I spent far more time than I would have preferred yesterday tackling a very basic sewing project with the help of an experienced quilter and all around sewing perfectionist. I'm very pleased with the way my cloth gift wrap turned out. I think it's beautiful, and it's probably one out of the five wraps I have planned that I'm going to keep at home for our own gifting needs. Not least of all because it's probably going to be the most perfectly executed one.
The idea behind these gift wraps is that the fabric on one side, at least, is suitable for the holiday gift-giving season, while the other side is more suited for festivity in general, and thus appropriate for birthday gifts. I was talked into the purple color above as a Christmas color, because purple is associated with the Catholic season of Advent. I come from a Catholic background, so there is some relevance there. But also, I just like the color purple, and it picked up the accent color in the print fabric above. So each cloth gift wrap is essentially a perpetual replacement for paper gift wrap. Each of the wraps I plan to make uses two full yards of fabric, so I'll be able to wrap rather large gifts with each one. Getting the wrapped gifts to look neat and tidy is probably going to require some practice, or else some sturdy (and re-usable) wire-edged ribbon.
While I'm glad to be able to report some progress on my sewing competency goal for 2009, I can say with a high degree of certainty that this is never going to be a hobby I engage in for fun. That's just fine, I think. My goal was only to get to a point where I could say confidently, "yeah, I could do that;" provided of course that "that" meant a fairly uninvolved repair job, or a simple project designed to use up scrap fabric that would otherwise go for rags or into the trash (such as a colored bed sheet my husband spilled bleach on). An improvement in my ability to reduce household waste was all I was aiming for.
(Sorry for the washed out pictures: it's a rainy day so I had to use the flash.)
After the four-and-a-half-hour lesson, during which time we managed to complete just one extremely simple wrap, I now need to find the motivation to finish off the other four wraps that I purchased fabric for. I am somewhat hampered by not having, as my mentor does, a room set aside just for the purpose of sewing, as well as sundry tools designed to make the process easier. Given that I don't ever envision throwing myself wholeheartedly into things sewing, I'm pretty reluctant to spend money on such tools, useful though I know them to be. While there is satisfaction in having completed one small project, I don't enjoy the process of sewing enough to invest in more than just the basics.
Here are the fabrics that will go into the rest of the gift wraps I plan to make.
Check back with me before the holidays to see if I get these done!
I live on a 2/3 acre homestead in a residential neighborhood. A major goal is to demonstrate how much food a non-expert can produce in my particular climate and hardiness zone, with the soils native to my immediate area. We have gardens of annual and perennial plants, keep laying hens and honey bees, and regularly bite off more than we can chew. Another major goal is to pay off our mortgage as fast as possible. Here I blog about frugality, self-reliance, gardening, cooking and baking, food preservation, practical skills, half-baked experiments, and preparing to thrive in a lower-energy future.