Guest Post: Gail of probably actually

Sweet, sweet Gail. I remember discovering her blog probablyactually many months ago and I could.NOT.tear.myself.away. Her gorgeous projects (she sews clothes and holders of things! she embroiders! she makes felt food and furniture!), her lovely photography, and her engaging narratives that leave you wanting more – I was instantly smitten. I’ve only marveled at her sewing creations from afar, but I imagine that if I were to actually see them in person, they would be perfectly stitched with nary a stray thread or crooked seam. And Gail knows how to throw a party and make crafts like nobody’s business. Martha Stewart could learn a thing or two from her. I think little L and O are so lucky and if I could be reborn, I’d want to be Gail’s kid. I hope she’ll sew more for herself because this Tova and this one are beautiful. With great effort, I’m stopping myself from linking to everything in her archives, and these are a few of my fave things by Gail:

[1] [2] [3]

I have such a weakness for colorful running stitches, bold prints and cloud details…and what about Gail? Read on to find out about her favorite-est creation…I love her post so much.


So how do you go about picking a favorite from all the things you’ve ever made? The truth is that something came to mind immediately when Sanae asked me to participate in the series. But then I second-guessed myself and went through my entire blog archive to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything.


It was an emotional couple hours, I’ll tell you that. I have such an attachment to the things I’ve sewn. There are so many memories that go along with seeing Lila in those clothes, so many of which are now outgrown and packed away. I remember sewing each garment, and that little rush that came with completing each one. The feeling of waiting for her to wake up the next morning so I could see her in it for the first time, halfway wishing I could just wake her up at 1am to try it on NOW. And I remember each photo shoot, the cajoling, the marshmallows that exchanged hands. Looking at the old stuff makes me so nostalgic. It’s little bits and pieces of Lila’s childhood, of our days spent together.

But I digress.


After going through every single thing, I stuck with my gut, and it wasn’t an article of clothing at all: the baby doll carrier, August 2011.


Sometime around the age of two Lila really latched on to her little 12-inch baby dolls. I know it’s not uncommon for little girls to gravitate toward doll play, but I loved watching it develop and it inspired a lot of sewing. There were tiny doll clothes and diapers, mini sleeping bags and swaddlers, you name it. But the favorite by far was the Oliver + S Bear Carrier (from Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson), sewn just before she turned 2.5.


There are the obvious reasons why I loved it: Because she loved it. Because it was useful! Because seeing my daughter wear her beloved baby doll strapped to her chest, the same way I wore her for so long, was almost unbearably sweet. Because people turned their heads everywhere we went. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I fielded a question or acknowledged a kind comment from a stranger about this carrier, I’d be sewing on a Bernina! The reactions were such fun to watch, and I imagine I did a lot of beaming. I’m telling you, this thing was just a constant source of joy.


But more than that, she wore it so much that it became her uniform, a part of her. So to me it represents that time in our lives together, and it was such a sweet time. My memories of her at 2.5 are some of my favorites. There’s this strange thing that happens between the ages of two and three, where your child becomes this real person, you know? It was so magical, watching this amazing and ridiculous and lovely little human being unfold, with her own opinions, her imaginary friends (Hinky & Wonky, who lived “down the street in California”), her perpetually mismatched shoes. There’s no way to pinpoint just when the whole transition-to-person thing takes place, but for Lila, I’m fairly certain it happened while wearing her baby doll in a little denim carrier.


I remember wishing I could freeze time right here, forever, and at the same time being so full of anticipation for who she was becoming. Trying so hard to just live in the moment and enjoy it all. Feeling overwhelmed with good fortune that I’d been present for every single day of her life. And there’s something about the baby carrier that takes me right back to that time, and to all of those feelings. And I suppose that’s enough to elevate it to “favorite” status.


Anyway, she went on to wear this thing on and off (mostly on!) for almost a year after I made it, and it still comes out to play on occasion. By far the most well-loved item I’ve made for her to date.

baby carrier nook-5496

Thanks so much for hosting this fun series, Sanae, and for inviting me to join! I loved writing this post 🙂

11 thoughts on “Guest Post: Gail of probably actually

  1. oh Gail – this post leaves me with a lump in my throat! It’s amazing, isn’t it, how one item can come to symbolize a period of time in our life so emotionally? And I agree with that particular age being so very wonderful – even better to have a talisman to represent that time.
    I, too, get emotionally attached to the clothes I make for my girls and have a hard time packing them away. I hang on to them – thus far- in the hopes that perhaps one day they will have a little girl who might like them. Probably not likely, but one can hope:)
    So glad you posted as Sanae’s guest this week – I was looking forward to your post! I adore your sewing aesthetic and love reading your blog:)

  2. What a wonderful post, thank you for sharing! I am not a mother myself, but very close to my best friend´s two and a half year old daughter who I sew for a lot and I could relate to what you wrote in many ways. It is amazing to watch a child become a “real person” and I am so happy to be a part of it. Whenever I meet her (which is almost every weekend or even more often) I am amazed at how much she has changed in such a short time and the things she says and notices and expresses! The last pair of pants I made for her she refused to put on at first, because they were for her imaginary friend, Lilly! 😉

  3. How gorgeous! And a beautifully written post. I’m glad the sling still gets a look in every now and then…as I write this, my little Juliette is bundling up her baby and putting her to sleep. Time to play!

  4. This has to be one of the sweetest posts ever written about a handmade item! Not only are you an amazing sewist but you are also one amazing mama!

  5. Aww, look how little Lila was….love this post. B is wearing a lot of things that I made for s when I first started sewing for her. Makes me miss those days too. But now I have memories of both girls wearing handmade;).

  6. thank you so much for all these kind comments! and to sanae, for the sweetest introduction ever and for having me as a guest on your beautiful blog!

  7. I have loved this special series, and I really needed this post today. Your words were so sweet and heartfelt, Gail, and they really touched me! I have been in tears on and off for the past couple of days because I realized that in just a month my oldest is starting school. Things will never be the same again and, honestly, I don’t know what I am going to do with her gone. Reading about you watching Lila becoming her own self I smiled and nodded–yes, that’s exactly how it happens!! Children are so special and sewing for them is such a magical way to connect with them, isn’t it? Anyway, thank you, Gail and Sanae, for this lovely series and for such inspired words.

    (And if anyone has any tips for easing the going-to-school transition for me, I’d appreciate it! 😉 )

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