Friday, August 3, 2012

tried & true mojo recovery technique

Behold, a step-by-step guide to re-start a stalled mojo.  This technique also works well to combat a variety of *temptations.

  1. Brush dust bunnies out of the machines and oil them.
  2. Load the sewing machine and the serger with white thread.  White is easy to see and you probably have plenty. 
  3. Pull out a dependable pattern: the easier, the better.  
  4. Pull out some fabric with a white background.  Small stripes, plaids or prints don't really need to be matched, but if you want to, it won't be that hard.
  5. Cut some or all of the pieces.  You don't have to be organized.  You don't need a plan.
  6. Start sewing.
  7. Oops, did you forget something?  Do you need music, a television or a movie?  
  8. OK, start sewing again.

Style Arc Peta Pants make great PJ pants.  This photo exists as a reminder to serge the edge along the pocket early in the process.  I don't need pockets in my PJ pants, but I felt like sewing them.
Contrasting pockets - how exciting!

Oh yeah, contrasting pockets!  Pockets I will never use, but so what?

And if you decide on long sleeves at the last minute, just add them on.  I find this very funny every time I see it and so, yeah, that is good.  I made myself laugh!  And look at how I worked my way up from simple pants to something a little more intricate.  See, it works!  Sewing with teardrops plopping into the project is perfectly OK.  Do I sound melodramatic?  Well, sorry.  I was wallowing as per instructions from someone I respect.

My 3rd and favorite version of PJ pants.  By this time, I was almost out of fabric so it got exciting.
*I quit smoking in 1983 by giving up alcohol (how can you drink a beer without a cigarette?), coffee (same thing) and keeping my hands busy.  You can't smoke and sew at the same time if you sew very steadily.  Don't worry, the alcohol and coffee were returned to my diet eventually.

You know, I learned a very valuable lesson many years ago, about relationships. I fell in love, very hard, with someone. About 6 weeks in,  I realized there was a problem. I made a big mistake by staying with him for a few years.  Why?  I could not leave him because it would be too painful, and, well, maybe he would change.

To my younger self, I have this advice:  If you think it will be painful to leave after 6 weeks, it will only be more painful after 6 months, and even more painful after a few years.  Bite the bullet! Leave, and get the suffering over with. As far as change?  Well, some people do change. You have to be open to the possibility that someone might change, but you  cannot count on it.  Trust your gut on that one.  The best person to look out for you is YOU.

And someday, that pain will have been transformed into compassion.

Ha ha, maybe it will be my life's work to turn sewing into a spiritual practice.  That is funny.
Mainly, I think I am getting some good clothes out of my hobby.

til next time, cheers!

58 comments:

  1. So sorry things went horribly wrong, but it is lovely to have you back :-)
    Debbie B

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    1. I so appreciate your support and it feels great to be back!

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  2. Yes, glad to have you back in blog world. Love your pj's! Sewing or any kind of creative outlet is a great salve.

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    1. my temperament is better suited to blogging anyway. Less formal.
      And yes, maybe we will see some mosaics from you, or painting?

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  3. Love the PC quote about continually falling out of the nest...thinking of you as you build a new one...

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    1. I just love PC, my favorite quote at the moment is this:
      "Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look."

      :)

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  4. I just found you and happy that you will be here!
    I love the pajamas, by the way. I love the contrasting pockets (and yes, I serge mine before assembly, hehehehe).

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  5. Nothing like a good wallow, and look! Pajama pants. :) Hugs to you and thanks for the introduction to Pema Chodron.

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  6. Cute PJs. Things I've learned about me: 1. cry when I need/want to and I did yesterday when "the last straw" hit me about 4p.m. after a week full of stresses that concerned illness, surgeries, and being pulled in different directions! 2. Laugh often and loud if it feels right no matter who is listening (except in church, I try to laugh quietly if I feel the need so as not to disturb the prayer or message); 3. AWLAYS appreciate family and dear friends who really love me. 4.Hug often!

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  7. Honestly, I think there is nothing healthier than a project that includes both tears and laughter! Tears are always a great (and necessary) release of stress and tension, and I think of laughter as jogging on the inside. And of course that laughter can fill a room.

    Love love love your pj's!!!! And here's a been-there-done-that virtual hug for you, filled with gentle smiles. :) :) :)

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  8. The PJ's made me smile. The blog post made me think. The thinking lead to me to start sewing.

    I have missed your posts in the blog world. It is great to see your mo-jo return. Welcome home. Thank you for coming back!

    Sue

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  9. The PJ's made me smile. The blog post made me think. The thinking lead to me to start sewing.

    I have missed your posts in the blog world. It is great to see your mo-jo return. Welcome home. Thank you for coming back!

    Sue

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  10. Like! Nothing like a good healthy cry, and to get a cool pair of pjs in the process is just terrific. I so admire how you are working through the changes in a positive, productive way and just moving along with life. You are a role model for getting something out of every speed bump and then heading for the next challenge! K

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  11. Where did you get that awesome plaid?

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    1. Michael's Fabrics I am sure this particular shirting has sold out long ago, but Michael always has great shirtings.

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    2. Thank you, I'd never heard of them before. (And I need some shirting).

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  12. Thanks for another great post. I think pajamas are a wonderful project for a difficult time in life. You need them, but you don't need to be super-careful about matching, fitting, etc. (Yours, by the way, look great.) I'm sorry life has let you down lately, but I'm not sorry that you are willing to share part of it with your cyber-friends.

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  13. So happy that you're back! Loved the 'compassion quotes' which came at a perfect time.

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  14. Wonderful post. I think we should all write letters to our younger selves and save them for our sons and daughters to read one day. There is a book published with letters famous women have written to younger selves. I believe that is the title too. "Letters to my younger self". A wonderful read!

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  15. It's wonderful having you back. I have learned that you have to be in the pain. If you are feeling miserable, just go with it. There's a reason for pain and discomfort and it's not good to deny/ignore it. It's very cathartic to be within these feelings and in not time you are out of the hole.

    Love your philosophy, Robin. Love the pjs too!

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  16. Welcome back to blogging, sewing, and Maryland. We missed you. I like your montage of PJ's - a fun set of projects and, hey, cotton absorbs tears very well. Personally, I use the pockets in my PJ's - remember I'm married to my iPhone. And I'm in mortal danger of becoming the little old lady with a Kleenex stuffed up her sleeve - so they're handy when I'm wearing short sleeves.

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  17. The PJs are fantastic. Cute, cosy, classic- everything the perfect pair of PJs should be.
    It sounds like you are having a rough ride at the moment. I hope things get better soon. I appreciate having your voice back in the blogging world.

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  18. Im afraid you are too cryptic for me, but that's fine, it is personal. Sending you best wishes and advice not to sew silk or velvet just yet! BTW, I have been sewing this week. OMG..it has been years (apart from a few formal dresses for DD). I am afraid not as groovy as your Pj's..but curtains. Yes I have been in this house for 3 years and this window has been bare. My goal is to sew everyday this month, even is only for 15 minutes. Wish me luck as I do you :)

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    1. Vicki, I am glad you are sewing! Curtains are OK!
      And I wish you luck :)

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  19. What a great post: excellent advice, thought provoking and profound. Oh and the PJs are fab!

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  20. Hey, this was one of your best posts ever, Robin! Congratulations!

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    1. well then, by golly, I am glad I wrote it!

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  21. I have GOT to make me some pj pants! I live in them now that I am retired. lol More comfortable than jeans. But I do dress when I go out. Just so you know. :) I, too, learned the hard way - you can't change another person. I was with a very jealous man. Silly me thought if I married him, it would prove to him that I loved him. I am now with a man who would move heaven and earth to make me happy. There is one like that out there for you also! But enjoy yourself for now, it's important to heal.

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    1. Yes, give yourself the gift of new pj pants!! I hear you on the comfort factor.

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  22. Hi Robin, Sorry things did not go smoothly. While I was looking forward to your mark at VPM, I was mourning the loss of your blog -- a perfect blend of valued sewing info (lots of ah-ha moments for me), charming philosophical musings, and humor that really tickles me. So -- welcome home. Sister

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    1. aw, you are so sweet and thank you for commenting. Yeah, it was hard to re-train my brain to stop thinking about ideas for VPM, and turn myself back to blogging mindset. Very hard. But it's good now. I am pretty well over the hump.

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  23. I am glad you are back, and I am sorry for the reason (whatever it may be). Take care of yourself.

    My new favourite quote. unknown unfortunately.

    "everything will be okay in the end. if it's not okay, it's not the end."

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  24. Glad that you are back blogging. These are wonderful pjs. Some humor in the mixing of patterns is just right for sleeping or lounging around.

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    1. thanks Nancy. I am loving these pj's now. Nothing like a nice cotton shirting fabric.

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  25. There's nothing like a tangle with my Evil Seam Ripper to get me fired up - at the end we are both exhausted with huge smiles. Blubbering while working is great, especially if there are great loud sounds involved, but not so much as to cloud our reading glasses! Your PJs looks awesome!!! Especially with the added long sleeves. I wish I could just whip up PJs like you do. Until then, I'll admire your work in awe and reverence.

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    1. Melanie, you are so funny! Wish I lived closer so I could see your art in person. Maybe some day ...

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  26. So good that you were wise enough to know it wouldn't work. I'm a big fan of a serious cry, but have never been able to master the art of crying and being producive at the same time, so am doubly impressed with your mojo formula. Elle

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    1. Crying is hard, it really is. It comes as a relief when I can finally let go. Being productive? Well, I just thought of it as sewing straight seams. Like riding a bike on flat terrain.

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    2. Hmm...maybe my poor bike-riding skills have something to do with it. Sometimes if I'm stuck (in the pent-up tears that is) I find a tear-jerker movie to get things moving. I agree; it really is a relief. One of my favorite quotes--from Isak Dinesen: "The cure for anything is salt water--sweat, tears, or the sea." Elle

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    3. What an excellent quote!

      Isak Dinesen: "The cure for anything is salt water--sweat, tears, or the sea."

      Yes, I like that a lot!

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  27. Beautiful beautiful PJ's obvious evidence this is what you should be doing right now. You are going to be fine.

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    1. Today I changed to blue thread on the machine. I think it's a sign that I am OK!!

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  28. Gorgeous PJ's and love the shirt, good to see you back :)

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  29. I too sewed like a "banchee" when I quit smoking to keep my hands and mind busy. But 1-1/2 years ago when my husband of 26 years passed away suddenly my sewing became my comfort and I have thrown myself into learning pattern making and upping my sewing "knowhow". I even splurged and put cable tv in my sewing room recently LOL. Thank goodness we have such a great hobby to take us away from what ails us. I'm glad your back I have learned to much about pattern alternations from you!!Thanks!

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    1. joen, I am so sorry for your loss. I imagine it will take quite some time to establish a new normal. Good for you to pamper yourself by getting cable in the sewing room. I get it! I need my entertainment, too.

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  30. Good insights. I also do my best thinking and philosophizing when I'm working out a sewing project. It's amazing how I can solve a problem totally unrelated to the sorting out the mechanics of garment construction.
    cuter than ever pjs!

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    1. oh my goodness, isn't that the truth! Sewing is my therapy!!
      The world would be a better place if more people sewed, but that is just my humble opinion :-D

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  31. Welcome back, Robin. Love the pj's. Should I confess I don't ever wear pj's? Well not quite true, I put on a large t-shirt when it gets cold.

    Best wishes in your transition. You still are a wonderful blogger, clever writer.

    Sue

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    1. ha ha Sue56, I won't tell anyone :)
      thanks for your positivity.

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  32. There's nothing silly about sewing as a sort of mental discipline, verging into a sort of spiritual practice... There have been some times where the sewing was the only thing in my life I felt like I could kind of control, which meant it helped me deal with other chaotic stuff going on that I could not control...

    I really like your pj's.. :)

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    1. yep, I know what you mean. There is always plenty of chaotic going around, isn't there?
      Hope you are feeling better, I know you have been sick.

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  33. Robin, you absolutely made the right decision. We are all behind you 100%. nancy2001

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    1. Thank you Nancy - very kind of you to comment; I admire your work.

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  34. Great technique for jump starting the mojo again. On the other *temptations, great advice on a "bad" relationship. It only gets worse the longer you stay in it (I'm a witness.). Be done with it already.

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Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Sewing, xo

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