Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Top, New Day

You know how you sometimes hear people say things like "stay in the moment"? Or "enjoy the moment"? Or "savor the moment"? These people are usually yoga teachers or life coaches or a meme on Facebook or Oprah or your aunt on your wedding day. And you know they mean well, and you know that they're totally right. Yes! You say to yourself. I shall live today in the moment! And then you proceed to spend much of the rest of the day rummaging through moments in the past or daydreaming about moments in the future. 

Well, that's how I do it anyway.

I've actually never really understood how I'm supposed to go about being "in the moment." Is there a trick or a breathing exercise I can do? Perhaps a vitamin? Recently, I caught myself over the course of a single day doing the exact opposite of what it probably means to live in the moment. I started the day by waking up, wishing I could stay in bed longer, and then I checked my work email on my phone as I walked to work (um, you know you're going to work...where you will be looking at email all day, right?), and then the whole time I was at work, I was wishing that I could leave and go to my yoga class after work, and then the second my yoga class got challenging, I found myself daydreaming about the tall glass of soda water with a splash of cranberry that I would have at Robb's bar after class, and then the whole way to the bar, where I would finally get my soda water, I felt myself impatiently planning what I would have for dinner, and then on the way home to cook dinner, I ate a whole bag of Pirate's Booty, unable to wait until I got home to start eating, and then I got home and cooked dinner and looked at my iPhone the whole time I ate it, even though a show was on TV (a show I LIKE, at that), and then I delayed going to bed until way late, because now, ironically, I did not want to go to sleep, even though at the beginning of the day, all I wanted in the world was to stay asleep.

Not. In. The. Moment. People.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because this top up here, the one I'm wearing above...this top is the one thing I can say I did lately that was made "in the moment."
Do you ever have fabric laying around that's burning a hole in your pocket? And then the second you figure out how you want to use it, it's like OH MY GOD I HAVE TO MAKE THAT RIGHT NOW. That was how I felt about this top. I was sitting at home on a Thursday night, the paper pattern was already cut out in my size, and there was this coral shot cotton, washed and folded on top of my printer. (Because I'm messy and sometimes things just sit on the printer.) Before I knew it, I had pulled out the cutting mat and the tailor's chalk, the fancy scissors and the rotary cutter, the gridded ruler and the measuring tape. Anthony Bourdain talked about the Philippines in the background and I missed the whole thing. Snip snip snip, happily I cut out the pattern. (Also, I apparently don't ever actually watch TV.)
And what is this pattern, you ask? Well, I'm afraid it's a secret. For the next six months anyway. It's a pattern that the fabulous Jenny Gordy of Wiksten designed for a new book that Lena Corwin is writing and that I am editing. The pattern is one of those maddeningly simple affairs where you literally take two of your own measurements (waist and hip), do just the tiniest bit of math, and then sketch out your own pattern sheet drawn to those dimensions. I love these kinds of patterns. They're so elegant in their simplicity, and yet they require you to slow down a bit and sew very careful seams. Straight seams, in this project, are crucial.  

The first night, I cut out the fabric (one hour). The next night, I sewed the straps, the armholes and neckline, and joined the front and back into one piece (two hours). The next day, I added the drawstring and hemmed the bottom, and I was done (one hour). 
Then, though it was a chilly Sunday, I put on the top and wore it out...with a sweater and a jacket. And though most of it was covered up, I knew that I was wearing my new favorite creation. I looked down at my lap and admired the coral shot cotton, faintly glimmering in the sun. Oh, it feels good to want to do something and enjoy doing it while you're doing it. Let that be a lesson to me (especially since, just moments ago, I got distracted while thinking about making a bowl of popcorn and turning on Project Runway). There is something to be said about losing yourself in what you're making, and not wanting to be any other place in the world while you're making it.


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