9.25.2012

three first world problems concerning mojo


it's been a month since i've sewn anything other than a baby hem and i'm feeling loooooooow. that's kind of a lie, i basted the blue basement dress together, even serged up her edges with ellie, and i swear, it's like she was made for me, but the funk i felt clearly pointed me to PUT THE SCISSORS DOWN and pour a glass of wine.

perhaps that was my mistake in the first place? my right hand is not complete without a glass of something delicious.  easily remedied.  but the real reasons for my missing mojo, not so much.

1.  I HATE MY STASH

after being away from it for eight months, i was pretty excited to paw through it again.  it had been banished to some bags in a storage closet, to make room for other people's shite.  when i pulled it out, i thought, surely these are my scraps, man did i save a lot of scraps, and after another annoying hour of looking for it, i announced to ruggy: i had lost my stash.  GONE.  evaporated into thin air.  that, or our gentleman friend staying in our apartment suddenly got a hankering to sew up a very bright wardrobe.  it all looks crazy and fun on the screen.  in real life, it's chemical-tastic stuff that will most certainly go all pill-y or plain evaporate after one wash.

there were some gems, mostly from our debimegoonamena meetup last year, and some swap beauties.  the duds were picked with my very own hand.  a hand that was most certainly free of a delicious glass of something, as garment district shopping hours are a little early.

again, drinkless: maybe a mistake.

2. SEASONAL CHANGES MAKE MY HEAD HURT

if you happen to live in a changing climate, you know the change in the air effects many parts of day to day life. shorts are exchanged for pants, tank tops for cardigans, chardonnay for shiraz.  but now i'm wondering if the seasonal shift affects sewing mojo.  especially for those of us who don't sew a season ahead of time. (WHATEVER, WARDROBE PLANNERS. AREN'T YOU SMART.)  when the days are not hot but not cool, i have no idea what to wear, and since i sew for the season i'm in, i therefore have no idea what to sew.

luckily there is always an appropriate alcohol.

3.  I AM SPOILED

this has always been true, but add to the list of brattiness: i hate my sewing space.  it kind of sucks.  i didn't think this before we spent several months in a bona fide house complete with stunt sewing pool.  at first i gave myself permission to use one of the four desks in the house.  then i decided the dining room shelves could hold a bit of fabric.  by the end of it, anything that wasn't sewing related was relegated to a spare bedroom, and i had control over a small country's worth of space.  how am i supposed to get my brain back into the postage stamp i have in reality?  my stash is ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE LIVING ROOM BEHIND CLOSED DOORS FOR GODSAKES.

and let's not get into the maniacal rattle of my ellie as i race through a seam.  i used to think it was so nice that ruggy and i worked right next to each other with our matching old school drafting desks.  now i realize i'm subjecting him to nonstop brain jarring noise.  and i'm not even sewing anything for him.

IN CONCLUSION

i've been delusional about my stash, spoiled in my sewing space, and my seasonal switches are shorted out. when i lose my mojo, i pour something stiff and cut into something pretty.  as the only Something Pretty i had on hand was the mood velvet deliciousness, i stopped by chic and paron and picked up some new pretty, in the form of three silks and two wovens.  and ruggy made me up a new cocktail (for now, dubbed the Autumn In New York. WHAT.  how else am i expected to cut into the velvet of awesomeness?)

what do you do to get your mojo back?

70 comments:

  1. Wait a minute. You tried to sew without alcohol? Rookie mistake, Oona.

    Also, amen, re: postage stamp-sized space. I live in college-owned housing. I can't baste without elbowing one of my roommates in the throat. Obviously this is a recipe for productivity.

    If those fabrics and that drink can't bring the mojo back, I don't know what will.

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  2. Hope you get your mojo back. I know lack of dedicated space would make me unhappy. I also lost my mojo and it lasted months. I seem to not sew in summer as I rather be out and about. As soon as dark evenings approach, the mojo returns.

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    1. that's funny, when night falls i can't get any sewing done... unless i'm really on a roll and. have a pizza. and some "say yes to the dress" on marathon.

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  3. Wait, you didn't bring back tons of lovely fabrics from the west coast?
    You're not alone on not being happy with your sewing space. I keep thinking of the first apartment I looked at during my last move. It's not my dream place. My current place annoys me.
    I love this time of year for dressing, Scarves, Pants and Jackets. I am no longer the only person walking around in jeans, it's great.

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    1. i did NOT! only a few made it back with me.... i miss apartment searching. n that dreamy "yes outside space in ny IS possible..." i'm with you on the fall dressing. all my stuff being in boxes is so. not. helping.

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  4. hehe.. you silly thing, you just made my evening more bearable (i'm on some medications, no alcohol for a week, and i lack in other ways to cheer myself up, so thank you one more time).. ask me again how i get my mojo back, when i get home (i believe that, eventually, i will get home.. than i have to repair my sewing machine.. than i'm onto mojo problem.. but let's go one problem at a time hehe)

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    1. ACK. i hope it's good medication. and i hope that magical elves are fixing your machine while you're away. it could happen.

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  5. Oh, so you have seasonal in-effective disorder too?
    I can so relate to all those mojo-sapping issues: no space, not inspired by the materials and not sure what I want to wear when its so cold-- I mean warm. I'm thinking of tossing my entire wardrobe and starting over. I started to unload from the attic my fall clothes and just thought YUCK--Have I really been wearing that around? Having nothing to wear, some time to sew and some room to spread out would really get me in the mood. Since my home office is also my cutting table, I think I need to get laid off. As in, terminated from paid employment.

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    1. seasonal in effective, I LOVE IT!

      going through the same thing with my been-away-for-eight-months closet. oh, the faces i made.

      i guess i hope you get laid off? :))

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  6. I have to admit I can totally sympathize with all of this, except I still love my stash. But having lack of space (or, in my case, having my sewing space split between two residences 100 miles apart) makes it difficult to be wildly creative without a lot of advanced planning. I also have a problem with seasonal changes - I find myself wanting to make a bunch of pretty skirts and dresses at the end of summer, but then not actually wearing them when it gets colder. Similarly, I end up sewing a lot of coats at the end of winter and not wearing them because it is getting too warm. I have been planning a lot of sewing, but not actually getting to it, because the mixed temperatures has me debating if it is worth my time to sew things together now or leave it to next year. When the mojo goes I just let it go. And when it comes back I attack the fabric and sew like a fiend. Pushing myself to sew when I don't feel like it just isn't productive, so I don't force the issue.

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    1. ya know, with global warming and all, we might soon be able to sew whatever the hell we want. keep on the sunny side, eh?

      i'm a fan of the attack the fabric method.

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  7. Well, I've been cleaning out my sewing room because I was avoiding going in there. It wasn't energising me and making me excited to create... because it was filled with all the stuff I have collected over the years that I 'SHOULD' do something with but that I had to admit MOST of which I just did not WANT to do anything with. Fabric bargains that I had nabbed at opshops that were certainly quality finds but just not inspiring to me in color, texture or print... and finally last week I realised the nuttiness in thinking that some day, some fabric that had languished for 5+ years was just going to suddenly inspire me. The whole room was stuffed with a sinking feeling of onerous obligation... so I decided to get rid of anything that gave me that feeling, and give it back to the opshops from whence it all came. And it wasn't just fabric, so much craft stuff that "could" be useful one day... but not if it stayed with me!
    So, I've got the room nearly whittled down only to stuff that excites me. The place is every day looking less and less like the appropriate setting for a Hoarders episode and more like I can feel the mojo- sew-jo! love that word! coming back.

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    1. this is EXACTLY what i want to do!!! pleaze to see some pictures of your new organized space?

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  8. Totally get you on the seasonal changes! And my pitiful excuse for a closet is jam-packed right now because it's still warm enough that the majority of the sleeveless stuff can't just go away altogether, but cool enough at nights that I need long sleeves and stuff too. And cold-weather sewing has never been as inspiring for me as warm-weather sewing, because with the exception of my years-long love affair with jackets, all I ever want to wear are sweaters. And possibly still my coat, even while indoors.

    I definitely have those "What was I thinking?!" fabrics in my stash, though I did cull a lot of them last year. Oh, wait, I do know what I was thinking for most of those--they were cheap and colorful, and I was in college and broke. Anyway, what I usually end up doing to get my mojo back is either a) try to find a pattern that inspires me and see what I have that will work, b) tear something apart to refashion later (destruction can be so therapeutic) or c) buy a new piece of fabric! Though I've admittedly been trying to stay away from the latter since I have a ridiculous amount of the stuff to begin with.

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    1. yeah, that's a big part of it too-- the closet in mid season. it's like the closet is confused, therefore so are we.

      the being destructive method is great (though i have destroyed things i later regretted.)

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  9. I am having trouble starting anything right now too and must be on your bandwagon because I just poured a glass of rum punch and I am sitting here looking at sewing blogs and enjoying my drink which will probably put me to sleep.

    I am also a little underwhelmed by my stash. I have a lot of nice fabric, but nothing is jumping out at me right now. I just moved my sewing space to a new room and stacked it nice on shelves that are out in the open and that is beginning to get me inspired again. Sometimes just rearranging things works to get my sewing mojo back.

    I do hope you get your sewing mojo back tonight because I am looking forward to your next finished project!!!

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    1. teehee! sewed a little something out of the new stuff tonight, now i'm just deciding whether to line it. DAMN SENSIBLE LINING. but i was *this close* to curling up with a cocktail and my sewing books! i say go for reorganizing to get the inspiration back, that one works for me if. don't go too far and you know, reorganize the whole house.

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    2. You are to funny. I have a dress that is finished other than the lining. I realized I did not have anything that worked and had to order some. I have not found a fabric store other than Joanne's out here on the island and they don't carry silk and since the dress is made out of wool I figure it should probably be lined with silk...I'm a little spoiled that way ;)

      I did continue with reorganizing and drinking my rum punch. I think I will have more tonight now that I know how to make it myself, I don't have to worry about running out ;)

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  10. You poor thing, you really seem to be getting it from all sides! That sucks about your stash, and sewing space issues.
    I've got a bedroom converted into a sewing room these days thats taken a lot of work and will still take a fair bit more work but it's getting there.

    I lose my mojo in the summer I find, I just want to be outside and camping and etc, plus it just gets too darn hot on the second floor! I always want to be super clever and work on my wardrobe before that particular season starts but it just doesn't happen..... One day....

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    1. oh, i get melodramatic :)) i would LOVE to have a sewing bedroom. with french doors, so i could see ruggy and let him know when my glass is empty.

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  11. I forgot to mention that instead of fretting over the mojo loss I just enjoy the other things I do with my time, ie. reading books, outdoor stuff, and etc that get neglected when I'm on a sewing craze!

    Hope you find your mojo soon :-)

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  12. Oona, I was just writing about this the other day! I'm glad I'm not alone...misery loves company. When the weather starts to turn cool, I always reach for my knitting needles and yarn, and that seems to be what's inspiring me right now. But no longer! This year will be the year that I sew clothes for the cooler months as well. I just went through the patterns I wanted to make and created a fall wardrobe plan, complete with fabric swatches of stuff I owned/want to buy. I think it started to get the juices flowing again...

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    1. it's truly in the air! i love the fabric swatches idea, i've been meaning to put up a mood board for ages.

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  13. I so hear you on the weather changes, only our weather hasn't changed yet. But reading this post is like a foretelling of my eventual doom...

    May your mojo return soon!

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    1. AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU, MY BOW-ED FRIEND.

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  14. Make a pile of everything you're not going to use and put it into boxes/ garbage bags and donate it to the shelter/ charity shops/ op shops. There are also a lot of fabric recycling places that'll take it (or women's shelters that teach women skills like sewing) or even schools/ youth mentoring organisations especially in disadvantaged areas.
    Then, snap out of it. You already know that you're very lucky to have more than what you need (piles and piles of stuff you're never going to use=piles and piles of free stuff for others that can't afford to buy it for themselves)-just staying in that vein of thought will help snap you out of whatever's going on with you. The physical removal of piles of useless crap also helps.
    If however, whatever you're feeling has been going on for a while I suggest you stop self-medicating with alcohol and go see a competent therapist-and I'm saying this as someone that lost two school friends and my aunt to psychological issues. Depression runs in my family and in Carl's and the only thing I can say for sure is the sooner you act on it the less difficult it is to resolve. Best of luck.

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    1. yep, already on paragraph 1 (i hope someone out there can use it, good lord) and fully aware of paragraph 2 (hence the first world jab at myself).

      i'm really so sorry to hear about your friends, and your family. but, no need to worry here, the tone of my sewjo condition is tongue in cheek.

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  15. Ugh. I hope you emerge from your funk soon! Cocktail therapy might be just the ticket.

    Sometimes it's the sense of obligation to my project queue that gets me down. When this strikes, I make something quick and crazy. Either the finished result looks great and I'm all, "That's right, I can sew an appliqued mini skirt instead of a cool-weather work dress! Got a problem with that?!" or it sucks and I return to my originally planned project with more enthusiasm.

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    1. i've done that often! i love it when the quick & crazy is so laughable, you simply MUST sew something else.

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  16. oh lady, you'll get that mojo back. for me, i watch my favorites movies, take a walk, have happy hour with friends, and step away from the stash and the studio. clear your head and inspiration will strike!!! ps- the colette party is this friday and i'm so bummed to know you won't be there :(

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    1. I KNOW!! y'all are the best party throwers ever!!! i think being back n NY is so much stimulation the inly thing to be done is sit for a minute. non. STOP.

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  17. In a conversation with someone at Dragon*Con talking about my sewing equipment I was like 'I have FOUR machines!" and my husband says in his long suffering voice "This is why I don't have any place to put my computers".

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  18. My last mojo buster was literally just pushing through a project, even though it was a wee bit traumatising... Once you get that satisfaction of doing something, and doing it properly, all the good feelings come back. Also, clean yo stash!

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  19. The mojo loss. I totally suffered this after I am back from my trip to the States. In the end I did a huge stash bust, donated a tonne of fabric I thought was good when I bought it (reality: hot polyester messes) and matched what was left to patterns I already had. This way I have some plans for what is ahead so I can just get making and not worry about what to do. It's been therapeutic and I'm back in the groove. I may also add that numerous gin based cocktails have been drunk as well (new favourite: magic juice) to add in said groove finsing. Gin helps everything. Srsly.

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  20. Oh, I hear you! I've been struggling a bit with my own mojo and unpacking certainly doesn't help! I think the new sewing space Mr. Fish made me is helping, though. Maybe you need to shake up your space? Or, install a pool in your living room:)

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  21. I feel your pain, dear Oona. My stash is blah. My sewing space is teeny. It's enough to make you take up another hobby altogether. Hang in there. Donate all those fabrics you now hate to an old folks home, where they can use them for crafting...and then go shopping! (and try to stay away from synthetics!)

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  22. It's about to be OCtober and I still have lower back sweat- it is just so wrong. I'm tired of this season and just touching winter fabric makes me hive up. I totally feel your pain.

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  23. Not only do I loose my sewing mojo but my blogging mojo too. I wonder where it goes. I feel like the good thing with a mojo is that they're quite loyal and usually come back in the form of a oh-shit-I've-got-an-important-event-next-week- I-just-HAVE-to-sew-something moment. And then I feel the need to blog about it! Good luck, enjoy the shiraz.

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  24. I love the way you complain with such style. It's so nice to hear someone else pronounce your own problems. Thanks! One way to get mojo is to sew for someone other than yourself. Maybe it is time to sew something for Ruggy?

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    1. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!

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  25. When you find the place they send mojos from, ask them to send my living mojo back... I've had a flu. Maybe still have. I don't know where to get a mojo and I feel for you.
    Enjoy your Shiraz. I think I'll have a Cabernet Sauvignon. Maybe it will help a bit. See, you've spoilt me, Kalkatroonan girl!

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  26. Yes, totally understand. Seasons impact how I sew too but usually it's more of a non-sewing summer issue. My sewing room is too hot and I'd rather be outside or going away for the weekend.

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  27. Usually I try to get my scissors into something easy and fast. A TNT skirt? Something fast for my daughter, who will outgrow it if it's not perfect anyway? Instant gratification is where it's at for mojo renewal.

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  28. I feel you lady....I'm just getting into the groove myself. I took a one hour refresher tour of mood (aka....walked around like I was at a full tactile fabric version of MOMA---lots of ooohhss and aahhhhss and I wish's).

    My stash is dreadfully un-fall/winterlike and I don't have/want to spend the funds on new (and always more expensive)cold weather fabrics, le sigh.

    Think anyone on the other side of the world wants to do a fabric swap? :)

    p.s. That lovely orange, wheat and brown fabric...is it a wool (I'm horrible at guessing)? What a lovely fabric for a jacket with some surprising Kalkatroona detail...I'm just sayin'. :)

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  29. I say go clothes shopping. Or 'attempt' to go clothes shopping. Wander round or surf and you'll see loads of things you know you can make better and more colourful. Take photos/pin them to a board or whatever and get excited about making something more awesome than shop bought!

    ORRRRR...... challenge yourself to do the exact challenge the project runway contestants do tomorrow and see what you come up with!!

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  30. A very wise Oona told me once to just keep on pushing through it, and that's what I've been doing. I wake up at 5am everyday, and if I don't feel like running (and I almost never feel like running), then I sew. Like you, I'm feeling a bit of hatred towards my stash. I need to sew for Fall because it is here whether I like it or not. While I have some lovely heavy fabrics that will make lovely heavy things, I don't have enough of any one piece for the pants or capes or blouses that I envision. Most of my stash was donated to me, so I am taking a big step tonight by donating those unwanted pieces away. I'm giving it to a local charity and if someone wants it, better they love it than it collecting dust in my stash. I need to buy larger pieces of fabric so I'm able to work freely with a project, rather than always trying to squeeze a project out of a small piece of fabric. It's so freeing to cut out something and not have to worry if all the pieces will fit! I'm trying to finish at least two projects a week, and I'm starting on quick and easy projects so I'm not banging my head against a wall. I also got my mojo back with some challenges for myself, like the scrapbusting, or only separates, and next month is all UFOs - it's nice to have an open ended challenge to work with and inspire me. good luck, and I hope you are enjoying some lovely drinks with Ruggy!

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    1. love these suggestions. except the 5am thing :-)

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  31. You grew, and here's the tangible proof. You are now so-many-months more stylish, more knowledgeable, more Ooonarrific. The poor stash couldn't keep up, being separated by a continent from its curator. Time to restyle and restock, for today's Oona!

    (When this happens to me, I "reboot" my activity...re-editing my inspiration boards/notebooks, getting new versions of What I Like.)

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  32. I say go clothes shopping. Or 'attempt' to go clothes shopping. Wander round or surf and you'll see loads of things you know you can make better and more colourful. Take photos/pin them to a board or whatever and get excited about making something more awesome than shop bought!

    ORRRRR...... challenge yourself to do the exact challenge the project runway contestants do tomorrow and see what you come up with!!

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  33. I totally feel the same! I haven't sewn something in a few weeks due to lack of cutting space. I thought fabric shopping would do the trick. I am sure you will get back into the swing of things, you probably just needed a break after moving etc. Enjoy that cocktail and cut that velvet!

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  34. Losing your stash is a great excuse to start accumulating! For me if I don't feel like sewing I simply don't sew until I feel inspired.

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  35. I am currently reduced to making myself sew for half an hour every day, in the hope of finding Lady Mojo. Perhaps she is quietly playing cards under the table, drinking all the good stuff and snickering to herself...

    Rachel

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  36. Let me know when you figure out how to get it back. My mojo is gone, baby, gone...

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  37. Blerg, I hear you! I just don't get excited about sewing when the weather turns colder-- I know for some of y'all wool, corduroy, and all that shit is like PORN, but for me, I just get sad. Layering? Sweaters? Ick, I say! I'm struggling with my next Mood project right now because I'm completely waffling about the muslin I made... I feel like it's not quite right, but I don't know how to change it, and I don't know what I don't like about it, but I'm paralyzed and don't want to dig in. It probably doesn't help that I'm literally in the middle of about 7 projects and my sewing area is completely trashed and without any hope for organization or cleaning anytime soon.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that we should both quit our jobs tomorrow and then we'll find the time and space to get creative and sew our little hearts out!

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  38. oona, where are you at in your sewing cycle? http://www.oonaballoona.com/2012/01/its-just-phase.html

    um, you don't have to answer that. but I'm still laughing about that post because it so rang a bell!

    seasonally, i love the turning into fall, I get a bit crazy creatively, but I am an October baby. I often notice folks get very reflective in fall--sort of inward, waning daylight feeling. If you're a summer person (and I know you are!) it has a mood adjustment I think. I get my sewing mojo back by attacking something new I've never tried before. it gets me curious again about learning new techniques and stuff.

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  39. The Recipe For Mojo Rejuvenation:
    1. Champagne with a touch of creme de cassis.
    2. Clean up your sewing space!Find new storage/space-saving solutions so you can have a clean slate, Sista.
    3. Organize fabrics you want to keep or cut up for bias binding, and give the rest AWAY. Get it OUT of your house. That way, you won't be reminded to mourn lost mojo constantly.
    4. Choose one special project/technique, and take it slowly...
    *I speak from experience. I had to do all of these things last month.I wnet to the bookstore and bought a book about the Alabama Studio. Check out their site, www.alabamachanin.com. I had never seen anything like these goodies. The good news is that the book had patterns included, as well as designs for embroidery. No lie! This book is beautiful and inspirational. And, NOOOOOOOOO, I am not a paid spokesperson for these people. I travel a lot, and this book changed my life. I could still sew clothing without lugging machines around. It also enhanced my time just sitting around with the husband and the kids while they watch stupid television or struggle with homework and need a babysitter...errrr, um, tutor.
    I am always happier with a needle in my hand, doing something creative and productive.

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  40. i tend to go on a stroll through the pattern stash when this happens. only it tends to send me into such an inspiration overload that i get overwhelmed and lose the mojo all over again ;-) obviously this works even better with le alcohol close at hand!

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  41. True reflection of what happen to many of us.. When I loose my mojo I just don't worry about it.. It's a hobby so if I'm not been entertained its not worth... I feel this winter I want to sew less clothes and enjoy evenings with other crafts..

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  42. I can't speak on the space issue. I have an entire room to myself and I still manage to have the floor so full of crap I have to cut in the living room. Hell, I had a third table in here the other day (it was hubby',s he had to ask for it back *blushes*).

    The mojo being dead, deader than dead I know about. I revived it, a bit, with force of will. I put on a movie (Enchanted, which makes me laugh SO MUCH) and made a skirt. Next week is refashioning at the SW, maybe a quickie redo might wake things up for you???

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  43. I read lots of sewing blogs to get my sewjo back. And usually a change in weather will do it. The opening of a very full closet of winter clothes on a wam day and the realisation that OMGIHAVENOTHINGTOWEAR.

    But usually just opening the cupboard of stash and the other cupboard of patterns will get the sewjo-ness working again. macthing pattern to fabric. Being frustrated that I didn't buy enough of THAT silk voile last summer. Repeat.

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  44. Yep, yep. I lose my mojo at times... actually fairly often. I get all excited and do a little, then I realize how much there is to do, I start to feel overwhelmed and it all shuts down. Taking some time, having something comforting (milk and nilla wafers or graham crackers is my current comfort food), and reminding myself that baby-steps are what's needed often helps. And a bit of pep talk reminding myself why I started this that and the other.

    Hope you get that mojo back sooner, Oona. I so dislike that non-mojo state, and I suspect you do, too.

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  45. You've received lots of really inspiring advice, and I hope you're able to get your mojo back...
    Perhaps mojitos for your mojo are in order (mint, ice, sugar, rum, and lime)!

    I'm going to try this solution, too. I am also sewing blocked. :/

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  46. Lol, I lose my mojo all the time, especially in winter. Come dark, all will to sew is gone, and it gets dark so early in winter! Also, I don't have a lot of patterns (I'd rather buy fabric from my student budget) but pattern making/altering is time intensive, so I only start on that when I have a lot of time on hand, which is almost never. Knit tops are very quick fixes for my mojo, though! ;) A real sewing nook (instead of appropriation of the dining table, and having to put everything away when there are more than 2 people for dinner) might help, too!

    *is off to pour some whisky into her coffee...*

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  47. My sewing mojo is STILL not back after a long month and a half :( but this article was EVERYTHING for me right now! And I'm commenting on this post from my sewing room. Baby steps ;)

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    1. sometimes just being around your supplies will induce mojo! or at least, petting of fabric.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!