About Me

Thank you for visiting my blog! My name is Leah, and I’m a writer and teacher and I split my time between Mumbai and the US with my husband, Mr. Struggle.

I enjoy brandy, an Indian rum called Old Monk, Rum, coffee, and mystery novels, I’m extremely close to my family. I love vintage and retro fashions, I love recycling, I hate overpaying. I’m not overly precise , I sew for fun, for me, for my family and friends. I cook all the time. I’m very critical of art. I love animals.

My grandmother passed away in the summer of 2010. She left me all sorts of things. She was a Russian immigrant who had fled the USSR with her family in the early 20s and found asylum, after some wandering, in Persia, now Iran. She met my grandfather, an American solider, on a train. They married and she came to the United States and they settled in Philadelphia. When my grandmother lived in Iran there were no ready to wear garments, so everything was custom made. This means my grandmother had everything made for her, which is objectively amazing. When she came to the United States she brought fabric, I suppose she assumed it would be the same way. However, the United States was all about the ready to wear garment and she never used the fabric. So recently my mother gave me this box of fabric that my grandmother had brought with here to the United States. A handful of 1940’s rayons, amazing wools, a box from the past, a time capsule of sorts, fabric-wise. I don’t dare touch these fabrics, not yet. But I hope to someday be a good enough sewer so that I can actually make something with these beautiful treasures. Hence, this blog. To document my sewing, my improvement, and my incorporation of my grandmother and my family and friends into this falling-apart-at-the-seams-journey.

My grandfather’s father had been one of the old department store owners here. He had a place called LouSols, so if any of you vintage hounds see that tag, please let me know immediately, I would love to see the label.

I write plays, screenplays, television scripts, and my first novel is coming out on July 24th, 2018! You can pre-order it here! Please do so!

Oh, and I write on this blog, too.  So you could say I enjoy writing. I also write on this blog, about my adventures in India, and you can check out my official author website here. 


23 responses to “About Me

  1. Oh, I’m excited to see what you do with all of your grandmother’s treasured fabrics. That’s such a great story, I can almost read it as a novel (perhaps you’re already writing this:)). Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • Margaret

      I have a hat from the 40’s that my Mom wore on her wedding day. It has the Lousols Philadelphia tag. Would you be interested in having it? The netting front is kinda disintegrating, but otherwise, is in good shape.

  2. youllfindmewhistling

    GREAT story! I love it. The romanticism the incredible courage of your grandparents. I too can’t wait to see what you do with that fabric 🙂 Love your blog ..

  3. Kara

    You have such an awesome story! I have a lot of fabric from my grandmother too, but nothing is quite that old. She sewed a lot so it is mostly quilting fabric and some awful polyester. I do have a lot of vintage patterns from her though that I am saving. 🙂

  4. I love your sewing stories so I hope that you don’t mind, I’ve nominated you for a The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
    I can’t find out where the idea originated but it seems a lovely way of thanking the creators of the blogs that I find the most enjoyable and inspiring.
    Thanks! My post about the award(s) is here


  5. Hi! I googled Cadfael and clothes and found your blog!! I love the simpler peasant costumes (more than the refined, expensive costumes) worn in that show and wondered if anyone was making them. Your grandma’s story is really neat. Your blog is a lot of fun! I’ll enjoy reading about your projects. I also love mysteries. Also, my website was only begun yesterday and is has virtually nothing in it yet….. Happy crafts!!!!

  6. Hey I am your SWAP partner for Kestrel’s Spring Swap. I cannot find you email address anywhere, and I am pretty sure my blog is the same way with my email address. So my email is smclevenger(at)gmail(dot)com and my blog is http://www.musingsofaseamstress.com. Hope to talk to you soon!

  7. Brunhilda

    Hi Leah: ) I stumbled upon your blog by chance..I was looking for some info on an old building in Chicago..go figure : ) It seemed so lovely to me and I continued reading on and I felt like I had met you before..from what I read I saw that we have a lot in common: I am an artist, srudied art and painting. I love antique and old things, things that have a story to tell. I love history, theatre and old movies and love to talk about them.I love animals, birds and nature, i love to travel and read,I love the simple stories that you tell and your style seems efortless and the story flows and takes the reader away 🙂 I do not sew but I have a great deal of respect and adore people who do now how to sew..I love your dresses, they are so femminine and comfortable ( The elephant dress is so cute, and love the stories that you put there.. )that It is the first time that I follow a blog so sorry for writing so long : ) I wish you all the best and keep on writing !

  8. Brunhilda

    Oh and how can i forget? I forgot to tell you that in art school i specialised in fabric desgn. My Mom taught Russian language and literature for 40 years : )and I come from Eastern Europe just like your grandma..I am from a little country on the Adriatic and Ionian coasts : ) Albania..My grandma sewed all her garments too : ) Both my grandmas had a loom in their homes and weaved all their linnens and rugs and blankets too..early 1900s, things were expensive and ready made things were scarse. Women in Albania knew how to sew and weave everything.While I grew up things were slowly changing but we still had to have our clothes made at a sewing shop or there were people who did that in their homes for extra money..I had a friend in art school , She studied sculpture but loved to make clothes, taught herself how to sew, and she was so talented..I remember she hand- made a dress without a sewing machine because she did not have one..Later on she gpt one and made lots of clothes for me : ) Now she lives in Belgium and has opened her own shop..: ) So these are some things that your blog brought back to me..Keep doing what you do, you are a beautiful artist in every way.. : )
    Best wishes : )

  9. MDO

    Just spent a very enjoyable hour reading your blog, Leah, ending with the ‘about me’ section. All lovely, captivating, energizing, fun! Thanks.

  10. Callie

    Hi Leah! A couple of weeks ago I received hate mail from a Facebook profile under the name Jessica Meyers. I googled the profile pictures from the profile and it brought me to your insightful blog. I thought you should know that your images are being used without your permission. The person who runs the Facebook is named Dane Steele from Lake St. Louis, Missouri. Sorry to bother you, but thought you should know what’s going on. Here is a link to the fake facebook account. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005974846034&fref=ts

    • Oh my god, that is awful! Thank you so much for letting me know, I’ve messaged that fake profile, what a total bummer.

      • Callie

        I guess the message didn’t do much, she’s messaging my friends now. Calling them the c-word and ugly. Whoever Dane Steele is, he’s really a sick person to not only be harassing women, but to be doing so using your photos!

  11. Kyla

    Hey! I was researching the label ‘Lousols’ as I have just purchased a black velvet dress dated between the 1930s and 1940s with this tag attached, and stumbled across your blog. Thought you might like to know 🙂

  12. Robert lisicky

    Go to http://www.fultonhistory.com and type in lousols. You can be directed to many of their ads in the Philadelphia inquirer.

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  15. Megan

    I was just browsing books at my library website online and saw your name. I’m pretty sure you are the same Leah franqui who I was a camp counselor to back in the late 90’s. If so, congratulations on the book from Megan G from CRR! I can’t wait to read it, but I’ve got a pretty long “to read” list so it might be awhile. 😀

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