Where Did My Sewing Mojo Go?

Did it go to China, perhap,s, to be with the makers of my ready-mades?  Or did Iit fall out of the pockets of my self-made shorts when i wore them in Tobago last month?

I am very aware that I go through stages with the sewing.  When the mojo is with me, I binge on sewing and make messes that drive me and the generally mess-friendly Mr. Laura truly crazy.  I leave a snail trail of threads and pins behind.  I even sleep with a notebook near my head to jot down ideas.  I have been known to get up in the middle of the night to fussle at my stash and patterns.  The Mr. has considered locking away my sewing supplies between 2 am and 8 am to ensure I get sleep when I’m on a sewing up.  I become a raving, frizzy-headed maniac.

And then I stop.

It’s not that sewing doesn’t interest me when I’m not in the stitching-frenzied state, because I still think of things to make and dream about all those pieces that would make my closet happy and full.  However, it’s the execution that eludes me during these down times.

During the down cycle, a glance into the mess that is my sewing room (technically, it’s just a couch in the unused room of our house, with boxes and junk piled on it and around it, and languishing balls of lint and fluff floating around) is enough to put me right off sewing and drive me into the welcome arms of the DVD player and its promises of endless The Wire episodes.  Because really, confronted with this, West Baltimore ain’t all that bad:

My "sewing room" exposed--I feel aflush with shame just showing you this trainwreck Note the artful placement of the yoga mat, foam roller, and deflated swiss ball (yeah, they're out of Umbi's way, but that's still no excuse for this chaos)

I then convince myself that the reason I’m not feeling the sewing is because the room is a mess, and begin feeble attempts to organize said mess, but I run out of steam once I realize that I have three different kinds of scrap bags (scraps to keep, scraps to maybe keep, scraps to toss that never actually get tossed) and no shelving or boxes to put anything in, and an entire BIG box of clothes that need a nip here and a tuck there–and which would benefit from the attentions of a tailor or anyone with far more patience and sewing chops than this here sloppy sewist.

The final strike against any sewing when I’m in this despicable mood is my firm conviction that, even if I tidy the damn sewing crap, it is pointless to start sewing anything because I need to redraft and recheck the measurements on anything I sew.  I’ve always had to do this because I’m two inches away from being officially stumpy and I have the width that is the legacy of my rice and beans Puerto Rican genetics (side snark:  the J-Lo fuss when she came onto the scene still makes me laugh–and the media thought SHE had a bumper?? Clearly they need to take a plane and park themselves in San Juan on a Friday night and we’ll see  how pedestrian and average J-Lo’s assets are. )  I’ve also always needed to do all kinds of bodice adjustments for not being a pancake and having a waist to go with my goods.  And now, I have to take ALL these things into account AND figure it out for a whole new set of dress sizes, because I’ve shrunk like a wool sweater left in the dryer during a Harry Potter marathon–which is a very good thing, but it still causes no end of seamstress consternation.  And y’all well know how much I hate altering stuff.

Just as I’m ready to give myself a good talking-to and stop all this nonsense excuse-making, I notice how pretty my new books are looking and rue the fact that I have only ONE set of (very badly short-sighted) eyes, which summarily dispels any false hopes of reading and sewing at the same time.  (I know that there are great books on cd out there, but I just can’t do, sorry.  I also tried paying Mr. Man to read to me, but it’s hardly an incentive if the moolah comes out of  joint account.)  And I tell myself of all the hardship endured to get the books to Trinidad from England (when I first moved) or from the US (where I stuff my extra suitcase full of books twice yearly), and before I know it I forgot what I was going to talk to myself about, grab a pretty book, and get recliney with it.

Now that I’ve outlined My Sewing Cycle of Shame, I’m ready to break it.  Or rather, I NEED to break it, because carnival is six weeks away and I only picked up one fete (pre-carnival parties that go on all day or all night, with live music, food, and plenty drinks) dress, and absolutely no Monday wear (on Carnival Monday, you can wear part of your costume but should not wear all of it; most people wear bikini bottoms or boy shorts of the same color as their costume and some kind of decorated bikini/bra top with it, along with a few of the feathery bits of the costume–but never the headdress).

So my sewing mojo is coming back because it HAS to.  Otherwise I’ll have to fire it and hire a new one.  Said mojo is going to get me through the following items:

  • Bra/bikini top:  I could not believe it last year when I saw women wearing embellished bras (full coverage, never sheer!  It’s not THAT crazy down here) on the street on Carnival Monday.  Now, having experienced the dearth of swimwear options in the shops, I see why they do it.  So I’m going to procure myself a bra for embellishment and find some red or gold fabric to cover it, and some Indian-like fabric and appliques to embellish it (I am going to be a Ruby of Mumbai in Spice, so it’s all about the red and gold).
  • Mini sarong:  I would like to wear some kind of mini-sarong over my Monday-wear boyshorts (enough to give a nice Indian vibe, but not so much to cover up–I don’t want to look like a shy foreigner afraid of shaking her jelly).  I should be able to make this with my eyes closed.
  • Purse:  I need to make myself a small purse/pouch to hold blotting papers, tiny sunblock, and possibly camera while I’m on the streets those two days.  This should be just as easy as making my mini sarong, and will be done in matching fabric.
  • Carnival fete top/dress:  I should be able to whip up a quick, slinky long top easily; I have patterns that even a lazy slopster like me can modify as well as a couple of purchased tops that I can copy to make this.  I’m picturing either a blousy long top with a big, tight miniskirt-like band at the bottom, or a mini-dress with some kind of empire waist and gathered/shirred bodice.  I’m actually looking forward to making this, because fetes are a chance to dress like you’re heading to a club (albeit one outside, where your toes will be stomped on), which I never really do.

There you have it.  I believe that is a sewing agenda for the next six weeks. To get it done, I will either have to do a merciless tidying tomorrow, or just learn to live with the mess and blast my music loudlyto drown out my sewing neuroses as I prowl for stuff on the chaos couch.

I hope that supplies can be procured tomorrow and that all the pretty books and DVDs are locked up by the Hus to facilitate my lazy ass getting down to business this weekend. Don’t underestimate how hard it’s going to be–I have a new book on the Sicilian mafia that makes my fingers tingle, I want to read it so….


Food-blogging-wise, I don’t know what has gotten into me.  I must still be in holiday mode, because I forgot to take pictures of both my breakfast (banana oatmeal) AND my lunch (salad with tuna, tomatoes, peppers, corn and vinaigrette, plus a slice of sada roti, or soft pita bread with spicy potatoes and plantain slices inside).  Lest you think I flushed the camera down the toilet or something, here’s my dinner:

Which was black bean and kidney bean chili, on a bed of salad rather than rice because I had more than enough white fluffiness in my sada roti today to want white rice too.

I was in a rush this morning to get my i-pod synced (an ordeal that I will not detail for the sake of brevity and my temper) so I grabbed the two least-wrinkled articles in my closet rather than fuss with the iron, with the idea of wearing either my new fuschia or new blue shoes.  Then, when I came home, I changed out of my clothes too quickly and forgot to take the picture yet again.  I feel a bit guilty, but not too much, because the clothes weren’t particularly interesting (purple Target long-sleeved T-shirt top, black flared Marshall’s skirt).  They were, however, a good platform for my beloved, crazy colorful, wooden bead necklace (bought at an Indian Expo last year):

And for the pink shoes (the Target flats, which I wore yesterday).  I know, Laura repeating shoes two days in a row! What next?  I can’t help it, I love them.  That and I’m deathly afraid of starting to break in the blue ones.

And, speaking of breaking in, my new workout clothes and gadgets got their introductory spin about the neighborhood today!

I may still look silly, but at least I’m dressed like a Serious Runner unlike before.  The top was purchased back in November from Old Navy online and picked up on my visit home.  It’s my first tech fabric top ever and I kissed it as I pulled it out of the bag, I love it so.  I hope you do too–there are four more of it in different shades.  The pants are Target’s C9 finest and, at 21.99, the most expensive workoout pants I’ve ever gotten, but I got them because I thought they were on sale like my other purchased pants and loved them too much to put them back.  They have a snazzy foldover lavender waistband which is covered by the top, but it makes me happy to know it’s there even if I can’t see it, as does the real and very soft headband.  The other newbies on my person are the green ipod and heart rate monitor watch (and chest strap–underneath, duh), as well as the rocking armband given to me by the lovely Miggi at Christmas.

The excitement at the loveliness and kick-assery of my gear made me run, run, run with a smile on my face (except for when I wanted to hurl by the end–welcome back to running in hot temps, girl!  This did NOT happen in snowy B-Lo) and I finished my 3 miles in 33 minutes and 25 seconds.  I’ll think it was 32:25 because I wasted a minute stopped at the side of the road trying to scroll to different songs through the armband plastic, but we all know that technology does not lie. Evil plastic–I’ll get back atcha one of these days….

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