Tidying loose ends – and making jeans

I don’t know if anyone else will hold their hands up to this but I can procrastinate at Olympic level. Probably gold medal Olympic level. One of the things that is guaranteed to sit me down with a magazine and a cup of tea rather than doing what I am supposed to be doing is chaos. You know the stuff – the pictures of garments from magazines for your wish list, repairs/alterations that shouldn’t take long (once you actually get down to it), projects cut out – or even started (UFO’s) and sitting awaiting attention.

Well, in two separate magazines I have read recently had articles about/by  Gretchen Rubin who is a happiness guru. Who wouldn’t read that? She has written a book called ‘Better Than Before’ and what was detailed in the article I read was very interesting – and eye-opening. She identifies the sort of problems that I certainly recognise, but then suggests ways to correct them dependent on what category you fit. One of the main things to stop you being effective/happy is just that – chaos. So, how to improve?

There are four categories to choose from  – Upholders (self-directed, follows rules easily), Questioner (needs to know why they should do something), Rebel (do I need say?), and Obliger. Guess which I fall into? Yes, obliger. The sort of person who can hit deadlines, demands, and responsibilities – just not if they are for themselves. The doormats of the habit world. Humph.

Ms Rubin suggests that we can all be better by making things into good habits rather than choices. Makes sense, easier just to do something than to decide if you want to do something. As an obliger I can improve my chances of actually doing what I want for myself by committing to accompany someone (exercise buddy, class or such), or announce my intent.

Following reading the article I have gone back to writing myself an achievable ‘to do’ list daily which includes something for myself daily. That may be to go for a swim, or to sew something that will make my own life better. Stress the my own as opposed to family – which I know I would do anyway.

Velvet Jeanius

Gargoyles of the world unite…

Velvet Jeanius

Not a bad rear fit.

Progress? I found two pairs of velvet jeans which had been cut out in January, prior to my client flurry, which I knew fitted as they were from my Jeanius pattern. Since they counted as clutter/UFO’s I decided to get stuck in on those.

I hadn’t cut the pockets and zip guards/facings so I had fun riffling through the scrap bag to find suitable innards. I thought these looked pretty.

Great 'scrap' inners

Great ‘scrap’ inners

I am glad to shift this long standing project. Velvet jeans. Just in time for spring. Perfect. Despite the bad timing I am happy to have them done and feel a blockage has been shifted so I can get on with other stuff now. I promise, no more Jeanius for a good while – we are all getting bored with them (despite them being such a good addition to my wardrobe).

Another result of reading the articles, and thinking about how I intended my life to change somewhat now that I am reducing the amount of client work I intend to take, is that I have decided I really must reduce my stash. I had a fair amount of fabric left from when I stopped trading as The Material Lady and I don’t want it all hanging around. When I get things sorted into what stays and what goes I will list some of the ‘fabric to go’ for sale on this blog. Not all will be ex-TML fabric – I have to confess to buying more fabric than is reasonable for longer than I can remember so there will be all sorts of things. Probably even some Linton Tweed.

On another note, I have been taking ‘adult improver’ swimming lessons (I have only wanted to do this for about a year….). Yes, I am a scuba diver but actual swimming was never my ‘fun’ activity because my neck was always so sore afterwards. Janet Street Porter identified the style as swimming like the Loch Ness monster recently! Anyhoo, I am now better and have signed up for a swimming challenge next week to swim 1.5 km and raise some money for Marie Curie Nurses. Wish me luck!




17 Comments on “Tidying loose ends – and making jeans”

  1. sewbussted says:

    Bravo Kim! I am reading a book at the moment on setting boundaries.

  2. mrsmole says:

    We are opposites, Kim…no sooner than the client gets in her car to drive away, I have my hands on her dress ready to open up hems and seams to get started. And while this may seem ideal for a seamstress…it’s not. I can’t help myself back away or leave it sitting. Dresses are ready a month in advance and what that does is allow the universe to send more shit my way…so I need a little of what you have…the ability to put things to one side…what a cool concept! Love your jeans! Good luck with your swimming challenge, I never learned the right way so I just flop around in the water and hope to grab unto someone who knows what they are doing.

    • I am the same with clients Mrs Mole – just not for me. I always finish anyone else’s work ahead of schedule but my own garments are often still a piece of fabric when the day of intent arrives. Likewise exercise usually takes a back seat to anyone else having a need. We need to remember that we are important too.
      The jeans are going to be useful. I forgot to say I had narrowed the legs of these to tuck into boots. Not that I am likely to be wearing boots for a while 😃

  3. Good luck with your challenge! Nice jeans. I never thought of making them in velvet. There’s another option for me. So many ideas!

  4. Thimberlina says:

    Wow, looks like that book has made a different already. I think I’m an obliger too. I plod on unless someone else is involved. And I’ve got jeans to finish too – except mine aren’t cut out yet! I really need to sort myself I think. I love your velvet ones, they look fab!!
    I think I need another day in the week to do everything I need and want to do!
    PS good look with your swimming!

    • Thanks Thimberlina! If you work out how to get that extra day please do tell😉
      Pretend the jeans are for someone else and you will have them made in a flash. *sigh*

  5. amcclure2014 says:

    I’m not sure what category I fit into. Could be obliger, too . I certainly respond to deadlines, for others. I wasn’t reading your blog when you traded material – I didn’t realise until today. Good luck with your path.

    • Thank you Anne. I think most women are obligers if we are honest – perhaps not my daughter’s age group as attitudes were changing – though it would be good for us all to be a little kinder to ourselves.

  6. Well done you (especially on the planned swim!) and the jeans are fab 🙂

  7. sew2pro says:

    I’m definitely an obliger too. One good habit I’ll be trying to cultivate is to always finish. I’m beginning to learn that soon as you turn a sewing project into a UFO, it’s much harder to pick up where you left off as the pieces are no longer familiar.

    Good luck with the swimming; it’s one of my favourite things.

    • My mother would probably tell you (and anyone else who would listen!) that I am a great starter but not finisher. Clients can be guaranteed a finish but some of my own work waits a while and you are right to say it gets harder to finish the longer it waits 😞. Finishing promptly would be a good habit to adopt.

  8. Cecilia says:

    That’s so true! Time for ourselves, just doing what we love. Thank you.

  9. jay says:

    Nice jeans! As another obliger, Good Luck with the plan!

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