I had originally thought about calling this blog “I Don’t Sew,” because I thought this was a thing that really set me apart from all the other creative/craft blogs out there. However, I do sew, but I don’t sew like most crafty women that sew. That’s because I don’t own a sewing machine. (Am I the only one?) I like sewing projects, and I think all the handmade bags, dresses, pants, skirts, etc., that are out there are beautiful, but without a sewing machine, most of them seem undoable. However, there are some things that I do sew (small things, mostly, because hand-stitching large things is a tad overwhelming). Someday I would love to have a sewing machine, but until it fits into my budget, I’m making do with a needle and thread. So here are a couple of projects that I did sans sewing machine:
The Lamb and the Turtle
A while back (can’t remember how long, but maybe six months or so) I saw this project on Martha Stewart’s crafts of the day. I didn’t know anything about felt, or felting, but I knew I had to and would make one of those little lambs for my baby girl. It would be a Christmas present (one on the very long list of presents that I wanted to make, but one of the very few that I did make). I went as soon as I could to D.I. to see if I could scrounge up any wool sweaters. In the interim between seeing that lamb and getting to D.I., I had done a little Googling about felt and how to make felt, so I knew that I needed 100% wool sweaters, which eliminated the majority of what D.I. had to offer. On the first trip, I came away with only one small purple sweater. But I liked the color, and it was 100% wool, so I couldn’t ask for more.
I must have washed it about 6 times in hot water before I decided it was felted enough, but it took me a while to get the gusto to cut into it. Finally, I just went for it. The whole thing went together pretty fast, and the directions were pretty easy to follow. Here it is:
Don’t laugh; I really love this wonky little lamb/chihuahua (I know, I should iron down the ears, but it has so much more character this way), and so does my angel baby, so it works. One thing for sure though, I’m hooked on felt (you will be too, once you try it). So I had to make another softie. But instead of doing what any reasonable individual would do and getting a pattern off-line, I decided that with all my one-sewing-project-under-my-belt experience I would make my own pattern. For a sea turtle. So I did. It was fun, but also very challenging. I really admire people who can come up with patterns on a regular basis. It could probably use some tweaking, and it’s certainly not ready for mass production, but here it is:
This one is great for cuddling with a little one because it’s got a built-in “hug.” I used another felted sweater, and I like how the cable-knit (is that what it’s called? I don’t knit) pattern worked for the shell. So this is where my pattern creating has stopped for now. It’s time-consuming work, but I wouldn’t count it out in the future. I’m just waiting for a new animal to spark my interest. Maybe a dolphin, or a giraffe. We’ll see.
The Shape Book
I’ve been trying to make books for Isabella because I love how much she loves them. However, she loves them so much that they end up being loved to pieces. So I’ve also been trying to give her some soft books that can handle all the love she can give them. This project came about because I had cut too many pages out for a counting book that I was going to make. That project is just a bit too ambitious for my crafting/sewing/embroidering skills right now, so I’m saving it for a later date, but in the meantime I decided to tackle a little beginner-friendly project. I started it over the holiday break when I was home with my family in Oregon, and I’ve been working on it here and there. It was a great watching-a-movie project. Again, some of it could have gone a lot faster with a sewing machine (like the binding) but it turned out okay, anyways. Here it is (I don’t like the cover and may rework it, so I’m only showing you the inside pages):
I know, she’s going to be the only girl her age who knows what a trapezoid is (and there would be a parallelogram in there, too, but I didn’t think that word would fit). We’re aiming high with her education.
And here’s my Isabella loving her new book (I didn’t get an pictures of it in her mouth, but you can be sure that happened a few times, too):
So, if there’s anyone else out there without a sewing machine, I say to you, take courage. It is possible to make beautiful things without it. Good luck and happy sewing.