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This life… It keeps lifing.

Things have been changing at Chez Sempstress.

For one thing, there’s a car where my workshop was.

Well, you win some, you lose some.  Last fall I promised mom she could park in the garage this winter.  (I sound like a complete a-hole there.  In my defense, she did tell me that if I could clean the garage, it was mine.  But that was, like, a decade ago and keeping a garage clean is harder than it sounds!)  It’s a little cramped, but I didn’t promise it would be perfect — just that she could get a car in there.  It’s still a work in progress (but mostly on hold until nice weather where the car can sleep on the drive so that I can move things in the garage).  This is a multi-generational problem….

Our two car garage fit a single car when I was a wee child.  There hadn’t been a car in that thing since, like, for real, I think the 80s.  And we’re talking about the early 80s, probably pre-fluorescent trend 80s.

It took a one of those bag dumpsters.  Environmental nightmare?  Yes.  Completely amazing?  Also, yes.

My birthday present to myself was permission to throw out a bunch of stuff without my general anguishing over whether the things were still useful or if I should get them to a ReStore or any of that (though better things went to charity).  Like, the inherited plywood pile….  It wasn’t even all plywood that I had inherited — some of it was plywood that dad had inherited.  Now, I own an unholy number of cool butch power tools.  There is not a single one of them that I feel comfortable ripping 35+ year old 3/4” ply with.  (Because wood doesn’t age as well as wool.  It gets all dense and crack-y and mean.)

So the work space is being downsized.  That’s ok.  I have the office (which is now also a guest bedroom, which is still fine because we never have guests).  I’m trying to get that into a functional state. I actually have sewn two whole projects — both gave me ideas for the bloggy-woggy, one I have actual pictures for.  I also have a couple years of projects that I photoed, but never wrote up.  (Wow, but auto-correct disapproves of my festive approach to wording.  LOL.)

I switched departments at work.  My new boss has an energy that seriously reminds me of Aly in the costume shop at COD.  It’s good.  (She also englishes with mas festivity.   Or “more much festivity,” as she would put it.) My first project has been compiling (and sometimes writing bits of) a giant three week off-shore training thinger-merjobber.  I realized how much I miss writing.  It’s weird.

I mean, it’s not weird that I miss writing, because creativity is a basic human need.  It’s weird that I miss writing directions.  That sounds like the most soul-sucking, life-dis-affirming (what actually even is the opposite of affirming?) possible writing pursuit, but it’s my jam.  Someday, when I am so much more advanced than I am now, I will be able to do sewing and pattern drafting instructions all IKEA style.  (Words will not be necessary!  Words will only confuse!  All hail the pictogram!!!!)

Ummmm….  Except I have seen non-visual people try to follow IKEA directions.  Mom, for example, was literally (and for real, not making this up) concerned that none of the screws for a stool were labeled “4x” because the instructions said to look for those ones.  And that makes total sense.  It doesn’t do sense-making in a way that I find native, but it does make sense.

I dunno.  I’m in a place.  Like, I’ve suddenly become acutely aware that I never organized my 2017 bank statements, much less the 2018 ones.  (If you have no idea how that is even possible, then, like, no offense, but you may not experience crap like depression and I’m a little jelly.  I mean, I’m not judging – you might just have a more organized experience with non-optimal neurological periods than I do, and then, um, I’m still jelly.)

I guess all this rambling is me saying that once again, I fully intend to do things and stuff.  I’d really like to start doing draping video things.  (I’m terrified of video things-doing, but life is about growth.) I want to hit on some “basic” sewing tricks that took me years to learn. (Spoiler: they’re not actually basic).  I also want to start hitting on some solid pattern drafting.  And, maybe, just mmmmmaaaayyyyyybe, I want to branch out a little into different eras of real and fictional time.  And I still need to do a bajillion technical things to make the blog more much better and functional.  (Speaking of which, I’ve disconnected the blog from the Facebook.  Because reasons.)

Coming soon(ish-lier): How to hem a pair of pants (proper adulty pants, not jeans; those are the actual worst), and maybe some LED pendant lamps to cheaply super-bright your sewing space.  (They’re the big glowey dongles above the car.)


  1. Stephanie H.
    Stephanie H. March 18, 2019

    Love you when wildly Melissa!! Can’t wait to read-your style, not IKEA style-what you get into next ❤️

    • missa
      missa March 19, 2019

      Awwww…. Thank you, Gorgeous! ❤️ you right back!

  2. Sanna
    Sanna March 20, 2019

    Ohh, I’m so in for tutorials for simple not-actually-simple sewing stuff! Your tutorials are great. I’m also super curious about the LED pendant lamps. You write great instructions!

    • missa
      missa March 20, 2019

      Thank you, Sanna! Stuff is in the works! ;)

  3. Carol Fresia
    Carol Fresia June 27, 2019

    Hi, Melissa,
    If you’re interested and can spare some time, I would love to contact you about a small writing job for Threads magazine–I think you have some specialized knowledge I’ve been looking for, based on your blog. (It’s not about IKEA-style sewing instrux, but I am very much on board with that idea, too! We talk about it all the time at the magazine.)
    Hope to hear from you–
    Carol Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor

    • missa
      missa June 27, 2019

      Hi, Carol – I want to sound completely professional, but my actual response is closer to SQUEEEEEEEE!!!! Writing for Threads would be a dream! What is the best way for me to contact you? Or would you be more comfortable emailing me directly (missa at

  4. Carol Fresia
    Carol Fresia June 27, 2019

    I just emailed you…if you don’t receive my message, let me know!

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