.... and the year started off with me under pressure!!!
A wise person once told me the way one started off the year was a reflection of how the rest of the year was going to be. How true!!! 1 January 2009 00.00 am found me in front of a sewing machine instead of in church thanking God for seeing me through the previous year and asking Him to see me through the New Year. People... you need to put your priorities in order!!!
I was trying to round off on the garments I was making for a client over the holiday period. What a nightmare!!! Anyone doing business in Lagos can appreciate how much of a mission it is actually working in an environment that is constantly plagued with power failures. My goodness!!! There was NEVER any electricity!!! Thank God for inverters!!! That is a major worry I have.... working in an environment where you have to generate everything for yourself, electricity, water, you name it, we do it. It's quite sad.
ANYWAYZ..... I managed to do as much of the work as I could do and I was quite pleased with the reaction I got from the client. Phew!!! Though I worked till the day I left for the airport! Not good I tell you. I had to balance work with socializing.... well sort of since there were weddings and other events I had to go for.
Anywayz, come 19th January, I'm at the airport wishing I didn't have to leave but having no choice... but looking forward to my one-week stop-over in Johannesburg. YAYE!!! I returned to Cape Town a week before school started. I must confess I wasn't happy to be back because frankly Cape Town really isn't my kinda place BUT I was pleased that at least it was for the final stretch (even though the final stretch would be for 1 FULL YEAR because of the compulsory internship in June).
And then the major challenges began.
It started with the search from deep within for the perfect collection for my final year range.
I knew what I wanted to do from Day 1 - FORMAL WEAR but not the normal boring kind. It had to have a twist, either chic and sophisticated or very "severe" (if you catch my drift). I was so confused!!! Needless to say my first 3 drafts were rejected because and I quote "my sleeves were an insult to New York". I mean like "excuse you???!!!" But I took the criticism with a light heart surprisingly enough :-)
ANYWAYZ I decided on the final collection and then the search for the perfect fabrics began. I bought so many fabric swatches, I could sew a quilt for a king-size bed! Paisley, damask, brocade, leather, leatherette, chiffon, you name it, I bought it. People... you don't even want to know how crazy that was. Anywayz... hundreds of rands later I found the seemingly perfect fabrics... or so I thought till....
- I burnt the first lot of fabrics AFTER sewing the complicated panel pieces. I mean the initial tests showed they could withstand heat but what was I thinking steaming leatherette!!! So Outfit 1, Trial 1 went down the drain!
- I decided on some fantastic fabric manipulation because my collection required very STIFF FABRIC but the fabric I found with the closest look to leather was this beautiful metallic chiffon. I mean CHIFFON... like hello... how could I even consider using Chiffon to make a jacket!!! I did a fantastic job of the manipulation and the results were very impressive but unfortunately, the fabric was TOO STIFF!!! So Outfit 1, Trial 2 also went down the drain!!!
- I thought I figured what went wrong with Outfit 1, Trial 2 so I tried something different still using the same fabric. You would think I would have learnt my lesson right? WORSE! I thought I could finish it over the weekend! HA!!! What a joke. Well I did finish the outfit (not sleeping a wink all through that weekend) but it was nasty!!! People... never work under duress!!! I mean the finishing was horrific!!! As I finished the outfit, I knew I couldn't put it on the runway and Outfit 1, Trial 3 also went down the drain!!!
By now I was upset!!! I decided I was going to redo the outfit in my own time but my teachers felt for me (and indeed the other students who had issues with their first outfits) and instructed us to complete the first outfits again... but with a stricter deadline. We now had only 2 weeks to complete Outfits 1 & 2. Needless to say I spent the whole week sleeping off the effects of my sleepless weekend. Let's not forget the storyboards and the other work we had to hand in for History and Visual Studies!!! But that's a completely different story!
I used to pride myself on my ability to multi-task, create techinically strong garments and meet my deadlines. THAT was one thing I learnt from working. But I was running into trouble... I was constantly tired, constantly in a bad mood because I was trying to come up with fantastic designs within unreasonable deadlines, I was wasting too much money on the collection buying yards of fabric I realised I couldn't use, and worst of all, I was not meeting my deadlines!!! So I began to ask myself and God why things weren't going right in my FINAL YEAR!!! Deep down I knew what the problem was and knew what I had to do to sort it out... I needed to pay my tithes!
YES People, I am a firm believer in tithing! The King James version of Malachi 3:10 says:
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of host, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be room enough to receive it..."
This is pretty much the only verse in the Bible where God asks you to test Him... and I already knew this. So what did I do? I begged God for forgiveness, calculated what my 10% should be and raced to church [which is actually right next door :-)] to pay it because hey... my life pretty much depended on it if I didn't want to get chucked from school.
And THAT, people, was when my luck changed...