“Don’t Count on Motivation; Count on Discipline.”

thoughs-on-tim-ferris-show Several typhoons have hit Japan this past month. It has been raining non-stop. Although I long for a dry sunny days to be out and about, when it rains like this I try to take the opportunity to stay in, sew and listen to podcasts. Today I listened to an interesting episode of the Tim Ferris show.

It features Jocko Willink (@jockowillink) who co-founded Echelon Front, a leadership and management consulting company After retiring from the 20 year service in the US Navy.

It’s a long episode (an hour and a half), and I did not really care for his very military-ish view of the world (the U.S. so generously fixed Japan after the World War II by dropping atomic bombs! And America helped Vietnam! And Afghanistan! He might be right who knows, but nonetheless it’s hard to swallow). Nonetheless, there were some good parts. If you are interested in what I thought was the best part, listen from minute 43 about “being creative” and minute 55 on “motivation and discipline.”

“Don’t count on motivation; count on discipline.” – Jocko Willink

All of us have suffered from lack of motivation in some way or other. I’ve read in some craft blogs about how to stay motivated. There are many times after putting the kids to bed I just want to crash on the couch and watch movies mindlessly rather than sewing.

Willink says motivation is unreliable when it comes to accomplishing goals. It’s about discipline. Make yourself do it. Don’t wait for motivation to come.

His statement blew me away. It was liberating to know that I don’t have to wait for the motivation fairy to arrive and swing her magic wand; rather I just have to do it whether I feel like it or not if I really want to be good at something.

It reminded me of the Michaelangelo  exhibition I went to a few months ago. Along with his paintings, the museum exhibited some of his drafts and sketches. It said they found thousands of rough drafts. If it takes Michaelangelo thousands of rough drafts to paint well, I’m sure it takes thousands of hours of sewing for me to be good at this sewing thing.

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MADE| Merckwaerdigh BHS10-D

my first attempt to sew underwired braLast year when I visited Philadelphia, I stopped by at Madalynne studio to take a private bra sewing lesson. We started with Merckwaerdigh BHS10-D (size 75A), but due to lack of time, were unable to finish. Since coming back to Japan, I completely forgot about this UFO (UnFinished Objects) and did not pick it up until after close to a year had passed! I am happy that I’m done with the project now but this is one item I won’t be able to wear. It does not fit me at all. I can’t lie, I had some doubts when I originally decided on making an underwire bra. I have not worn bra with underwire for almost 10 years. I have been wearing soft bras (this, this and this) without wire or camisole that comes with bra cups. I said good bye to underwire bras a long time ago when I realized that I don’t have big enough boobs :(……. but looking at beautiful bras that Novita makes, I decided to give it a go.
inside of bra merckwaerdigh bhs10merckwaerdigh bhs10 size aI had to pull out my old home sewing machine since the instructions called for zigzag stitches which my industrial sewing machine does not offer. I had hard time adjusting the thread tension and some stitches look wonky. The wire channel installment was easier than I thought. I had to cut mine so it fit the bra size. I bought a bra kit from Merckwaerdigh on etsy, and small notions like wire, hook and eye and sliders at the Japanese site Jimura.

Besides some uneven stitches, the bra looks pretty; however, when it is on my body, the underwire moves around and the cup looks flat on my chest. I might need a bra cup inserted.
merckwaerdigh bhs10 size A by Vivat VeritasHere is a short video showing my bra.


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Six Kimono Dresses

six kimono dresses blog postThe more I work with Kimono fabric, the more comfortable and the faster I get with it. Practice makes perfect! This mint green one was particularly fun since the colors are so vibrant. I had a roll of kimono fabric (tanmono) to start with. First, I look through meters of fabric to see where the prints are and try to find the matching print. Then I connected the matching print just like you match stripes or plaid. The width of the kimono fabrics are usually narrow like 36-38cm (more here) so depending on the pattern you are working with, you first have to connect the fabrics to figure out the fabric width. Once I have the width I want, I think of the print placement. Should the main print be in front? back? skirt area? You might be limited with the options depending on how the print is placed or shape of the pattern pieces. I try to mix up the print area and solid color area so that the dress does not look too busy or borning.
back view of emerald green kimono wrap dress emerald green kimono dress details black kimono wrap yellow kimono fabric dress by vivat veritas red cropped sleeve dress in kimono fabric white kimono dress flatlayThese solid color dresses were much easier required less thinking. Still, there was some stripes going on so I cut carefully not to disturb the stripes.  creem kimono dress (1)Of all six dresses, I am most drawn to this cream color one. The silk is so soft and drapes beautifully. For this one, I could not find the perfect print match, but still went for similar print so that you can see the continuity. You can see the picture above that the pink (orange?) clouds matches but the purple cloud right above does not. Sometimes you just have to make the decision based on which mismatch is less noticable. You can see more of my kimono upcycling projects here.


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