Almost there…the move

front porch

Ah – major painting and clearing out was finished last Saturday. Even my garage is beautiful 🙂

Getting ready to sell the house entailed quite a bit of de-personalization. Family photos, small treasures, lots of paintings and artwork, all put away for packing. I even took the funky piggy bank off the piano, and I put all my jewelry in the safe.

collage 5 and 6

Mar 14 - 1


I also managed to break a toe on a displaced bed frame (raise your hand if you’ve done this).

This photo led to my getting a pedicure, I’m back to red toenails! It’s easy to overlook the beauty stuff when the house is upside-down.

The sewing loft feels weird! Almost empty, white walls, so clean!


It’s a good thing I make my own clothes and have lots! I couldn’t get to my washer and dryer for over a week.

Day 1 and 2 - IMG_1907


  • Repainted 3 bedrooms and bathroom ceilings.
  • Installed new lithium battery smoke alarms, bathroom fan grilles, and 9 LED integrated high-hat lights.
  • Pressure cleaned and resurfaced the patio, walkway, and garage floor.
  • Pressure cleaned the hardscape in the yard: the back patio and walkways, and the front garden landscaping stones.
  • Installed a new microwave over the range.
  • Had the patio sliding glass doors and tracks tuned up with new rollers and weather stripping – now they glide open with a finger touch.
  • Resurfaced the driveway.
  • Big expense: replaced the electrical circuit breaker box, had all the electrical stuff checked out, and installed a couple new GFCI outlets.
  • Installed new planting along the front walkway (which meant removing 6 palms, it took chains and a winch to get them out).
  • Shampooed all the carpets!
  • Cleaned my mailbox. It’s almost new, and the birds love to sit on it, with predictable consequences.

It sounds like I was living in a run-down shed. But no. All of this is to add that extra zing and brightness that will appeal to a new owner.

Next? Listing the house. I’ve been working with realtors here and in Orlando. The three weeks from the netherworld are over and behind me, I can hardly believe I did it. For now, recuperation!


Bye for now – Coco

A summer robe – S1946


My house is so destroyed with pre-move fix-ups that I have nowhere to model this robe.

Plus – OK, I’m distracted, busy, working with my fix-up helper.

In the middle of all this, I decided to make a new robe. My go-to terry robe is really irritating my neck. Can you believe it?! It’s the loops on the terry cloth.

Serendipity. I ordered a couple yards of this pretty double brushed poly spandex from Fabric Mart for a cardigan. And they sent me 3 yards, the end of bolt gift. Wow. All of a sudden, this fabric just had to be a robe.

Simplicity 1946 is the only robe pattern I use now. A couple reasons: It comes in sizes for the entire family, and it does not have an attached front band. The front is faced, which means it’s so easy to sew.


Of course I’m always challenging myself. The pattern is for woven fabrics, but I decided to use a knit.

Sewing notes:

  • I used the size Small Adult. Fits great.
  • I spent about an hour working with stitch lengths, tension, and so on, on both my sewing machine and my serger. I don’t just serge knit seams, I prefer to stitch and then serge to finish the seam allowances. Reason? Straight stitching adds both structure and weight to a knit seam. I like it.
  • Tip on the hem finishing: you can clip the side seam allowance at the hem turn line,  spread it open, and avoid the bulk of turning a serged side seam!
  • Those pockets: I staystich the sewing lines, press, and baste the pockets in place. For both knits and wovens. I love quilters basting needles! BTW – dbl brushed poly loves to be pressed, light steam, I use my silk setting and a calico pressing cloth.

pkt prep

  • This is a pic of my favorite presser foot. It’s a quarter-inch foot, and it’s constructed to guide 1/8″ and 1/6″ stitching as well. I’ve tried to find it online, cannot, so I sleep with it under my pillow.

favorite foot

  • Washi tape is so nice for making a topstitching guide, in this case 1 3/4″.

washi tape

  • Happiness – I didn’t run out of thread. I often order matching thread from Fabric Mart, they always select a great color. It’s much easier than running to JoAnn (which is not near me) with a swatch.

last of thread

I love this robe! I Intend to wear it all the time while I get ready to move. It’s calm 🙂

Parting shot: the loft is ready to be painted. Barren. But the printer is online, and I’m printing the Paper Theory Zadie Jumpsuit right now!!


Ciao – Coco

Moving house…

Day 1 and 2 collage

I’m finally committed – I’m moving to Orlando to be close to family and friends. I’m so excited and, frankly, relieved to move forward with a change I’ve contemplated for years.

Yesterday morning, Khalid (my handyman, friend and helper) and I did a walkthrough, got organized. He had great recommendations and approaches, and he started right away in the front porch area. He doesn’t mess around! Removing the palms that lined the walkway took hours, chains, and X-men tools. I took refuge in the loft…

All the hardscape, porches, and garage have  been pressured cleaned, ready for a new finish. Meanwhile I have a porch carpet hanging in Ms. Guava, and my back garden has a new look with the porch plants and pots.

Porch furniture has been cleaned and is living in my music room for now.

The garage…it’s ready for a new finish and ceiling repairs (pre-roof replacement leaks did a stain number on part of it).

My house is a little weird with temporarily displaced items.

Just the beginning, but Khalid is a great motivator! I’m determined to take my meds and chill out for the long haul 🙂 Coco

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 4.41.44 PM

Making headway…

wonderwoman_620_090712 It happens that I just love this Wonder Woman pic! I should print and hang it in the Loft.

I’m almost feeling so spirited as well.

I checked in with my chronic care manager today, and I see my doctor tomorrow. I’ve been reassured that this season’s cold bug is nasty and lingering…

However. I think nothing gets one going so much as a little stretch. To wit, today I went to Home Depot, bought and planted a couple basket pothos replacements for the porch. My patio and porch are a mess, since I’m also in the midst of fertilizing and soil-topping my porch plants.  Yes, I collapsed afterward, and my mess is still out there.

Usually such a disorder outside would really bug me. But now I don’t care! It’s totally an inspiration to get up to speed.

The weekend should be awesome.

For now – Coco

McCall 7634 Sweatshirt in French terry

front 2

I’m so cold!! and have only a couple long sleeve tops. January and February are our chilly season, we went down to 43 degrees last night. Great excuse for a new top.

I started with M7634, followed with a few modifications, including the V-neck from Burda 06-2011-107B.



I love how this looks! the fabric is navy Telio Stewart French terry knit from, 38% cotton/32% polyester/30% rayon. It has about 25% mechanical stretch both ways, but no recovery at all.


Sewing notes:

  • Sewed the size 12 in the McCall pattern.
  • Used the short view with an additional 4.5″ in the length, and a 3″ (finished) bottom band. The unfinished band is about 7″ wide and a couple inches shorter than the bottom hem. Doubled and stretched it to fit.
  • Recut the neckline using the Burda pattern. It has facings, which I used to stabilize the neckline, in cotton/poly broadcloth. Yes, there is fusible tape in side the shoulder seams to prevent stretch.


  • Stiches and finishes: I sewed the top using a longish (3.0) straight stitch and serged the seam allowances together to finish.
  • Finished the sleeve with a 1.5″ hem allowance plus a couple rows of topstitching.


It’s such a cozy and warm top, and I love the silhouette.

front 1

Parting shot: I was the woman out on the street in her robe last night, taking pictures of the lunar eclipse. Spectacular event! Moving clockwise from the top left photo:


Ciao! Coco