Wednesday, March 14, 2012


You might have been asking, “What’s been going on with those Mazatlan sewing ladies that Mary and Bev work with?” I haven’t been avoiding this topic, but rather waiting to get a complete look at what’s been done this season. I feel my first response should be something like “eating lots of tamales” or “having weekly parties” and there’s lots of truth here. But also we’ve been sitting on the sidelines, watching and waiting to see what happens with their new endeavor of their storefront in the Golden Zone (tourist district). My early December 2011 post tells of the inauguration of this shop, and they have faithfully been there each day to try to sell their wares to the small numbers of tourists that are coming to Mazatlan this year. They also have venues at “ex-pat” meetings where they are well known and well supported. I think they have survived, but the real truth will be told next fall, after the SLOW summer, when they will need to decide if they want to commit to another winter season in the shop. Maybe the cruise ships will return...hope, hope hope! For now, it’s too early to tell.
As far as my input, I invited them to my studio back in December (a horrible month for an invitation in the midst of the Christmas season) to print up a whack of local manta (muslin). I made up a schedule for 3 women per day to come over and spend 3-4 hours stamping, dyeing, bleaching etc. the fabric with the plan of later making their signature mariposa (butterfly) bags. Being the holidays, only 6 out of 12 were able to participate.

After the fabric-making was done, I created “kits” for them to make the bags. If I didn’t do this, the process would have been incredibly labor intensive, and probably would have driven me crazy with their primitive scissor method. Rotary cutters, mats and rulers make this process SO EASY for me and my modern northern friends, so I just took it over and zip, zip, zip…put together 18 kits. (IF it hadn’t been Christmas, I would have had them use the rotary cutter, to experience another way.) When I returned to our group after the holidays, I passed out 3 kits per participant with the other women looking on with envy. They ALL want to join in next year, and yes, I’ll do it in December. It’s a good month for me, before my own classes begin.

They made the bags and now have sold them. They are increasingly adding applique butterflies (and other objects) to their creations and their customers are snapping them up. Here in Mexico, the motto is “poco a poco” (little by little)…so true with these women.
In another two weeks, we’ll have another party as my good-bye. Everything is a celebration, with a little sewing in between. How fortunate I am to have these women as my friends!

No comments: