I truly hope you’re staying safe amidst all that’s going on in the world and finding pockets of joy in the madness. I made this two piece turtleneck and skirt outfit a while ago for #makeday on Lavendame’s IGTV. Shopping to final product took me two days which really isn’t much, plus I had several breaks in between so I could probably have whipped this up in a few hours. You can catch up on this and other makeday posts here. The world has changed dramatically since then and it’s mind boggling to see how reality has shifted beneath our feet.
I have seen several posts on our collective consciousness which seems to be a mix of wanting this to end right away, wanting to make the most of this time, not wanting to process next steps. People are trying to stay afloat because bills don’t stop, businesses are trying to stay relevant because cash flow is king and in the chaos of it all, there are our trusty distractions; food and Tik Tok challenges to make us feel like the world really isn’t so bad.
The uncertainty of an end date is probably the most maddening of all of it; all we can do is wait. And we hate to wait! We hate long lines, we hate waiting for people who are late, we hate delivery times that are longer than 24hrs, we hate waiting for the bus, I hate waiting for the bus, I hate waiting! I can’t speak for everyone but waiting just isn’t fun! Yea yea you can try to talk up the nervous anticipation and the excitement of finally getting what you want but let’s face it, the best part about waiting is when you don’t have to wait anymore…or is it?
You see, I’ve become somewhat of an expert at this waiting game and I’m here to share my wisdom with you all (Ha! JK). The quarantine has trained me well in this craft and it would be a disservice to you all if I didn’t share.
So while you wait…
Stay present. It’s incredibly easy to miss all the gifts of now because you’re dwelling on what you could have done with the freedom of the past or what you want to do with the freedom of the future. Let’s face it, when you think it through, we’re never really free until we believe we’re free. Just stay here and now because today is the future you once dreamed about.
Stay active. And while physical activity is important, that’s not all. How can you be active for your community? How can you maintain steady progress towards your goals? How can this time in your life be anything but a stand still? Not to freak you out but time will advance whether or not you do. This will always be true in waiting or not. The good thing is you always have the choice to move, they may be slow measured steps but those are your steps and you have agency in that. Don’t let anyone rush you into some half baked quest for productivity and don’t let anyone sedate you into living without intention; you have immeasurable value to offer and the world is ready to receive it once you’re ready to bring it forth.
Stay in touch. With friends and family? Yes! But also with you. Not unlike staying present, staying in touch with yourself means being aware of when you need a break from the noise. It is being aware of when you need help. It is being aware of when you need to rest and when you need to push. Stay in touch with your mental space; are you feeling disconnected, how can you reengage with your world? Sometimes I take a moment to just do a full self scan; where am I tense, am I breathing, am I stressed, am I happy and extremely important for my overall functioning, am I spiritually connected? Bringing your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual states into focus from time to time could help you realign on what may be missing for you at any given time.
Stay home. In your physical house if it is safe to do so because we are all in this together. However, home may be a plethora of things to you; it could be your creative space, it could be calls with those you love, it could be quiet time at 7am in the morning. Find home and stay home; waiting is hard but home is where you bunker the stormy days. I’ve realized that home is where its easiest to love and nourish yourself wholeheartedly.
In all seriousness, I’m still learning how to wait well. None of the tips above are in perfect alignment for me all the time but if I can master waiting for even just a little while longer, this quarantine will have made me better.
I truly pray for anyone reading this that you stay well in this time. I could say something cheesy about cocoons and butterflies but I’ll spare you the analogy and just wish you all my love as we weather the hard days together
So late last year, I made this jumpsuit which modeled after a jumpsuit I was supposed to ( but failed to) make for my mom. Turns out it worked just fine when I made it for myself. I have worn this to one of my choir concerts, a work launch party and church and its always a hit. I used a really boxy blouse and some of my loose fitting work pants as a pattern for this. My goal was to go really loose all over and cinch in the waist so its a bit more forgiving. Something about its just looks like I’m a grown woman who is about her business no?
As I was planning for this post I kept thinking of what I wanted to say. What thoughts, views or stories could I share that would embody this jumpsuit. So I thought of how I felt when I wore it.
I felt powerful
I felt feminine
and I felt comfortable
For some reason this made me think of the Mulan soundtrack, specifically, “a girl worth fighting for”. Don’t ask how I arrived here, that was a long train of thought but all you need to know is this is where we ended up; at a girl worth fighting for. Now you probably don’t need me to but I’ll set the stage. The men of China are off to perform their unsavoury duties of going to war and to lift their spirits they decide to “think of instead a girl worth fighting for”. Of course to the men this really meant “she cute or whateva” and you know “she can cook or whateva” and “she thinks I’m funny or whateva”.
Now if you are a Nigerian girl/woman, at some point in your life someone has probably made reference to your “husband’s house”. This could be about how you should behave in this nirvana or how unfit you are to attain the priviledge of your husband’s house; no matter the form, the underlying message seems to be “be the girl worth fighting for”. Be cute and demure. Be entertaining but not in a way that overshadows him. Cook and nurture and be all things to all men really. I guess this wouldn’t be so problematic to me if we held everyone to this standard irrespective of gender but that’s a topic with plenty literature if you’re interested.
All that being said, I think we should all strive to be the girl worth fighting for 🙂 . Not in the traditional way of course. The girl you fight to become may not be the girl that every man wants but if she’s girl that you are proud to be then that’s where I want you to begin. I am fighting to be the girl that wakes up everyday knowing that she’s valuable. The girl that invests in herself and knows that it is not selfish to do so. The girl that actively enriches the lives of those around her. The girl that understands the need for balance in her life. The girl that holds herself to a standard of excellence in whatever she chooses to do because she knows mediocrity is not a good look. The girl that achieves her goals, that is true to herself and her beliefs. The girl who understands that she has choices to make and that her life should not be dictated by the requirements and expectations of other people. That’s the girl I’m fighting for everyday and I think she’s worth fighting for.
Jumpsuit? Two-piece? does it matter? Still hella fly though 😛 Okay I’ll stop tooting my own horn and get right into it. First, my inspiration; I was scrolling through a few blogs that I follow and I stumbled on Beaute J’adore‘s neck tie dress and I was like ooolala this is looking like a winner. A couple sketchy sketches later and I wanted a jumpsuit but jumpsuits are stressful so I decided to make two separate pieces a decision that also gives me flexibility to wear each piece on its own.
A major contributor to the success of this outfit was- surprise surprise- PLANNING! I picked out clothes that had a similar fit to what I wanted, laid them out on tracing paper and traced around them. I made sure to add a lot of seam allowance just in case I messed something up.
For the waistband of the pants I added pleats to add a little character to the pants and added a thick elastic to cinch in the waist. I haven’t (successfully) made a lot of pants in my sewing career so this was definitely a fun challenge.
The neck tie was also a new venture for me but it definitely wasn’t too difficult. The hardest part was really figuring how far down to cut the slit where it wouldn’t be too cleavage-y and not too prudish. I attached the neck tie in a similar way to how I would attach a waistband. I finished some of the raw edges with red bias just to add a little something extra. I could have hemmed it but nahhh your girl had to do a likkle extra.