Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Magic of a Challenge

 A few days ago I was getting dressed, maybe I was brushing my hair. Can't remember exactly was I was doing, but I was looking in the mirror. While I was standing there, a thought went through my head(they do from time to time ;) It actually shocked me a bit..."I really like the way I look." That's not something I have really ever said to myself. In fact, quite the opposite. That thought has given me pause to think and reflect over the last few days.

There was a time when I barely ate. Lunch was never more than a carrot. I was especially thin, and still I worked out like a fien. The scale was my constant companion. As thin as I was, I was never satisfied. I was always striving to be better, which translated into thinner in my mind. Truth be told, I was absolutely miserable. 

As I've thought, I've had to ask myself when it all changed? I did not have counseling for an eating disorder. I am 20 pounds heavier than I was at my thinnest. Something that would have horrified me all those years ago, and yet, happier than I have ever been in my life. I can't pinpoint 1 particular event, but many that have been influential. Even something as insignificant as this crazy little challenge of committing to wearing my handmade wardrobe for a year I think has been significant. Isn't it amazing that something that seems trivial can end up being anything but trivial? 


I am sooooo behind on these posts. So, I am going to try and catch up over the next few days.

This outfit goes back to September 3rd :/ Again, I am really behind. I wore a self-drafted 6-gore skirt. You can find the instructions HERE. I have been wearing this skirt for 9 years!!! I think I need a new skirt ;) The top is 1 that I did for a Sleeves On Saturdays post. I called it the Bending Willow Sleeve, and you can find that tutorial HERE.   

This dress is a favorite of mine. You've seen it a number of times. I have added a picture of it being worn in different ways. It's a self-drafted piece for which I have not done a tutorial. I really should.   

The fabric for this outfit was a gift. Believe it or not, of all the precious fabrics that I have cut into in my lifetime, for some reason this one was especially difficult for me. It's hand dyed, and I felt it to be extra special. In the end, I am very happy with what I did with the fabric. The tutorial for the skirt can be found HERE. The top is just 4 rectangles. Super simple to do. I will be doing a tutorial for it.

You've seen this outfit before. It's one that I throw on whenever I am...to be honest, a little lazy. The leggings are the Loveland Leggings from Sew News. The matching cardigan is the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet. 

We're finally up to September 8th. This piece was made using the free Our Fave Top from Tessuti. I lengthened the pattern and added the inserted tie. You can see my post on how I made the changes HERE

I love getting out for a walk, or a run in the morning, but I so hate having cars honk at me. So, I decided to start adding a little wrap skirt to my leggings. I purchased the leggings that I am wearing. I just couldn't help myself. The pattern is from a Chicago Aeronautical sectional. The top is self-drafted, and the wrap skirt pattern is sadly not available at the moment. 

I love circle skirts. The fabric for this skirt came printed for a circle skirt. All I had to do was the math for the waistline. The top is a modified Helen's Closet Elliot Tee and Sweater.

The cargo pants I'm wearing were made in conjunction with Cennetta from The Mahogany Stylist. We had such a good time creating cargo pants. We used an out of print Simplicity pattern, Simplicity 5102. But, cargo pants are really about the pockets, so you can use any pattern that you love and just go crazy with the pockets. You can see the post I did on these pants HERE. The top that I am wearing is another fabulous, and free pattern from Tessuti. It's the Monroe Turtleneck

If you have been following along, you've seen the pants that I am wearing. I made a matching Ogden Cami to wear with the pants. The top I am wearing here was a free pattern that is no longer available. As I was going through my wardrobe, it occurred to me that it might work with the pants, and it did! I used a suede cloth for the top.   

And finally, for this post anyway, I'm wearing a fun pattern from Style Arc. It's the Juliet Woven Shirt. I really love the front tie. The way it is sewn is quite unique. Just a great design. I did not make the jeans, Mr. Levi did ;) They are as old as the hills. I've probably had them for close to 15 years. I keep things for a very long time :)

It has taken me 3 days to get this post together. I know that talking about having an eating disorder is not something I like to talk about. But, maybe there's someone who will happen upon this post that is struggling, and it will help you see that there is hope. Life doesn't not need to be a constant struggle, and we can find happiness and contentment with who we are.

Before I go...
One thing I love to do is go through my closet as if I am in a store and see what might go with another item that I have that I have never thought of mixing together. Just take an hour, and play. I am always amazed with what I come up with! 

Have a wonderful day!

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  1. Love your post and all your lovely makes. You are one courageous and talented woman.

  2. Hi Rhonda, I think you look wonderful! I have suffered from somewhat of an opposite issue, in that I have been overweight my entire adult life. In the obese catagory for awhile. I postponed so much of my life because of it. I didn't want to wear bathing suits, shorts or even leggings for fear of looking bad. About 15 years ago, I did a big closet clean out and only kept the clothes that fit and made me happy...who knew I was ahead of my time (Ms Kondo). I then proceeded to find and alter patterns to fit and made myself a comfortable, stylish for me wardrobe. I have felt so much happier and some of the pounds have melted off. I have been more active and eat more healthy food. It was a cycle for me that I was glad to break. I enjoy your blog and creations. Take care
    Barb from Canada

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are truly inspirational!

  3. In 1986 I drafted a skirt just like yours. The fabric was a linen with a turquoise and yellow mottled print. I had purchased enough fabric for a skirt and simple top. I drafted my pattern, cut it out and sewed it up. I did a nice job. There was only one problem; I forgot to add the seam allowances ! I am 5'2" and weighed 105 lbs at the time. I could not get any smaller.

    1. I hope you didn't even try to get any smaller! I know it was disappointing, but in the end, it was just fabric and a little of you time.

  4. I appreciate all the effort you're going to in sharing your makes, and along with that, your story. I think we all struggle with something, it's about owning them and doing something to make it better. And it's truely wonderful when you realise you left a bit back there at some point.