Finding Happiness Through Self Love

Dear Readers,

I interrupt the usual broadcast for something completely different. Self Love. For a while now it's been something on my mind which I wanted to talk to you about because it has become really very important to me. Erich Fromm who was a psychologist and philosopher, amongst other things, explains self love very well as encompassing caring, respecting and taking responsibility for yourself.

For me I have only recently become aware of self love as a concept and it really came at a time when I needed it most. Things haven't been easy for a while and there have been a lot of stressful events in my life. I historically have found stress incredibly difficult to cope with and have coped with it, well, by not coping with it. I have retreated and refused to engage and I feel I have therefore weakened my defences by taking the easy way out. Being aware of this trait within myself I got to a point where I realised that crying and saying "I can't cope" was a sure fire way of not coping and not even trying to so suddenly I decided to change my mindset to "I can cope". I wanted to find ways to make "I can cope" a reality and knew that I couldn't change the stressful events in my life so looked to the other areas where I did have some choice and control.

As a coincidence at the same time as this change in mindset was going on I felt an urge to look into my spirituality and beliefs as due to other events I was interested to find a name and belonging to the way I felt. I stumbled upon Kelly-Ann Maddox's blog The Four Queens and in particular her Self Love Manifesto post and suddenly dots began to join.

For me self love is about being kind to yourself and treating yourself how you would treat a friend so for example when you do something you think of as being wrong instead of saying to yourself "you idiot, why did you do that?!" you would say something supportive and positive. Things still happen that upset me or stress me out but I have decided that I value my health and happiness more than to allow these things to affect me in a negative way so when they do happen I often say to myself "I'm not going to let this get to me; I am worth more than that" and gradually by saying it to myself I am starting to believe. There are still times when naturally things do upset me bit overall I must say that I am already much happier and others have noticed this in me too.

So how does this relate to vintage folks? Well I feel it does in a tenuous way. Vintage has definitely helped me to accept my body, size and shape as I feel there is a great culture of body acceptance within vintage which is something I want to talk about in more depth later on. Wearing vintage also helps me to outwardly express my inner self and when there is no conflict between my outward and inner self it makes me feel so happy. My personal view of my blog has evolved and now I see it as being more of a record of the things and events in my life which make me happy including, but not limited to, vintage.

What are your thoughts on self love? Is it something you have heard of before? What do you do to show yourself a little bit of love? I'm always looking for new ideas to add to my list so that when I've had a bad day I can treat myself with a little kindness.


February Sewing Project 2015

Dear Readers,

For my February sewing project I cheated again and made the full, gathered skirt from Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. I have wanted a skirt like this for such a long time and suddenly inspiration took me when I saw it again on Pinterest and I was reminded of how much I wanted one. I had a free weekend and some fabric in my stash so there really was only one thing for it!

I'm so pleased with the finished product and feel my sewing skills have really come on leaps and bounds just by following the instructions. A novel idea, I know! I'm most proud of how well the gathering turned out as I sought advice from my Auntie Margaret ages ago about it. On the previous skirt I made I just sort of made it up as I went along and the gathers were very uneven. This time around I remembered to make two rows of running stitches, not one, and I also put pins in at the half and quarter way points so I could match these up to ensure an even amount of fabric all the way along. 

There is more fabric in the skirt than was called for as when I came to cut it out I realised the width of my fabric was only a few more inches than the pattern so I didn't bother cutting it and just used it all. I feel that these extra inches have made a difference and my skirt is extremely full. That said I absolutely love it and it's the first sewing project I have made on my own and I have worn it repeatedly and confidently. I love it in black because then I feel comfortable wearing it to work but I have also dressed it up with my beloved Sophia wedges for a night out. Versatile is this skirt's middle name and I have also worn it with tights, a t-shirt and converse for a relaxed and comfy weekend look.

I'm wearing my "me made" skirt with a Bardot top from Primark and and my Sophia wedges from Rocket Originals. What do you think folks? Have you got any projects in the pipeline? Perhaps you have made this skirt too from Gertie's blog? I'd love to hear from you, drop me a line!