Sunday, January 25, 2009

Many Happy Returns

A rousing Happy Birthday to my good and dearest friend! It goes without saying that your companionship and support mean the world to me, and how wonderful it is that birthdays come along and give me the chance to try to show and tell you that!

This year the theme for your birthday gifts is "Out on a Limb" -- in other words, these gifts are my way of thanking you for standing behind me during the past year as I have undertaken new ventures and become just a little more daring. They may not quite be as perfectly matched to your personality as gifts in other years have been, but I'm hoping you'll find them fun, anyway.

First up is a set of "Mixy-Matchy Napkins," as they're called in Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules-Sewing, a fun new book I picked up before Christmas. Since I can never get all of my napkins to match, I actually prefer it if none of them do, so I really liked this little project. (Also, I got to use all kinds of fun fabric, which is like being a kid in a candy store.) I don't know how you feel on the subject, or even if you use cloth napkins, but if you try it I bet you'll never go back, either to the matching or to the paper. And of course I had to make you seven of them, because what number goes better with a bunch of mis-matched items? Now, really?

Next is something that I hope I can label "Not Too Frou-Frou," though by its nature it is a little fussy. It seems that aprons are all the rage these days, at least among the bloggers I read and the authors of my favorite sewing books. Thus, I felt called to make you one. I wanted to make you a tea-towel apron because I love the simplicity and utility of them, but I couldn't find a towel attractive enough to make me want to sew with it. So you've gotten the standard vintage-style apron with the gathered waistband and the tapered ties, guaranteed to provide a perky bow (if you can handle that.) I chose a vintage-style daisy print that I hope manages to remain understated, and I left off the rick-rack and the frilly pockets. (This pattern also came from Bend the Rules Sewing.)

Things I learned while making these gifts:
  1. How to make a narrow hem without burning my fingers
  2. How to baste by machine
  3. How to make gathers and sew them into a waistband
  4. That I can make things that are not comprised completely of straight lines
Thanks for those, and for your continual encouragement and faith in me. You are a blessing to those who know you. Have a happy!


  1. Yay Jennifer! As always, your thoughtful gifts leave me next-to speechless. I adore the napkins - the fabrics are (can I say this?) too fun - really! I didn't know such patterns existed but I am nothing short of thrilled to have them in my possession! The apron is not only a wonderful gift but you must be somewhat prescient...Corey has been saying for months now that I need an apron (every time I splash something on my pants, in fact, which is far too often). So it will be admired aesthetically as well as utilized! I'm so grateful that you spend the time and effort to make me such gifts - they will all be treasured until they fall apart (and probably even then some...). Thank you!!

  2. Glad you like them! Let me know if the napkins work for you and I will be happy to make more as an Arbor Day gift or something... in my opinion you can never have too many napkins!