Sewing for Sanity : I Made an Outfit to Tour In

Things have been hectic at Holy Scrap. Between Tarp Surfin and cooking with the anti-griddle we have been preparing for the release of my book which includes a significant book tour. The Good Life Lab comes out June 5th, that's when it will be available just about everywhere. The tour starts in May with a launch at the Maker Faire in the Bay Area. Then its 20 bookstores and hacker spaces in the north west, then Denver and Boulder, LA, NY etc. Mikey is presenting with me in the tech areas. I'm happy that the tour starts in those areas. He is a great support.

The book yanked me from the familiar and the comfortable and plopped me down in nervous, a sure sign I'm being stretched. I welcome the new and the  uncertainty it brings. But I notice that this time around while being prompted to be a beginner again, I'm also gathering 40+ years of living and standing on that solid ground. The beginner will fumble and make mistakes while the expert stands ground. Change and newness also seems to ask that bear what we can not change. All this feels like being calibrated.

Its has been a long time since I've been in the business of creativity. I don't much like the biz part anymore. In these last weeks before the tour we're readying our homestead to be in the hands of a sitter, shutting down systems that have been running for a long time: wine, cheese, ferments, and there's rhythms around land and our gardens, bees and pets.

It may seem odd but this leads me to the outfit that I made this afternoon. Noting that the stress in my life has increased, I am doing more yoga, taking longer walks with Sesame, and limiting my computer time and caffeine. Most importantly, I made time to be creative. Today I made an outfit to wear while touring. A while back I pledged to do this. Hardly a great sewer it was a hefty pledge!

I made a wrap skirt and simple top from raw undyed knobby silk and silk thread. Sewing felt like a life raft. Sewing brought me right to the moment. For several hours laser beam focus transformed me back to delight.

Tomorrow I will dye the two garments. with acid dyes I purchased in mauve and brown. I'll post the results.


Jay said...


If I may be so bold as to make an observation...

You made some excellent clothes, but looking at your photos, you're not fully dressed!

My Granny always used to say, "You're not fully dressed until you put on your smile."

That's probably some of that stress you're feeling showing through in your photos. Certainly understandable.

Think of smiling as a special Yoga posture. Practice makes it easier to perform the posture the next time, and before long it becomes part of you. Before long, the smile you put on with your clothes changes your whole outlook about what you are doing and feeling.

The more stress you feel, the more important it becomes to center yourself, starting with your smile.

No matter how much surrounding chaos is causing stress, your smile can help focus you on a few details within that chaos that bring you joy in spite of whatever stressful chaos you find yourself in.

Besides, nice clothes you made yourself SHOULD bring a smile to your face.

Also, keep in mind that a person wearing a smile and a tattered worn out burlap bag looks better than a stress faced perfectly tailored person any day.

Take a look at yourself in the photos in this blog post, and compare how you look to this recent photo I snagged off your flickr feed:

Nothing wrong with the clothes or the person in any of the photos, but I'd rather talk to the lady with compost smeared on her clothes any day.

Hey... if you feel better about yourself when you have soil and compost smeared on your clothes, that's probably what you should wear when you go on your book tour. Perhaps you should take a bag of compost and smear it on yourself right before you talk to any group, if that's what it takes to bring a smile to your face! ;) (Fresh compost scent is probably the best perfume a lady can wear anyway.)

I encourage you to find a way to take your smile with you on your journey Wendy. It's more important than your clothes, no matter how great a job you did sewing them.

I wish you the best. Enjoy your journey.

Jay said...


I posted the wrong photo link. I meant to post this one:


My whole post will make a lot more sense if you look at the above photo instead of the link I posted.

However, maybe my mistake will bring a laugh and a heartfelt smile to your face. If that is the result, than I'm glad I screwed up.

Wendy J. Tremayne said...

Noted Jay... Smile in Progress.

Trashdigger said...

so where in Denver/ BOulder ya coming to . Old Trash will be there