Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Dearest Kickstarter Project Supporters,
I hope you and your loved ones are happy and healthy. I just wanted to make an update to let you know how the "Making Corsets is a Cinch with Electra Designs!" project is coming along.
In May of 2017, two of my colleagues, Amber Welch of Lovely Rat’s Corsetry and Candee Edwards, a client, friend, and member of “Learn How to Make Corsets Like a Pro” assisted me in filming most of the first corset making construction tutorial. After I finish filming construction, I will move on to the editing phase, followed by illustrations and written instructions. This is a time consuming process, which has been put on hold several times due to health problems. I am very grateful for your enduring patience and understanding.
I have been very slow in completing this project due to a medical condition. In addition to PTSD, fibromyalgia, and what I thought was carpal tunnel syndrome, I have an autoimmune disease which has been causing me a great deal of pain and has greatly hindered my productivity.
In February I took a course of antibiotics called Cipro. As a result, I have been suffering from severe fluoroquinolone toxicity. Some of my physical symptoms include extreme fatigue, painful joints, tendons and muscles, difficulty gripping, loss of fine motor control and dexterity, blurred vision, trouble standing, and difficulty concentrating. Needless to say, it has been very challenging to work. Corset making takes a lot out of the body, especially the parts which are the most affected by my condition.
I have been undergoing a series of medical tests, and have been instructed by my neurologist to rest, which is extremely frustrating, because all I want to do is create. Whenever I exercise or work, my symptoms rage out of control. Even mild housework and basic chores are a challenge. I am in a constant state of inflammation. Everything hurts. I wake up feeling like I just swam the English Channel and I go to bed feeling as if I have just been run over by a convoy of trucks. I have been seeing specialists and am doing everything in my power to manage my health through [plant based] diet and lifestyle.
I have been struggling with increased anxiety depression (which are also symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity) as a result of being unable to do the things I want and need to do. The kickstarter project has been a particular source of angst for me for many reasons. 1. I don’t know whether or not I will ever be able to resume making corsets professionally (or even for personal pleasure), so it is becoming increasingly important for me to pass on my knowledge while I still can. I don’t want my knowledge to die with me. 2. I don’t know how I will earn a living in the future. It is very painful and difficult for me to make corsets now. I will do everything I can to heal so I can make corsets for the rest of my life, but realistically, there is a strong possibility that I will be physically unable to sew (just typing this is very difficult). I will need the passive income earned from the sale of my instructional materials. Even if I hadn’t raised funds for this project through kickstarter, I would still want to make these materials as a means of passive income so I don’t have to compromise my health to earn a living. 3. I feel indebted to everyone who donated their hard-earned money to this project (as well of those of you who supported me and this project in other ways). You have all been so kind, generous, supportive and patient, which makes me want to please you even more. It’s hard to “rest” and heal when I feel I have let people down or am not living up to expectations I have set for myself. Stress, depression, and anxiety amplifies my symptoms, making it even harder. I don’t really have a choice.
Although I would rather be sewing, right now my goal is to get my condition under control so I can continue to work on, and complete the first tutorial. I did not know I had an autoimmune disease. I am still in the process of testing, diagnosis, and learning about my condition and how to survive. Each day I am humbled anew.
I am very thankful for the ongoing support of the corsetry community, to you, my generous supporters, and to Amber and Candee, who took a whole week out of their busy schedules to help me film the first construction video.
I am sorry it is taking me so long to fulfill this project. I intend to finish it. My goal is to get well so I can. If, however, my condition prevents me from completing this project (I must allow myself that possibility, although I remain in steadfast denial), I will continue take joy in watching the rest of you make corsets! I teach so that I may sew vicariously through you, that yours may be my hands when my hands fail me. I want to inspire you so you can entertain me with all the beautiful corsets you make using my instructional materials.
If you are interested in learning how to make corsets, you needn’t wait for my tutorials. There is a lot of free info in my facebook corset making group. Some of the group members offer classes, patterns and tutorials. I encourage you to take advantage of these helpful resources and just get started. There are many different ways to make corsets. Practice will better prepare you for my more advanced techniques. Please join my corset making facebook group, “Learn How to Make Corsets Like a Pro!” Today we are celebrating 15,000 members, from beginners to professional corset makers.
I worry that my body will betray me, but I am hopeful that I will heal and resume my labor of love. I want to create a whole line of corset making instructional materials, not just one. I’m really passionate about it. Ultimately, it comes down to my health. Please send your good vibes out to the cosmos for me to get better. I’ll do everything I can on my end. Believe me, I am hard-core about nutrition and wellness and I’m no slacker.