Seeing with New Eyes

The past six months have been a journey for me of self-care, learning who I am now at this juncture of life, and adjusting my thinking about myself, my body, health and what it means to be fit. It began this summer when I started a new job, the first one after many years of being a stay-at-home-mom, and had to figure out how to dress for a professional office again. It continued through a just-for-me trip to Italy for a yoga retreat. It was sparked after reading a blog post by Mary of Idle Fancy, which sent me down a rabbit hole of dressing for body shape, bone structure, and coloring. It has been furthered through a KonMari closet clean-out, a trip to Disneyland, and the beginning of a Whole30.

The culmination of this journey to where I am now is my word for 2019 (because we’re all doing that now): intentional. I want everything I do to be with intention. I can see now that for so many years I have been flotsam, floating through being both a wife and mother, from comfy spot to comfy spot, but never feeling like own self, never having any true goals, never being invested in the outcome of my life, never doing with true purpose. Much of this lackadaisical lifestyle had to do with being extremely introverted (INTP for those who Myers-Briggs) and not feeling comfortable interacting well with those around me, past hurts from trying and failing in social situations, and a negative self image. It was easier to not care; come home from work, fast-food in hand, and sit on the couch until bedtime.

However, I LOVE the job I am doing now, and it bothered me that I was struggling to represent the company well because I still looked like I didn’t care. When I was given the opportunity to go on a yoga retreat this past fall with a friend, I was extremely nervous because I only knew her. However, it was the tipping point to what became a life-changing experience. Not only did I come away with new friends, I had so much confidence about who I am as a person, and my own value.

After reading the blog post about dressing in a style known as the Kibbe System, and the ensuing internet searches (be warned: there are some people online who take this VERY seriously, and get a bit weird about it), I came away with a different kind of confidence, one I have NEVER had before — that no matter what size I am or how much I weigh, my body shape and overall build is not going to change. I am always going to have an hourglass figure, which means more fleshy in some areas, and I will present my best self if I dress in styles Kibbe called “romantic.” And all of this is ok because it is who I am, how I was created, intentionally.

I took the Kibbe “romantic” style ideas (flowing and soft fabrics; rounded shapes or large floral prints; no stripes, geometric prints, sharp angles or lines; waist accentuation – no boxy tops/dresses; ultra “feminine” styles with flounces, peplums, ruffles, draping; soft or rounded necklines) and decided to clean my closet out, so I could see what I actually have to work with. I had done a KonMari style closet clean-out years ago, but since then my wardrobe had grown to a lot of casual pants, oversized boxy linen tops, t-shirts, and not much else. After getting rid of a few bags of clothes that broke all the Kibbe rules (and to be honest, were super unflattering, even while they were COMFY), I was left with a good idea of where I needed to start to complete the wardrobe I need to go forward with INTENTION into 2019.

So, isn’t this supposed to be a sewing blog? Why, yes! My mother taught me to sew as a child, and while I wasn’t super keen on it then, once I became an adult (and even married into a sewing family, which is super cool), I started sewing for myself and my daughter (and my hubs every once in a while), and have found that it is my type of creativity. I have always (since hitting puberty) struggled to fit RTW clothing due to my hourglass shape, complete with an H cup bust (US sizing), small ribcage, long torso, high waistline, petite shoulders and legs. I love that I can create something that specifically fits me, which makes me both comfortable and confident. I have sewn for myself in the past, but I feel now I have a new direction with the Kibbe rules, and I am hoping that it will guide me to more successes that I love to wear, as well as some TNT patterns. I also want to be a bit more active in the digital sewing community, because it is a lot of fun to INTENTIONALLY participate, be it on a Facebook forum/group, commenting on another sewist’s blog, or attempting some of the many challenges the sewing community hosts.

Thanksgiving 2019, Cashmerette Appleton wrap dress

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière

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