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How do you kickstart yourself after a holiday?

sarai-window

We’re back in action after a relaxing Thanksgiving here in the US. I had an amazing time in sunny southern california, and even got to do some fabric shopping with my friend Christine Haynes (more on that later).

It’s always a little weird to come back to work in the middle of the week. I feel completely lost after being home for a week.

It reminds me of running (or working out in general), actually. After a month of being sick and traveling, I’ve just started to dive back into my regular running routine. Ouch!

How do you get yourself kickstarted after you step away from something for a while?

Here are some lovely links I’ve been perusing this week:

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On , Jill Collins said:

I really like your jumper. How about a jumper pattern?

On , Amy Peck said: | ampersandenvy.com

I love the jumper too. Did you make it? A jumper pattern would be fantastic!

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

It’s vintage one from the 60s. I thrifted it and repaired a small hole in it. It has a really interesting construction with a panel down the side and short bust darts.

On , Ann said:

I love your patterns, book and the wonderful knowledge that you impart on your website. However, I must disagree with you vehemently about the beauty and fashion of the hijab. Not only do I not find it beautiful, I find everything about it objectionable, . Muslim women are required to wear hijabs to preserve their modesty, but it really represents their subjugation. Every time I see a woman wearing one, I feel sorry for her. A woman doesn’t have to be covered up to be modest, and she can be seen in public with her hair and face showing without inspiring lust in the men, who see her. The intention and the fact of the hijab is the opposite of beauty and fashion.

On , Tiffany said: | tiffanysnotionsandknits.blogspot.ca

I think you are confusing the hijab with a niqab or burka. A hijab only covers the hair and not the face. And I don’t think that it’s necessarily a ‘modesty’ thing. Several muslim women I have known have worn it to express their faith (like wearing a cross if you are Catholic). In fact, considering how many people look down on muslim people and their religion, you could say that wearing it is a symbol of resistance. By wearing a hijab, they can’t hide the fact that they are a minority. They are saying “look at me – I am a Muslim” and not “don’t look at me – I am modest”.

If you look at the pictures of the hijabs in the link, you will definitely see they are about fashion and to be looked at. While I am against forcing people into gender rolls (especially when it comes to what they choose to wear), I think people should wear what they want *even if* it conforms with gender norms. Anyways, it’s a very complicated issue and I think you are trying to see things in black and white.

On , kc said:

I just want to applaud you, Tiffany, for your thoughtful and respectful answer. I think your point about the hijab being an expression of one’s faith rather than an indication of one’s oppression is very apt, especially when you look at the women represented on Sarai’s link.

Kudos to you for your response!

On , RavenNemain said:

Excellent response! Assuming that a hijab is always a symbol of a woman’s oppression feels a bit like assuming that a woman who cooks or sews or stays at home with her children or wears nothing but dresses is an oppressed prisoner of gender norms. A bit excessive, a bit presumptive. I think the reality, like most things, is much more complicated. And isn’t the whole point of feminism and equality to give each and every person the *choice* on how to dress and what to be, rather than imposing a single standard that can be every bit as oppressive in its own way? Just my thoughts… On a personal note, I must admit a sneaking jealousy of all those lovely headscarves from a purely fashion standpoint – such a lovely style!

On , Elanore said:

I totally agree with you, Ann. I had the same feeling when I saw that particular line in Sarai’s post. I agree that hijab is not the same as burka or niqab, and that it is, for some women, a sign of faith, but it is much, much more. Here in France we have a huge problem with this, and it becomes more and more a sign of “resistance”, a provocation against the laws of the Republic, a symbol for communautarism. I know it is difficult for you people in the US to understand that, because God is much more present in your daily life than here in Europe (maybe it’s better, maybe it’s worse… I don’t know). But for theses reasons, I can not look at hijabs as “beauty and fashion”. In my country, it is, mainly, a political symbol, and that is much more disturbing…

On , Caroline said:

I must agree, in totality, with Ann about the hijab. But I do love your patterns and blog. Beautiful in every way.

On , Heidilea said: | heidilea.livejournal.com

I was a wee bit young for Twin Peaks (I remember watching it and being completely confused), but I loooovvved Sassy magazine! And the grunge styling! Fitted button down dresses with boots–hell, I still rock that look.

On , Jessica said: | ayenforcraft.blogspot.com

Hm … that’s a good question about starting things up again. It’s all about getting back into that routine. So at work, I’ll try to do things that remind me of what I like best about my job – maybe it’s the thing I most want to get to on my list (maybe you have to draw up that list if you didn’t do it before you left), or tackling a couple easy-and-fast items back to back. I like to give myself more breaks than usual, because the goal is to get my body and mind back into the rhythm of working for stretches at a time … not necessarily getting back up to full speed on Day 1 (you can always make up the time later, when you’ve hit your stride). So really, whatever it takes to get there. Bribe yourself with the things you like/want to do, the quick wins, some nice tea or a cookie or a good lunch. And don’t do it all at first.

For the other stuff … same thing on not overdoing it! Pick a workout that’s short enough to get those endorphins to feel good, but long/fast/varied/etc. enough to feel meaningful. You’ll be back into form soon, but it’s always good to start off slow and easy and positive so that you’ll want to keep going. And a buddy never hurts, either :-). At least, that’s what we used to tell clients when I worked as a health coach — be curious to hear what other people think!

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Great advice. I have a future post planned (at least in my head) about how folks reward themselves for a job well done. I’m always trying to think of little rewards that are healthy and make me feel good.

On , Jessica said: | ayenforcraft.blogspot.com

Heh, a nap and jumping in the bath with a nice drink are at the top of my list (if you’re looking for healthy rewards). Oh, and indulging in my favorite fresh fruit (berries and figs, yum!) At the office, taking a 20-30 minute afternoon stroll can also be nice. Or I like “giving” myself an hour in a coffee shop of unstructured time (even half an hour is nice, the luxury of time + rich aromas! Of course, this works better if you don’t regularly drink coffee/stop into coffee shops …)

On , Jessica said: | ayenforcraft.blogspot.com

But I’m curious to see your list (and readers comments) as well! Always nice to add to the list …

On , Anita said:

Hi sarah, first time post for me. Love your blog and patterns. The design on your jumper ( or tunic as we say on oz) is what is called a Dior dart construction. Apparently it was invented by Dior himself. It was a big feature on a lot of clothing of the 50’s and 60’s.

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Oh, interesting. I didn’t know that. I’ve definitely seen it on a lot of shifts from the 1960s. I’ll have to research further, I’m glad you told me!

On , Siobhan said:

Oh that’s cleared that previous comment that scomments on your “jumper” up for me! In England that would be a pinafore or tunic or just a “dress”. I was confused by “jumper” as in Britain a jumper is a woolly knitted sweater. This is one of my favourite things about sewing webites – encountering all the different terms fo rthe same thing in different “english speaking” countries and different generations. selvedge – selvage, serger – overlocker, baste – tack, pants – trousers.

Even when a you introduced the cooper bag and described it as a LABOR or love, it took a second or two for me to click and realise it was “labour”. I find it so interesting. it makes me feel like I’m connected to a massive sewing community all over the world… all from my grim little rainy corner of NE England.

On , Siobhan said:

I wish I could type without quite so many typos…

On , Autumn said:

That dress is very flattering. I want one!

On , WendP said:

In reference to the article on Inspiration vs. Imitation:

This is why I typically refer to myself as a crafter, but not an artist. I like to Make Stuff, but it’s not often Original Stuff. Which is totally okay with me. And sometimes even with the Crafting of Not-Terribly Original Stuff, I learn things that are new to me, even if they aren’t very new to the rest of the world. Which is also totally okay with me.

On , Florence said: | enoughroughsewingstuff.blogspot.nl

Thanks for the help with how to tie a bow so perfectly! They look absolutely fabulous on the edge of my bed!

On , Mags said:

I don’t kickstart, because I don’t stand still. I find it takes less energy to maintain a consistent pace in my life than it does to stop and start. Stopping doesn’t give me such a boost that it compensates for the energy required to restart. Sure, sometimes I scale things up or down based on how much I can handle (I learned the hard way, when I was FORCED to stop running due to overtraining, that I have limits that I need to respect), and I definitely take the time to pause and reflect, but I don’t ever really stop.

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