Finishing with the Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in teachable spirit | 0 comments

Finishing with the Teachable Spirit

What does it mean to be finished?
What does finishing a garment look like?
Why is it so difficult to finish a project?

The crowning achievement of my tailoring career, which I designed, tailored, and beaded, this dress is made of velvet, lace, and freshwater pearls, April 2013.

The crowning achievement of my tailoring career, which I designed, tailored, and beaded; this dress is made of velvet, lace, and freshwater pearls, April 2013.

Tailoring is one step above the work of a seamstress.

Attending Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) as a student in the Sewing Design and Specialist class, the teachable spirit was told that being a tailor meant learning how to do hand work. Much of what goes into making a man’s suit look finished is the fine art of working with thread, needle, and thimble.

The class at CPTC included 2,160 hours, complete with instructions on how to make a pattern for a wedding dress and man’s suit. Any amount you pay for a pattern from the store is nothing compared to the excruciating hours it takes to create a pattern start to finish. Subsequently, I worked for a variety of name brand alteration and tailoring shops, such as:

Vogue dress I tailor made for my daughter, complete with corset lacing in the back, which she wore for her senior recital while working on her Master's in Music at Colorado State University, February 2010.

Vogue dress I tailor made for my daughter, complete with corset lacing in the back, which she wore for her senior recital while working on her Master’s in Music at Colorado State University, February 2010.

  • Frederick and Nelson’s
  • Jay Jacobs
  • McCausland’s
  • Nordstroms

…AND I had my own business tailoring for individuals willing to pay the price because it was a considerable amount of work to create a custom made garment.

In addition, I made many dresses for my daughter, including gorgeous Vogue designs for her auditions and recitals. Recently, I told my daughter, Amy, that cooking and sewing are survival skills, meaning I did  not really make a lot of money at it even though I am extremely skilled at both. She said,

Mom, you are a good survivalist.

–Amy Van Mechelen

Finishing details around the hem of the dress showing the individual hand beading on the lace; frankly it is exquisite.

Finishing details around the hem of the dress showing the individual hand beading on the lace; frankly it is exquisite.

Have you ever purchased an unlined garment and the facing around the collar was always flopping out or the inside of the lapel came out, so the inside of the garment was exposed?

This is what the teachable spirit considers an unfinished garment. Typically, I will take the time to sew the facing down as doing this will:

  • stabilize the garment
  • make it more finished
  • make it more durable

Finishing stabilizes your life.

Do you have unfinished projects in your life?
Do you feel like some of the more major projects you are working on will never be complete?
What does it feel like when you finish a project?

On Ruston Way, Tacoma, Washington, May 2014: Yoga is very transportable and can be practiced anywhere.

On Ruston Way, Tacoma, Washington, May 2014: Amy demonstrates that yoga is very transportable and can be practiced anywhere.

Trust me, I have uncompleted sewing projects in my cabinet.

However, 30 years ago I started working on a project that I am just now finishing.

That is, my daughter, Amy, has found her place in life, her drishti, her third eye center, her focal point, her place of least resistance where she can live without intimidation.

Amy in her temporary living quarters in LA, practicing yoga and studying Sanskrit, July 2014.

Amy in her temporary living quarters in LA, practicing yoga and studying Sanskrit, July 2014.

Recently I told my son’s wife it was all my fault that Isaac was so dissatisfied with the experiences he has had in various jobs because I raised my children to follow their heart, their dream, the purpose that God had instilled in them from birth. The teachable spirit is very sensitive to doing anything that does not fit, in doing a job, “just to pay the bills.”

 My daughter is finished with that now and pursuing her life work.

People ask her what she will do when she completes her Master of Arts in Yoga Studies from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). They fail to understand that this is the beginning; there will never be an end, but a continuous evolving of her understanding of the science of yoga and how she affects the world with the love of sharing her knowledge and ability.

Alexander and Natasha taking it easy at my home in Graham, Washington, June 2014.

Alexander and Natasha taking it easy at my home in Graham, Washington, June 2014.

Coming home to my two cats, I feel finished, complete, done, and resolved with this project. The teachable spirit understands that finishing a project, especially of such a lengthy nature, induces feelings of being:

      • stabilized
      • centered
      • complete
      • resolved
Alexander the Great, my sister likes to call him and my mom prefers "Butterscotch."

Alexander the Great, my sister likes to call him, and my mom prefers “Butterscotch.”

Finishing a project like this of such magnitude that it effectively serves as a starting point for something completely new brings on a fresh sense of gratitude and humility.

Nothing grounds the teachable spirit like resolving a matter or finishing a project because moving forward, you know you have the strength and ability to complete the next 30 year project!

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