We’re officially back! We got in very, very late last night from Michigan and I’m still a bit wobbly from jet lag, gluttonous eating, etc., but K was a champion traveler and we had a thoroughly marvelous vacation, so no complaints here.
With spotty wi-fi at the lake, and due to constant activities (swimming! canoeing! hiking up a sand dune! bbq on a beach!), I wasn’t able to get online much but I’m catching up and enjoying reading all the comments. Thank you for all the lovely feedback!
Today, I thought I would do my own take on my fave series. After perusing all my past projects, including those pre-dating this blog, I realized what a challenging task I put forth to my guest bloggers. It’s almost impossible to pick just one, and each handmade creation holds a particularly sweet memory. I collected about thirty images of my “favorites” and knew that I was just going down a rabbit hole of epic proportions.
And then I found this illustrated journal entry, and I remembered the project that started all my sewing madness. I talked about this illustrated journal I created a while back, and though it remains one of my most treasured items, it’s that page on the left that’s significant: Halloween 2007. See that little ladybug on the left? I made that costume.
It was made out of cheap felt and entirely hand-stitched. If I’m recalling things accurately, it took me about three days and I burned some midnight oil and pierced my fingers with the needle more times than I care to admit. I also sewed the little treat bags for K and her two trick-or-treating buddies (that’s one of her BFFs next to her as an awesome super hero). Every year, many of the businesses in Seattle give out candy, and these shots are from when we lived in an area called Queen Anne, where the shops really get into the spirit of things.
As I stuffed the wings with poly-fill, I remember feeling that “click”. It was a different kind of magic from drawing/painting that I was accustomed to. You’re still creating something from a vague notion in your brain, but the three-dimensional, tactile, and useful aspects of sewing elated me.
The best part of the costume was that K squealed with almost hysteric joy when she saw it (this was before she could talk) and the design was quite ingenious if I do say so myself. It simply slipped over her head and had two tabs that snapped together on each side. I didn’t use a pattern and just went for it. However, it also made me realize my limitations — the wings were too heavy and if it wasn’t felt, I wouldn’t have known how to hem it.
Hook, line and sinker. I wanted to sew some more and practically ran to Target to get a serviceable sewing machine. A couple of years later, I would upgrade to my entry-level Bernina which I love, but I made a ton of things with that first machine. These are some of my faves stitched from that hard-working Singer I got from Target:
I made up all of these without following a pattern – back then I was actually scared to use a pattern because I didn’t know how and stubbornly thought I would be able to figure things out on my own (the seams of all of these are heinous, in case you’re wondering). You can see that I used the same fabric for both the doll dress and K’s dress. I talked a little bit about the white top and burnt orange dress here, and about the doll here.
I also tried my hand at painting fabric and made this little green dress (I so loved this dress):
But my favorite of the hand-painted fabric variety is the grey cloud pillow I made from a dress that K outgrew (more info here):
And while I’m at it, my non-sewing fave is this advent calendar that I made last year. It really enlivened the countdown and every morning was filled with excitement leading up to Christmas:
Now that was a true labor of love. OK, I better stop now because I’ll keep going on and on and on. For another post, I’ll do K’s favorites perhaps…that list is much shorter. How about you? Do you have an absolute favorite handmade creation?