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6 Years. Still Gathering Myself.

Today is Thursday, July 25th 2019 but it still feels like Thursday, July 25th 2013 sometimes. Six years ago today is the day I called home to talk to my best friend only to find out from the EMT team and police that she had just died. Minutes before my call.

Life will always feel like a miracle after that day. How I gathered myself after this devastating loss still feels like a miracle. Some days I can hold it together, other days I still fall completely apart.

But because life truly feels like a miracle since this day six years ago, I try my best to gather myself quickly when I fall.

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July, my birthday month, will always come to a challenging end when I remember this day. I was out celebrating the 25th day of my birthday month on my mother’s last day on earth. Celebrating all month, a tradition she taught me at a young age, is full of guilt now. I haven’t celebrated all 31 days since 2013.

But this year I felt ready to try. However, not even two weeks in, a few days before my actual birthday July 15th, I had two anxiety attacks. Back to back. And I couldn’t gather myself quick enough in between each one.

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I felt hopeless, tired and depressed right before my birthday. And when I couldn’t gather myself in order to get out of bed, let a long celebrate, my village of friends and family near and far gathered their resources, prayers, kind words and time. Surrounding me and lifting my spirit in a way that I desperately needed and will never forget.

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I ended up celebrating on the 15th. And 10 days later, on the day my favorite person went to heaven, I am still celebrating. Both my life and hers!

This dress of so many gathering stitches was the perfect birthday dress.

 

Swimming In Ideas

So all sewers know that sewing swim is quite the challenge. Like sewing leggings. Well, good thing I started with the leggings, so once summer made her debut, I was ready to take a go at swimwear.

I loaded up on fabric while I was in New York last, and had the right thread (Wooly Nylon) but didn’t know much about the final necessary notion – elastic. But thank goodness for Google! I discovered that rubber elastic is the best to withstand the chlorine and water, and the best place to buy it is on Etsy.

So once I gathered all my material I made the easiest cut possible – a string bikini!

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Which always makes me laugh. See, when I was six years old I asked my Mom if I could get a string bikini for summer camp. She literally laughed and wondered how I even knew what a string bikini was.

Of course she said no. It was too sexy and I was too young. But here’s the deal, then and now, I don’t associate a string bikini with being sexy. Yes, it is very revealing, but for a girl who moves around a lot – I’ve always seen them as freeing. That, and I have looked the same since I was 10. I developed really fast, stopped, and my voice has always been raspy. So long story short, I’ve unfortunately been called sexy more times than I’m comfortable with.

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So yeah, sexy or not. I love how free I feel in this string bikini as a woman and a sewer. There will definitely be more to come. My zip code requires it!

P.S. Does this material look familiar? Here’s a hint.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Well actually it is easy “sewing” green. This fabric was everything! $1 a yard. Yes, you read that right and I bought two. Splurged! lolllll

Made this shift dress first and this jumper a few weeks later!

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Man, I wish I would’ve really splurged and got more yards or at least colors.

If only I could remember the name of that one out of many shops I popped into at in L.A.’s Fashion District that day?!?!

I hope my spirit remembers when I make my Tuesday Trip. Yes, I go down there almost every Tuesday. I teach a class that is too near not to.

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That, and I like routines. Repeating things used to be unhealthy for me when I was younger – perfectionism, eating disorder, the list goes on. But now I find healthy ways to be repetitive.

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These looks in the same fabric are an example of that and I am “sew” cool with it! I think they call these capsules in fashion?! Well, more capsules please!

My Silver Lining: LEGGINGS

Easy to wear, not so easy to make. But I did it! Say hello to my first pair of leggings and her matchy matchy sports bra. Made this set a couple months ago, sorry. Had to alter them three times, not sorry.

So here are five things these gems taught me about sewing, and of course, life!

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1. Tight Is Right Negative Ease

Everything I have made up until this point has been pretty straight forward when it comes to making the pattern. However making activewear and swim (coming soon btw) requires a concept I haven’t yet explored in sewing and in life: negative ease. Which, in sewing, means the finished product will be smaller than your actual body measurements since it will stretch when worn. How much will it stretch is the complicated part. The way I test the fabric is by literally pulling it apart to see when it starts to lose it’s form. Then I wing it. Same with life currently. I feel like I am in a season where I am being stretched in ways I have never been before. But no matter how uncomfortable it may be, I am still managing to maintain a form of peace and joy that isn’t distorted. Totally winging it and grateful for this life gem when making this set!

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2. Must Be Extra Flexible

Speaking of being stretched, the reason I had to alter this set three times is because I was unaware of what materials were necessary to make activewear extra flexible. I knew from my custom pullovers that sewing on a serger was necessary, however I didn’t know that I couldn’t use regular polyester serger thread. What I needed was thread that could support the almost shoulder dislocating step of pulling my sports bra on and off time and time again. So I hit up my sewing teacher (Google) and discovered wooly nylon thread. It almost looks like yarn, is super stretchy and helps ensure that my leggings won’t bust open mid workout. Such a simple yet powerful adjustment. Like life, it is the little things that make a big difference.

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3. Function v. Fashion

Yes, I live in workout clothes. No, I do not feel like I am sacrificing fashion to be functional. In fact I love styling my sweat approved gear in different ways, and since moving to Los Angeles, sets are my new go to. So of course my first go at athletic wear had to be a fashion forward set. This material looks and feels like leather, so don’t be surprised if I show up to your next party wearing these gems with heels and a leather jacket. One look that can be worn multiple ways is a requirement in fashion for me since I am a minimalist that loves getting the maximum use out of things. And relationships lately. The hardest part about moving to a new city has been making new friends. However after almost two years I have shifted my focus to making new memories with old friends. So just like my fashion desires, when it comes to people I find that less is more and quality always trumps quantity.

Leggings, I love you!