During my blogging break I did a LOT of mundane sewing. With a baby shower for a friend, Christmas, and a couple of other odd projects, my sewing machine was certainly busy! I took pictures of everything, so if you don't mind the diversion from medieval sewing, I'd like to briefly share those projects with you.
I started off with creating a messenger bag for Owen, who is a huge fan of bags. I had recently purchased a wonderful book, "Oliver + S: Little Things To Sew" by Liesl Gibson, which is full of great accessories and toys for kids. I didn't do a great job, but it was also a learning experience for me, since sewing a bag like this requires a very different set of machine sewing skills than the medieval items I make!
Still on a roll with bags, I designed a bag for myself inspired by a hoodie sweatshirt. I drafted it myself and learned a bit more about bag-making in the process. It's not perfect, but it was fun to make something completely from scratch based on a vague idea.
I took a break from sewing to try my hand at a basket making technique I'd seen on Pinterest. It was very fun and I got a nice little bedside bowl out of it.
Then I worked on creating some items for my friend's baby shower. Knowing babies as well as a person with 4 would, I decided that a much more valuable gift than just something for a newborn would be something to help with that most fretful of baby things- teething. In addition to some helpful things, like boogie wipes, quick-action pain-relieving gel, and a chart I found on Pinterest that details when each of the baby teeth come in, I made a couple of things as well. I used the "Bapron" tutorial from Craftiness is Not Optional and made 2 for those slobbery teething days, a rabbit ear teething ring similar to the one I'd made earlier this year, and a bag to put it all in, which I used Truly Myrtle's tutorial to create.
I liked the Bapron so much, I made another one for Archer as a Christmas present. He's had a pretty rough go of teething himself, and has had many slobbery days!
For Christmas, I wanted to make sure that each of my kids received something handmade. Hats are toys in our house, especially for my son Lee, so I made him a really cute bear hood, also from the Oliver + s book.
After cleaning out a section of the garage, my mom located an old fabric doll of mine. She was in good condition, but I wanted to get a lot more good years out of her. I had recently thought about making a medieval dress-up doll for Kara, which would give me a great opportunity to show my only daughter what dressing well and lady-like was as she grew up. I made some modifications to the doll itself to make it work, then I completed her with a mid-15th century German outfit. Everything is removable so when Kara has an interest in a different look, I can swap out the outfit easily. I posted more about the doll, including the before and after, on my other blog.
It took me some time to determine a good homemade item for Owen, since I'd already recently made a him that messenger bag, but then I realized that he's started to amass a collection of Hot Wheels, and could probably use a place to keep them. I made him another bag based off an old Martha Stewart tutorial. It's got 8 pockets on the outside for cars, and a large pocket inside for track pieces and additional cars. This was my first time working with felt in this context, and I really liked it.
I also taught myself the basics of knitting, which I always thought was too hard for me to learn. After practicing for about a week, I made my first knitted item. Actually, two items, since I made a pair of boot cuffs. I used a pretty teal wool yarn, and they're soft and warm. I need to put the needles down, though. Knitting is VERY addicting.
All of these projects allowed me to perfect my skills and know-how, which is never a bad thing, but I think I'll go at a slower pace for a while!