2022 is behind us and a new year is ours to conquer. We hope you all had a great Holiday season and achieve whatever your heart’s desire this year. January is here and we have our first Influencer Spotlight. Cynthia Solis Hendrickson is a kindhearted person, knows how to make some delicious sourdough waffles, and is so full of life. Enjoy taking a peek into getting to know Cynthia just a little bit more.
TSM: Cynthia, I really want to thank you for taking time out of your Holiday schedule to talk with us. We are extremely excited to learn more about you. Let's dive right in and give the readers what they came here for!
Cynthia: Absolutely! I’m excited
TSM: Since 2022 is coming to an end, what are your plans for YOU in 2023?
Cynthia: 2023 will be a year of transition for me. My oldest daughter will be graduating high school and heading off to college. Every single day brings new reminders that she'll soon be gone. It's going to take some time getting used to the idea and then more time getting used to the reality. I severely underestimated how hard this would be but now that it's here I'm trying to prepare myself. Sewing-wise I want to become more efficient and organized with my time.
TSM: Graduating high school and starting college already? Wow! How time sure does fly. Do you have a plan yet on how you will be more purposeful with your sewing time?
Cynthia: Becoming more organized has been an ongoing process. I like trying new strategies. Some of them stick and some don't. This year I'll continue with my calendar approach of keeping a month-view calendar with deadlines to help me plan my days and weeks of sewing. It really helps me to have a visual of what's coming up. Then behind each month I keep project pages with details and notes on each project such as pattern, fabric used, adjustments made, measurements, etc.
TSM: The organizational strategy sounds great. We would love to see this strategy. (Remember you can download our TSM Project sheets here!)
Cynthia: The change I'm making hasn't exactly been settled. I tend to come up to my sewing loft and daydream about projects I want to make and play with a multitude of ideas for each piece of fabric I want to sew. If you have any tips on how to stop wasting time in that way, I'm open to suggestions.
TSM: I am afraid I cannot help with any tips. I daydream too. It may be the sewist in us. Do you write down what you intend to make with the fabrics you order?
Cynthia: I actually started noting my plan when requesting or ordering fabrics. When filling out January through May 2023, I wrote down my pattern plans into the calendar so that hopefully I will stick to those ideas.
***Trigger Warning: Infant Loss****
TSM: Good luck with sticking to those plans. While we are on the topic of fabrics, why did you start sewing?
Cynthia: I actually bought and cut fabric before I ever planned to sew!
TSM: You bought fabric and cut it? What was its intended purpose? Did you have an end project?
Cynthia: A friend of mine began an organization, called Teeny Tears, that makes and donates tiny flannel diapers to hospitals for families that have a preemie or micro-preemie loss or stillbirth. These babies are too small for any commercial diapers. I cut out and mailed boxes of diapers to her before I purchased a machine. After a couple of boxes, I bought a machine and began hosting diaper making get-togethers with some friends and we made hundreds of diapers in honor of my sweet angel, Leila.
TSM: How sweet of you to help others. Would you say helping Leila was why you started sewing?
Cynthia: I would say that honoring Leila was my start to sewing, absolutely. Leila was Chloe's identical twin.
TSM: Thank you so much for sharing your sweet story. Besides you being a diaper making machine, what would you say is unique or unknown about you?
Cynthia: I think most people don't know that I come from a military family. I married a veteran, so I have lived in many places. I was born in Germany, early childhood I was in Italy, then raised in Texas. I lived in Germany after college, then off to Colorado, Ohio, and now Alabama.
TSM: Out of all the places you have lived, which would be your favorite?
Cynthia: That's a tough question. Each place has its own pros and cons. Germany was amazing because I was straight out of college, had a good job, and zero financial responsibility, so I traveled a lot. Traveling in Europe is so much fun. Ohio was a wonderful place for raising our kids and we made some great friends there. Texas is where my family lives. If I could choose any place to live it would be there.
TSM: You made a home out of every place you lived. That is how it should be.
TSM: When you are in your sewing room, what is your favorite tool or technique that you use the most?
Cynthia: My projector for sure! It may sound cliche' but it really was a game changer for me. I can get into a project so much faster. I've been using it for about a year now and can't imagine sewing without it.
TSM: Projectors are a great tool for sure. What is your favorite thing to sew?
Cynthia: I'm most comfortable sewing knit garments for myself. I feel the most satisfaction sewing woven garments with beautiful finishings. They take forever but are so rewarding.
TSM: What is your current favorite pattern?
Cynthia: That's such a tough question. At the moment, it's probably the Greenstyle Corset Top. It took me a while to figure out my perfect size adjustments but once I did it quickly became my absolute favorite running sports bra. The shaping of the pieces creates the perfect "cupping without squeezing" support for my bust. Once I realized I can change the neckline and add a skirt I turned it into a dress. I'm loving it.
TSM: What is your favorite TSM design and what did you make with it?
Cynthia: I need to check the name. Just a second….
Mother Earth. I am just obsessed with the colors and floral design. Everything about the print is perfect for me.
TSM: We see all your beautiful makes, who would you say you sew for the most?
Cynthia: Definitely myself. Most of the sewing I do is for promoting and I'm the most willing and available model in the house. Then my two daughters. They are gorgeous teenagers and good sports but not always around to model.
TSM: I like your perspective on why you sew for yourself the most. It makes perfect sense.
TSM: How can we at The Styled Magnolia, help support you in your sewing ventures this year?
Cynthia: Just keep the amazing prints coming! There's always something available that inspires me and that I can use for upcoming pattern tests or the videos I'm working on.
TSM: That we can definitely do. One more question before you go. What is one thing you want to sew in the future?
Cynthia: Real blue jeans are on my someday sewing wish list. They probably won't happen in 2023, but I will make myself a pair of well-fitting blue jeans one day.
TSM: Cynthia, it has been such a pleasure being able to chat with you today. You have been such a gem. Getting to know you a bit more has been awesome.
Cynthia: It's been such a pleasure and not nearly as scary as I'd anticipated.