cross stitched corduroys!

Once again, the Monthly Stitch has pushed me way outside my comfort zone. Not that I am complaining!

A little backstory here, & apologies in advance, because it’s kind of a bummer: I was diagnosed with endocervical cancer in October. I’ve been pretty sick for several months now (which is why I failed to contribute to so many challenges here in the latter half of 2016). I haven’t been able to sew much while sick. It’s too taxing on my body. But I needed a stitch-y creative outlet. I discovered cross stitching & fell in love with it! It’s economical, it appeals to my love of precision, & I can do it while laying in bed.

The first thing I thought when I realized how much I loved cross stitching was, “How can I incorporate this into a garment?” I ordered some waste canvas (the special fabric that is used to cross stitch on to other fabrics; the canvas fibers are pulled out afterward, leaving the stitches behind on the primary fabric), but by the time it arrived, I was recovering from my first cancer surgery. I know I would have just stashed the waste canvas until the end of time if not for this challenge.

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I won’t lie: making these jeans took a lot out of me. Sewing is so physically demanding! & they are not an example of my all-time best sewing. The cross stitching looks awesome, but the construction of the jeans themselves leaves a bit to be desired. I was rushing to finish them in time for the Women’s March on January 21. & I did it! I wore them to my local march in Topeka, Kansas (I live in Lawrence). I had to leave before the march actually started because I needed to lay down (for like two straight days), but I was there for most of the rally & saw lots of great speakers. It was especially heartening to see such a big turn-out in Kansas, which is not exactly a hotbed of lefty politics.

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You can read more details about these corduroys over on my blog, along with my cross stitching adventures, cancer treatment, etc. If you’re worried about that last one, I have good news: it was caught early. My oncologist is hopeful that I will be cancer-free after having a hysterectomy next month. Definitely a bummer to have to have such a major surgery & lose my fertility, but it could be worse!

22 thoughts on “cross stitched corduroys!

  1. Love the cross stitched detail on the pants, great idea and beautifully realized.
    Wish you all the best for your health. I was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 2015 and it certainly was a rough time. But it passes and with all the medical progress today, the treatments are getting better and better. Today the cancer is gone (and hopefully won’t return), I feel good again and have learned much about myself and the life I live. If you have the feeling I could help you somehow, feel free to message me.

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    • Thank you! & I am glad to hear your cancer journey is behind you. I hope it stays there. My treatment was a hysterectomy, which felt rather like trying to kill an ant by dropping an anvil on it. I wish we could have done something that would have preserving my fertility, but that kind of specialized localized treatment doesn’t appear to be available, or at least doctors aren’t bending over backward to offer it to 37-year-olds. I’m officially NED now, nothing left to do but heal, which is its own long & winding path.

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  2. These look amazing and I love that they also symbolise your total dedication to your work even when sick. Sorry to hear about the total horrible journey you are having to do right now and hoping for a complete recovery. xx

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    • Thank you! I had my hysterectomy about three weeks ago & have been given the official NED (no evidence of disease) seal of approval! All that’s left is healing, which is easier said than done. I’m still in bed full-time for now, but I’m hoping to graduate to sitting in actual chairs soon.

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  3. Glad that there’s hopefully good news ahead after what sounds like a really tough time for you. And you kept creating – that’s wonderful! The cross stitching is impressive – was it difficult to stitch through the thick corduroy fabric?

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    • Stitching through the corduroy was more difficult than just cross stitching on regular Aida cloth, but it wasn’t too terrible. The harder part was that the corduroy had some stretch to it, & I was really worried about stretching the fabric out of shape or creating puckers as I worked. Thankfully, once the waste cloth was pulled out, the corduroy looked as good as ever! Stitching on such a dark background was also a challenge. I actually wore a headlamp while I worked on it to maximize my illumination!

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  4. Your corduroys look amazing and the cross stitching kicks butt. All my best wishes for your health. Isn’t it great to have participated in the biggest protest in US history? You cannot keep a good woman from smashing the patriarchy.

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    • Thanks so much! & yes, it was really cool to have been able to participate in my local protest. It was even more gratifying to have been able to bring my daughter.

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  5. I always enjoy your makes and envision you by the tone of your writing to be a fighter- I’m going to stay hopeful with you about you being cancer free after next month. How incredible that you were able to create in the face of such adversity. I am definitely rooting for you!!!!!

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    • Thank you! & yeah, I got the pathology report back last week & I am officially NED (no evidence of disease)! Now I just have to heal, which is easier said than done. I can’t wait to get back to my sewing table.

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