Handmade birthday gift…

… or “Who wants another toy from China, anyway?”

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Don’t look at that “embroidery” toooo closely.

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We’ve been invited to a birthday party today for Ollie (we’re not going because everyone’s sick, but I didn’t know that last night when I stayed up making his present.)  I didn’t feel like buying another plastic wonder from the store, so tried to think what I could make for a two-year-old.  Knitting was pretty much out due to the fact that I waited till yesterday to brainstorm, that left sewing.  Hmmm.  Library bag it is!

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And to get him started, My Big Truck Book.  Jonas was going crazy for it at the store, so I’m taking that as a good sign.
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Here’s a tip from me to you – when sewing a tote bag, always make sure you know where your straps are.  That way you don’t have an unfortunate time-sucking incident after you sew your VERY FIRST FRICK FRACKIN SEAM.

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#*%@!
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(Also you may want to make sure you know where your seam ripper is in advance, just in case such an unfortunate incident does occur. You don’t want to spend 40 minutes looking for it, then an hour carefully removing rogue stitches with manicure scissors, only to find it  20 minutes later when looking for something else.  Not that I would know anything about situations like this, as I am a shining example of organization.  Everything is always exactly where it belongs, so I know where it is when I need it.  Stop laughing, Mom.)

I’d planned all along to either appliqué or paint his name or initials on it.  Unfortunately the left side of my brain that figures out the order of things wasn’t paying attention while the right side was debating between paint or felt and I failed to do either *before* the bag was assembled.  Genius.   That ruled painting out (there was no way to keep the paint from bleeding through to another, visible layer.  Once it was assembled, I couldn’t put cardboard under the painted layer while I was working.)  I decided on one big, red O on the front. I had just seen a sheet of red felt in my stash, and it even had a sticky back so it wouldn’t move around while I was zig-zagging it on (which would be great, considering I would be working with a bag, not a flat piece of fabric. Again – genius.)

Trip to the stash revealed not a full sheet of red felt, but a 2 inch strip.  Argh.

In the end I decided the bag must be personalized. It needed something.  Anything.  I thought long and hard.  Do I have any other skills?  Any at all?  (It occurs to me, now, as I’m typing this, that I have some iron-on transfer printer paper, and that would have been the easy way to go.  Ah, well.)

In the end, I embroidered.  Who knows how I knew how to do this.  Girl scouts?  Look – I even tried it out first on a swatch before destroying my beautiful bag –

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So unlike me. Check out that pile of felt there. Do you see any red?  Me either.
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In the end, after all the trial and error (and error, and error…) I think it came out really great.  I am incredibly proud of this bag. (As you may have been able to determine based on the number of pictures you are waiting to load.)

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Would you look at that seam?  The pattern almost matches up for crying out loud!  Its like I know what I’m doing or something! (Don’t let it fool you – total, complete lucky accident.  Doesn’t mean I won’t take credit like I planned it out with a ruler and calculator, though.)
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I love this thing.  There were a few weak moments there when I thought to myself “Self?  If you don’t put this kid’s name on here, you could TOTALLY just KEEP IT.”  But I was strong.  And now?  That we’re not even going to the party and I could, in good conscience, keep it?  It has Ollie’s name on it.  So I’ll be delivering it to his house later this evening.  Life can be so cruel, can it not?

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One final shot of My Precious, before I send it on its way.  
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Happy Birthday, Ollie.  May you have many happy years of going to the library and bringing books home in this bag.  Or it could hold a blankie for naptime at school.  Or a change of clothes and toothbrush for sleepovers.

Just don’t wash it, because that’s wool yarn I used there for the name.  Heh.

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6 responses to “Handmade birthday gift…

  1. Love the post and the humour and the bag is kinda cute too! It did totally match up on the seams and if it gets washed maybe the embroidery will felt so it will be even better.

  2. I have so been there… One minute you are thinking “I will just whip up a bag” … and the next you are pulling your hair out trying to finish it so you can GO to the party, lol.

    Great job! 😀

  3. I was totally laughing when I read, “don’t laugh Mom”. But then I realized I was laughing with you…not at you.

  4. Pingback: Tutu number two « See Jenn Craft

  5. Pingback: Happy Handmade Birthday « See Jenn Craft

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