I Feel Pretty, Oh Sew Pretty

Lovelies, I’m now the very proud owner of a dress and blouse that I made myself.

As someone who only a few months ago was still suffering with severe anxiety, panic attacks, with symptoms of depression and agoraphobia… I’m sure you realise just how significant this moment is.

Through doing this I honestly feel as though I’ve reached an important milestone in my mental health journey and the healing process. I know that if I’d have attempted this a few years ago or even back in February I would have told myself I was untalented, worthless and I shouldn’t even bother because what’s the point?

It’s a very different story to how I feel right now.

Making clothes is something I’ve always imagined myself doing; my eclectic fashion taste unfortunately doesn’t lend itself to the high street and I find reproduction clothes although gorgeous they can also be extremely expensive! So this was always an option I wanted to explore, but knew I wouldn’t be able to get to this point without looking after my mental health first.

In making my own clothes I’m able to find patterns that not only suit my personal style, but I’ve been lucky enough to find that my nearest vintage store has heaps of beautiful vintage fabric! So at the end of the day, I not only get a garment made to fit my petite yet curvaceous body type (finding clothes to fit exactly can indeed be a challenge, anyone with me?) But in order to achieve this I’m not using newly made fabric in the process; therefore being sustainable and having a truly vintage garment as the result. I mean, can you say win-win?

However instead of using the phrase “I tried to run before I could walk”, I think it’s fair to say I ran the London Marathon before I could even crawl and decided I would make this dress with it only being my third time using a sewing machine! I’m one of those that seems to learn better when doing and if I need to learn a specific stitch I’ll have trusty YouTube tutorials at my side to guide me through. I definitely don’t recommend this for everyone, I’m just extremely stubborn… and as I type that I can hear a distant echo saying “YES SHE IS!” from my loved ones haha.

So I’m trying not to steamboat ahead… Y’know like I did when I started all this, but I have some major plans for the future and where I’d really like to take this skill. Honestly I’d love nothing more than to take my cosplay game to a whole new level, making lavish costumes on the scale you’d see at New York Comic Con. As well as creating an entire wardrobe of reworked and personally made clothes and making me true feel like I’ve walked out of Sterling Cooper (Draper Price)… You know I have to mention Mad Men at least once!

Ok, I’ll freely admit that these garments are far from perfect! Nevertheless I personally think it’s pretty nifty being able to see my whole progress right before my eyes and what I’ve achieved so far. I’m teaching myself a completely new skill and I’m prepared for the fact it’s going to look at little ropey for a while yet!

During these last few months have you happened to pick up a new skill, or did you rediscover a love for an old skill? Or, have you been thinking about it but haven’t tried it on for size yet? Take it from me lovelies, if you’re thinking about learning a new skill, whether it’s sewing or something completely different I feel you should absolutely go for it! It might just be the beginning of something truly special.

Wardrobe Woes

Well my friends it’s that time of the month. Oh my goodness, no! Not that!

…That was a stellar introduction to 2020 on my blog wasn’t it? Ta-dar! You’re welcome!

The time of the month I’m referring to being “it’s January – time to have that break up chat with your clothes again”.

Basically around this time of the year, every year (without fail) I have my annual ‘try it and style it’ routine; taking my entire wardrobe and trying literally everything on. Now I don’t ever go in with the notion that I have to get rid of something, it just always works out that way! My main rule (that I try and stick to as much as possible) is – that if I’ve not worn an item of clothing in the last year then there’s no doubt that it has to go, again it’s not attempting to get rid of stuff, but if I’ve not worn it a year am I going to wear it in the next? Probably not! (Hence the “sorry we have to break up” part)  

Doing this allows me to rediscover my love for items of clothing I might have forgotten about, or maybe my body had decided it was going to grow out of it for a time and now miraculously it fits again!

We’ve all been there haven’t we? Just me then…

Now I know I may sound like a neat freak by saying this (and that’s because I am, and proud!) But I actually love having a wardrobe clear out! Although it can be a lengthy process; in helping to make way for space in my wardrobe it also makes way for space in my mind. I find it extremely therapeutic and calming; I’ve always felt that way about cleaning and tidying though. How about you lovelies? Am I alone on that one too?

If you’re wondering by the way I filled two shopping bags! A good mixture of blouses, dresses and even a ballet skirt (yes, you read right). These I will split between the charity shops in my area and (an attempt to) sell some pieces and I’ve never tried selling my garments before, so this for sure will be an interesting experiment.  

But being among chums I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been noticing my anxiety has been on a downward spiral over the last few months, slowly beginning to channel depression-like symptoms. However last month I decided enough was enough and I made the decision to go back to therapy. It’s making a massive difference and I can already tell the leaps taking to get myself back to where I should be; which is good that I can notice that. Normally I’d be so quick to judge myself, doubts would instantly set in and I’d feel completely hopeless. So channeling my negative energy into activities such as this I find really help and also helps my creative soul when putting new ensembles together.

My anxiety will always be a part of me, I may as well style it out the best that I can!

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“F— it, why it?”

Hello my lovelies!!

How about we have a sit down, a cuppa and a chingwag?

Do tell me, how are you all? Apologies for yet another 3 week absence, I swear that these absences feel longer every time! So to catch you all up with life stuff, this last week I’ve been on a wonderful job with some truly lovely people and as much as my intentions were good to come home and write another blog, honestly? I was so tired, that food and bed won me over every time. However, I’m now getting better at not berating myself every time I don’t happen to fulfil a task on my imaginary to-do list (that’s normally down to the floor). I listened to my body and did what I needed to do.

Within the last month it’s safe to say there have been a couple of things that’s definitely put my anxiety to the test. The feeling that certain forces have been put on this Earth purely to test how you’ll cope. For those that are in the process of healing or starting your journey, have you felt that? Well that’s how things have been recently and I don’t want to jinx things, but so far things are in fact ok! If these forces are trying to grab hold of you once more, remember how strong you truly are. Believe me, you are.

If I’m being perfectly honest, yes during this time I’ve had a panic attack. But so far it’s only been the one. Normally I would have seen this as a step backward or a sign of weakness, but weirdly I’m feeling quite the opposite. It happened, I took control of it and although my body was exhausted for a time afterward I didn’t let it get the best of me. Now I cannot lie my friends, this is major progress.

Aside from that minor blip, I’ve been taking steps to get passed some of these testing moments that would have otherwise dragged me down, I like to call these “F—it, why not” moments.

It’s basically trying to be more open and more spontaneous to what’s out there and if you’re having a particularly good day you could be on a roll!  

So starting off small I started doing Yoga in the comfort of my own home! Yes, I know! Me! Yoga!Again, this is just something small but after one session I could already feel a massive change. During my healing process everyone around me recommended I try yoga. However at the time I was completely against it and couldn’t see how it could possibly help. It’s that’s scenario of wanting to and when you’re in a dark place sometimes the last thing you want to do is work out and meditate. It’s one of those rousing “I told you so” moments, yes I can hear you!

Here’s where I’m majorly proud of myself (I never say that I’m proud of myself, but here it comes!) I applied for not one job lately, but four!

Now to some this will probably not seem like a big deal. However rewinding back to January (of this year) the thought of even going online to just have a browse at jobs sent me into an instant panic attack with no warning, one that could have lasted up to an hour and wiped me out for the rest of the day. I had absolutely no confidence in myself or believed I had any sort of skills and basically thought I was useless and simply didn’t even see the point.

This is HUGE deal.

I digress. It’s not just the number of jobs I’ve applied for that matter, but I applied for jobs that aren’t even in this country! Believe me when I say, I would never have given these opportunities a second glance last year, January or even February let alone apply for them! Now I’m well aware that I may never get anywhere with these applications. That’s what is so thrilling about the “F—it, why not” moments, it’s about the process of spurring you on to make you happy to strive for other victories. These victories are personal to you.

If you’ve had a particularly bad day, week or even month remember lovelies I’m always here to talk and you can always drop me a line!

But if you wake up and think “F—it, why not” I’m going to do that (insert awesome achievement here) thing I’ve been thinking about for a while, then do it whilst you feel that way and you’re in the moment and just know I’m very proud of you!

Can I have a cup of Anxietea please?

My lovelies I have something to tell you!

In a mere few months I’ll be going on an adventure, doing something I’ve never done before and possibly overcoming a fear at the same time.

I’ll be venturing on a cruise! Sounds exciting right?  

You’d think so, but here’s the thing… I actually have a fear of boats.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself “Wait. Hang on. Quinn… What are you thinking hun!?” (Or words to that effect) and quite frankly, I don’t blame you. I’ve been thinking it myself, don’t worry! However, the best thing about this scenario is that I’m not going alone (I’m not that crazy!) I’ll be going on this adventure with my best friend aka my mum. My mum went on her first cruise with my dad back in 2012, a celebration for their 25th wedding anniversary and they were hooked! They fell in love with the concept of having little samples of different places without the fuss of flight connections; especially since some cruises can journey to a lot of remote places. Although my parents have usually opted for self-catering holidays in the past, I think they rather enjoyed that feeling of being well and truly looked after and that touch of luxury. Now I’m going to experience all this first-hand, which I find both exciting and a little daunting at the same time! Is that normal?  

So let’s rewind a bit. I just told you all I have a fear of boats. Now (if you’re dying to know) this began at a very young age! Basically it was around the age of 3 (I think, correct me if I’m wrong here mum!!) and I got taken on what I can remember as a mini fishing boat. My parents clearly thought it would be a gentle ride along the sea…. Alas, no. Quite the opposite! All I can remember is screaming and crying the entire length of the trip. Yes. I was quite the theatrical child. But either way the experience stayed with me for a long time and I haven’t really been on a boat since. Somehow I don’t think an excursion on a replica of the Endeavour in Whitby for half an hour counts.

But this holiday symbolises a lot more than simply conquering my fear of boats and trying to re-enact a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean.      

Over the last year I have been suffering with severe anxiety and symptoms of agoraphobia, and within the last month have started to take action with the help of counselling to overcome things once and for all.

It’s something I’ve felt I’ve been dealing with for more than just a couple of years, but within the last year it really started to take its toll. Now m’dears first and foremost- I have absolutely no shame in telling you this! It’s something that I’m dealing with, but the important factor here is I’m getting the help I need! For those of you out there who might be going through a similar battle, whether that’s dealing with mental health yourself or have a friend/loved one who are fighting right now- know from me personally that there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, I’m in the process of healing but I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without the support system I have around me. They’re helping me fight this battle. I know in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to conquer this without them. To put all this in nerd terms? It’s like Lord of the Rings! I’m like Frodo carrying the ring to Mount Doom, but yet Frodo didn’t do it alone. He had the help of the Fellowship. That’s what Mr Lee, my mum and Dad and my friends are to me. If you are going through a lot right now, even if it isn’t you personally going through mental health problems, but are connected to someone who is- remember you need support too!! Please speak to someone. Will you all (whoever you lovelies are reading this) do that for me? Even if professional help isn’t the first step you take (Believe me, I know it’s scary), that’s ok. But please speak to a friend, a teacher, a relative or even your hairdresser! Also, I have a contact me page- send me a message if you’d like. Don’t underestimate the power of speech! I know it’s not easy but you can get there. I may not believe in myself just yet (that’ll come with time), but I believe in all of you!

And breathe.

That’s a just brief history lesson of Quinn!

So right now I’m trying to get myself to a position where I know this cruise is going to be a piece of cake, without the heart palpitations or the panic attacks- unless those heart palpitations are from looking at pieces of cake…