Chelle Summer


Patience, Patience, Yeah, and More Patience

Michelle Rusk

I always believe I can get more done in certain time periods than ends up being realistic. Last year I believed I had enough time to have a swimsuit collection ready to make custom suits by January of this year, but as time crept up on me– and not because I was lounging around watching television– I realized this wasn't going to happen. And then I realized it wasn't going to happen by March (next month) either.

Writing a book is a completely different game than creating a product where you have to then create more of them so you have inventory to sell. But you also need people to buy the product so you have to spend time working on marketing. There's a whole list of other items that consume my time; I don't get to be creative 24/7. And it's not that creating is a problem for me, it's more than there aren't enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.

That then circles us back to swimwear– and this photo of my mom taken in what I'm guessing was about 1961 in my grandfather's boat (I believe that's my dad next to her– before they were married). 

Most of us aren't old enough to remember swimsuits had zippers are were made with fabrics that now would seem outlandish to use for swimwear– like flannel. None of these fabrics could stretch, would give, nor would they dry quickly. Spandex was introduced in 1958 but wouldn't make its way into the swimsuit market just yet.

Working with vintage patterns has opened my eyes to the changes in fabrics (no zippers today!). We take for granted the quick drying material we plunge into swimming pools wearing– or the fact that the fabric doesn't fade from the chlorine like it used to. 

There is a journey involved in creating a swim line that I'll be happy with. I want everything to fit well, for women to want to wear a swimsuit because it's not just flattering but also comfortable. And to do that I have to slow down the process and continue to explore and sew, making mistakes while also making new discoveries along the way.

On Friday when I met with the priest with whom I do my spiritual direction, we talked about this continued to road building patience that I am on. I have written about how life is quiet now, how I'm productive but there's not much to share. And, honestly, not much going on. 

"You'll be up to your ears in stuff before you know it," he reminded me.

I won't say it's been easy. It's much like so many other goals I've set– it always takes me longer to get there.

And I will get there. Not just yet.