Brooks’ stepmom commissioned me to make some Christmas gifts for the newest member of their family (and the new mom). That particular branch of the family has some strong Tennessee fans, so Kay was sure to supply me with some Tennessee-themed fabric; the rest was up to me.
This was both good and bad; good, because Kay trusted me to have creative freedom, but bad, because nothing quite revs up my neuroticism than a chance to set the bar too high. Luckily, though, the “I can’t do this she won’t like it I’m a fraud this is stupid this is ugly” phase didn’t last as long as usual. I think Brooks’ relentless efforts at helping me stomp on false beliefs is finally starting to take hold. I decided on a diaper bag, a zip pouch, and some (effing adorable) baby booties.
The biggest thing I wanted to avoid was this crossing over from “handmade” to “homemade.” I was mainly worried about using too much of the Tennessee print and ending up with something that’s tacky as opposed to thoughtfully customized. My solution was to use the bold Tennessee fabric as the exterior fabric on the smaller items, and as the lining for the larger diaper bag. I went with a dark, rich purple for the outside to add some contrast and to weigh the set down a bit. Gold hardware was the final touch to help me achieve my balance of fun and gravitas.
*This bag features 5 exterior pockets (one with a twist lock), 4 interior pockets (two elastic, two slip), magnetic snap closure, metal bag feet, an adjustable shoulder strap, and two removable handles. The final dimensions are 15.5″ wide, 13.5″ tall, 5″ deep.
*I altered the pattern, keep that in mind if you use it
BUT…the real star of the show (and this is coming from someone who loves bags and isn’t on the #1-baby-fan-club list) are the baby booties. I knew when Kay asked me to make something for Carrie and little Lily that I wanted to make a bag, but I was also excited to explore other options as I had never looked into making things for kids/babies before. When I found the pattern for these, I just died. I knew I had to at least attempt them.
I did end up re-making these before shipping them off, but not because I felt I had to in order for them to be ‘good’, or for me to be ‘good’. There were a few aesthetic flaws due to me attempting new construction techniques, and on such a small canvas they were fairly visible (including looking like they were on the wrong feet 🙁 ). I knew that with all I learned from round one that a second batch of booties could be far superior to the first. It also helps that they use little fabric and take only an afternoon to make. These boots feature a velcro closure so no one has to actually monkey with the buttons 🙂
The best bit is that I truly enjoyed the whole process. Every picked out stitch, every turned out corner.
- Blackberry Stretch Poplin
- Collegiate Cotton Broadcloth
- Dritz Belle Buttons
- Self-Adhesive Velcro Rounds
- Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece
- Zipper and hardware from various Etsy shops
Until next time
(P.S. I welcome (nice, kind, sweet, gentle, funny) punctuation advice)