The Endless Summer of Skirts: More Sewing = Less Mindless Snarfing

There’s more Laura out in the blogosphere today–check out my very first Hollaback Health post (on body image and blogging)!


Coming back to our regularly scheduled programming….

This, my peeps, is going to be the summer of the skirt in all its variations, hoochie and otherwise.

As I mentioned in last Friday’s foodie post, I was on a sewing bender last weekend.  Some girls indulge in Sex and the City marathons with cocktails in hand when significant-other-free on a weekend.  Me?  You’ll find me geeking out to The Wire (only occasionally blowing kisses at Stringer Bell or The Bunk onscreen) with a pile of sewing in my lap, speaking so ghettoishly by the Husband’s return that cleaning my mouth with soap to make myself more sociable to the general population becomes necessary.

So, in between watching Baltimore drug busts and police intrigues go down, last weekend’s spoils include these beauties:

Leftover dress material becomes a skirt--waste not want not, right?

A disastrous dress is saved and the fabric becomes a skirt--whew

An old favorite dress, now too big, salvaged into skirt--because I cannot let go of those dots

Plus a dress that still needs some work–I don’t do pockets without some level of disaster just yet, and I’m feeling the skirts more anyway.

But, back to what this weekend revealed…

As I measured and tucked and pinned (both the fresh new skirt material and the dress re-do projects), fit to pee myself in excitement at the prospect of a gazillion nifty high-waisted skirts, I realized that I was doing the unthinkable for me:  I was nipping and tucking past the point of no return. As in, there’s ZERO booty/paunch wiggle room.

For the first time ever, not having let-out room is just fine by me.

In my pre-running, pre-swimming, less-sleek times, I would always make things a bit too big.  Or a lot too big.  I was a math whiz when it came to adding inches, leaving a larger seam allowance on most items so that, should I manage to top my 33-pieces-of-sushi feat of marvelous eating and have too many nights at the pub show on my hips, I could still find a way to slink-and-squeeze into the item I had slaved, sweated, and sworn over. I did the occasional nip-tuck, but the adjustments were never permanent (kind of like most of the rest of my life at the time, how fitting.)

This ridiculousness was partly based on vanity, partly based on me being one of the cheapest seamstresses alive–no WAY would I let a dress that cost $5 in fabric go to waste, even if it did indeed look like a $5-fabric dress.  I would have rather slinked and squirmed into the popping-at-the-seams item or make it large enough to house two of my sisters (and risk looking like a bad extra from Rent) than waste my hard-earned sewing by letting it get too small.

However, with this weekend’s sewing, I’ve hit the nail on the coffin of my spacious-sewing ways.  In the last year, I’ve run four races (two awesome, one amazing, and one I’d rather forget), gone through two swimcaps and three sets of goggles, worn through my yoga mat, lost inches like Goldman Sachs lost money and  lost my taste for lunches of rice with rice on the side and rice on top.  I’ve been shocked at the mirror, I’ve been shocked at pictures, and I’ve had to give away 75% of my wardrobe.  I feel better than I did at 22–and I felt badass indeed back then–and these new badass ways are here to stay.

Therefore, since I’m still cheap as can be, they’ll be lots more fixing and refashioning in my future:

That yellow skirt circa last November is next...

And my new sewing doesn’t–and resolutely won’t–have extra room. It’s like Rachel said about wearing jeans at Christmas to avoid becoming the turkey, except I’m applying it to cooler fabrics more suitable for the sweatfest that is tropical Trinidad.

And wouldn’t you know, but my obsessive personality is loving this new turn of sewing events?  It means that, when in doubt about getting up and going for a run–you know, because it might be raining, or there might be bugs or lewd staring men on my runs, or I’d rather be a geek and read about India in bed–I think about how long it took me to sew item X (fill in sewing obsession of the moment.)  I think about how much that fabric cost.  I think about how I showed most unladylike language and behavior when I toiled and tantrumed for hours and hours on end–and finally fixed each of those piece to fit me perfectly.

Finally, I think about I’ve made most of my hemlines are so short now I may as well be the Harajuku Barbie, Miss Nicki Minaj herself (go Trini pride!), and how lapses in Core Fusion and strength sessions mean lapses in dignity (in the form of clothes outgrown, booty shown, and dignity ruined for impertinent flash of ass.)

With all this at stake, you can bet I won’t be missing runs, swims, or strength sessions–or engaging in competitive sushi-eating competitions any time soon (but I do reserve the right to treasure my sushi-fest receipt as a memento of times and belly past.)


Oh, that little four-mile run this morning?  That Off-spritzed run in the drizzle among Trinidad’s finest mosquitoes, with a dual-ziplocked iPod shoved down my shirt to protect it against the impending heavy rain?  I whomped that run so mightily I deserve a rap name for it.  Best. Run. Ever.  It felt like a  jaunt in a cool park a la Snow White, and better than a three-mile run ever has.  I almost kept going, but the clouds were getting mighty black.  And anyway, we all know you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself (or before your run makes you think you’re witty when you’re not.)

I will neither bore you nor boast about that run any more, but I will say that, if you:

  • eat chicken
  • have a mango lying around, and
  • feel like having an out-of-body experience today

You need to try this salad, courtesy of the amazing Nigella Lawson:

Grilled chicken (though you could probably replace tofu if you’re vegetarian), mango, scallion, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil, lime juice, half a bush of cilantro.  The woman knows salad perfection–and so should you.

2 Responses

  1. I love the way you’ve refashioned your old skirts and dresses. I have some favorite summer dresses that are now too big but I’ll probably sell them on Ebay and use it as a way to clear out my cluttered closet.

  2. […] Mango and chicken salad:  mango, cilantro, lime, grilled chicken, sesame oil, lime juice and a pile of greens=beautiful lunch (I love making a version of Nigella Lawson’s mango and chicken salad) […]

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