The Creative Life: Juggling a million and one things (and how to make a shirt covered in pockets)

Hello, my name is Geneva and I’m a compulsive creative project maker. I’m one of those Renaissance women who have their sticky fingers in many different pots. I’m a Dancer, an Artist, a massage therapist and more. I usually end up giving people who meet me the first time a long list when they ask me the dreaded question, “And what do you do?” It usually starts off with giving them a wan smile in return, sighing and saying, “Well…”

I always feel a sense of embarrassment mixed with pride. I’m proud of all the things that I can do, but to some degree it’s embarrassing that I’m not satisfied just doing one thing.

I currently live in Helsinki, Finland although I grew up in California with a bunch of awesome creative friends. We would do all sorts of stupid things together. For example once to make a point as to how shitty the weather was we brought deck chairs, a fake sun and palm tree, cans of pineapples as well as a ukulele,  to have lunch in the corridor together. We were all wonderfully weird and proud of it. I think we still all are.

So, I’m creative. Great. The problem is, is that I tend to have usually more than one Project going on at once. The keyword Project has always been a part of my life. I’m sure other people also have projects, plans and all sorts of things that they work on in their lives in their spare time when they’re not at their job. I know most of my friends are jugglers, trying to balance work with the fun things that they wish to do to keep themselves sane. I find that I always need to be creating. It annoys the hell out of my girlfriend, (She says she loves it but would really like there to be less…stuff…around the house) that I always have something on my mind. My brain will usually be contemplating one of the many current projects that I have on standby. Sometimes it’s hard to just do nothing. It’s my greatest challenge although it’s amazing how Facebook can help with that…

My current ‘Projects’ are ranked roughly in the following order of priority: (Does anyone else do this??)

1. Dance Performance (Actual work)
2. The book I’ve been writing since high school
3. My Croquis Course (I organize it and lead it)
4. Comic number 1
5. Comic number 2
6. Colouring book
7. Comic number 3
8. Jewellery making

(Note: I also usually have work but right now it’s summer so I’m more free to do my own crazy things.)

My focus tends to change pretty fast, putting one project on standby to work on another to later switch to something else when my creativity for that particular project runs dry. I’m one of those annoying people who are always ‘busy’. Usually when I’m ‘busy’ it’s because I’ve been watching The Hobbit all day and sewing a shirt for a costume, or editing music, working in Photoshop or doing any sorts of other things that keep me occupied. Being ‘busy’ is me being not bored. Even though it can be difficult, it is possible for me to stop what I’m doing and go socialize.

So with my introduction of how frickin’ crazy I am, out of the way, I’ve been working on a costume for the Dance Performance (at the top of the list) that was I asked to do about a week and a half before the actual show. So I’ve been having to come up with a fifteen minute Dance Performance out of my ass. It is something which both scares the shit out of me as well as excites me. It’s going to be fun even if it doesn’t go spectacularly.

So, planning needed to happen. I have a plethora of costumes, some of which I’ve made myself and some which I’ve happened to pick up along the way. For the moment I’ve decided to go with this dress.

Geneva RH Dress     I’ve used in in past performances and it’s just awesome. It’s very…large.

But, as much fun as it would be to faff around in a dress for fifteen minutes it doesn’t have any development as a performance and despite my own confidence in my prowess as an artist I fear the possibility of what’s going on getting old really fast. The attention span of people these days are rather short.

I needed another idea. I’ve been working with dreams and memories in most of my projects and the dress I chose to use has played a big part in those themes so I figured let’s roll with that. I started to ask everyone to send me their dreams and eventually I had fifteen short dreams on colourful bits of paper. All ready to be given out. My idea was to hand these dreams out to the audience as little mini presents, a memory of the entire festival. It’s a great idea but the problem was that I had no way to carry them. Thus enter the shirt to wear under the dress with fifteen pockets made out of socks. I’m a problem solver.

I like to sew everything by hand because I like the look of slightly messy and very visible stitches. (As an example to my dedication I sewed the dress entirely by hand. I’m nuts. Really.)


Find your shirt.

This one had a hole in the side and I’ve used it to wear under the dress before, so thus shirt found. blankshirt

Choose your fabric.

I have this box of scrap fabric filled with single socks, old socks with holes, single gloves, and well normal scrap fabric. I’m a fabric whore. This is just the crappy small things not on gigantic rolls… I choose Socks!sockpile20150718_001

Make your patterns.

I drew mine from hand on paper then cut them out. I made three sizes! Options!Turn your socks (if they are socks) inside out and draw your pattern onto the fabric, then cut them out!20150718_002patternsandpockets

Pin them onto your shirt.

I put it on and looked in the mirror to figure out where the hell I wanted them to go, considering that I wanted them on the sleeves, my mannequin wasn’t going to be of much help. It’s also good to be aware of where your elbow bends when choosing where to put the pockets.  pinnedpinned2

Watch something on your small ass computer and sew all pockets! I did 15.

I also have my little dreams already ready inside the pockets.

20150718_011 20150719_007 20150719_006 20150719_005

As a nerd, sometimes I enjoy dressing in a rather eclectic fashion. I usually wear large earrings that I’ve made myself, happy to tell them when I someone tells me that they like them. I have to say that this shirt itself is pretty cool and could totally be used for every day excursions into the real world. It’s definitely more exciting now. Might even get a few compliments.

For the performance, I still need to figure out the music and other bits and bobs that I will be adding 20150719_004from my arsenal of shit that I’ve made, but hopefully I’ll be able to put something together that’s worth watching.

Now you can go and make your own extra cool pocket shirt! Just for shits and giggles! Imagine all the cool nerdy ways this could be made! AHH.

Oh no, I might start adding pockets to all my clothes. Shit, what have I done!?


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