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:
- How to make a narrow hem without burning my fingers
- How to baste by machine
- How to make gathers and sew them into a waistband
- That I can make things that are not comprised completely of straight lines