isn’t.  HA on me.  There is no routine. All the things that I thought were minor or piddly or maybe I shouldn’t mention, well, I should. It all add up to disease progression.  I got one big fancy upgrade from UCTD to MCTD. It’s a rare autoimmune disease that is like having lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis and in my case, sjrogren’s. I also have Hashimoto’s and Osteoarthritis. Translation= I am one hot mess. I spent most of the weekend having a pity party, table of one. Then I decided it wouldn’t change anything. I’ll keep eating healthy, going to yoga and exercising, trying to do my best each day to be happy.

I did figure one way to make my sewing and life/hands easier.  On the days my hands feel good, I cut several patterns out.  Saturday night I cut four patterns.  Sunday, I felt cruddy so I sat down and worked on half a skirt. I’m sure I could have muscled through and finished but then I’d feel bad today too and that isn’t in the game plan. So, take it as it comes.

If any of you have experience with MCTD, please let me know, it’s really just a shot in the dark looking for information.  The fun of being “rare” I guess.