Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Shame Kills

Last week I posted a link to Facebook with this quote:
And so when my bulimia pops up, I never feel mad at myself. NEVER. Shame takes us closer to that edge than any single binge will. NO. Life is hard and I’m doing the best I can. So I just take inventory and love myself something FIERCE and then start over. Every single moment I am someone brand new.
 I almost didn't want to share it because it felt vulnerable and a little too open, but at the same time I knew that I needed to.

In the days after I posted this, I not only had many questions, but I also had countless messages of encouragement, and even more messages that said "me too". So many people messaged me with their own personal struggles with eating disorders or other issues. A few shared these struggles for the first time. Shame began to retreat.

I love how Brene Brown describes shame because it rings so true to my experience of it:
Shame is an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging
Shame kills. I have no doubt about that. Shame is the voice that tells us it's not worth fighting for our life. Shame tells us not only that we're not loved, but that we're unlovable and broken. Shame is in the fingers down our throats or the bottle to our lips or the knife to our skin. Shame holds us captive in the deepest, darkest hole imaginable.

But shame has an antidote. Empathy. Shame mixed with empathy can never survive.

Shame thrives in secrecy and silence. It slowly wraps its fingers around our throats, squeezing tightly so our voices can no longer be heard. Shame points fingers and yells abuse. And the voice that is yelling at us if often our own.

So maybe vulnerability is not just allowing my voice and my story to be known. Maybe it's also creating a space for more voices to be heard, for more empathy to flow. Maybe our voices and our stories can not only loosen the hold of shames tight grasp around our throats and hearts, but maybe it can help loosen that hold for other people too. If empathy comes through vulnerability, stories, and honesty, then that is what I will strive to do. If my voice will help others (and myself) climb out of that pit of shame, then the vulnerability is absolutely worth it.

Monday, 7 April 2014

DIY: Chiffon Maxi Skirt

As with all of my sewing this was a total experiment but it actually turned out easier than I had thought. 

What you need: 
  • Thick elastic to match your fabric (the elastic will be exposed)
  • Chiffon (enough to wrap around your waist 1.5 times)
  • Stretch fabric to match your chiffon
First of all I cut my chiffon to size by wrapping it twice around my waist. I left the full length and hemmed at the end, but it's probably easiest to cut your length first up too. 

Hem all edges of your chiffon, and then sew the edges together to create a tube skirt. 

Next I cut my stretch fabric - I used this to create a tube skirt to go under my chiffon so my skirt isn't see-through. Again as I never measure or use patterns, I just wrapped the fabric around my waist to create a fitted tube skirt. Cut and sew into a tube (again hemming all edges). I made the length of mine just above the knee. 

Next take your elastic, measure it so it fits around your waist and cut to size. Then also sew your elastic into a tube. 

Now you will have ended up with three different sized sections - the elastic, inner stretch skirt, and the outer chiffon. The next step is to combine these all together so they're easy to sew. To do this you need to create even sections on each of your pieces, through folding and marking with pins. I ended up with 8 pins on each piece, but when it got to sewing I wish I had doubled that number! In foresight I probably should have had around 16 pins. 

Once all your pieces are pinned, you will need to combine them all, matching each of the pins up. I pinned my chiffon and inner tube together first, and then pinned them to the elastic. Remember that your elastic should be exposed, with the chiffon under it, and then the inner tube skirt. 

Once you're all pinned up it's time to sew. I sewing with a zigzag stitch right up next to the edge of the elastic. (On my first try I used a straight stitch about 5mm from the edge, but it ended up very wonky as it's hard to keep track of seam allowance when your elastic is stretched out). As you sew, you will need to stretch each section as much as possible. Your elastic and inner skirt should all be stretched out to meet the chiffon. Once you've sewn the whole way around, check that you have caught all the chiffon. Because I had only done 8 sections I had missed the chiffon in one spot, so had to do a bit of handstitching to catch it all up under the elastic. 

I have no photos of this section as my hands were busy with my machine and stretching the fabric!!

Next all you need to do is your hem and you're finished!