Friday, May 7, 2010

Recycling with a purpose - Denim bibs

I have been away longer than I had intended.

Many more patterns traced, and ready to cut, but not much sewing happening. We have all been sick. My 10 month old FINALLY has a tooth, but is still really clingy and needy at night...and the sleep deprivation is driving me batty.

Anyways, 3 of the 6 friends who were pregnant back in January have now had babies. The idea for a sling and swaddler for each of their babies went pear shaped after, seeing one set for the first of them that I made, they began criticising the fabric pattern and began making demands requests for specific patterns/ fabrics after I had already bought the fabric.

I completely lost the sewing mojo, since I guess to me, gifts are about choosing what you think is worth wearing, so much more if you are MAKING said gift(s), not just buying them. So...

I have been somewhat lax about gifts for these women. I have even bought the requisite clothes for these babies, but I still would like to make something they are not likely to object to.

Enter recycling denim to make bibs at this site.

What's not to love? Recycling, babies, making on one's own, AND not labour intensive, so that if recipients do not like them, not too much time and effort wasted.

I tried to make one last night, purely for stress relief

It's not great, and it looks uneven above, but is not actually; and I need to fiddle with the bottom a bit to get it to look right, but it's not bad for a first attempt. At my level of sewing (non existent/ beginner), I find that the first attempt at just about anything is pretty awful...and then take #2 is generally much better.

I made a strip of embellishment on the front that I matched at the back, as lining.

This cotton I used is probably too lightweight, so I'll probably try this again with some quilting cotton as backing and embellishment. I figure I'll use darker prints for the boys, and floral/ pinks for the girls from this quilting fabric I bought here when I was still planning to sew the swaddlers and slings . Even if they 
don't like them, I hope they'll use them anyway! 

My husband's suggestion was to make a few in one hit, and then give them (3 each or so) to them, all at once, so they can't make further requests for specific patterns/ fabric etc. :-)

I'll be putting snaps on to tie the bibs on with my snap setter that I got from here.

Maybe I am just struggling with all of this because sewing is a bit like putting your heart on your sleeve. It is personal, it says, for me at least, "I thought of you, and what you might like, and what would look nice on (your baby). " and so when it is met with criticism, it stings.

Or maybe I just need to cut these women some slack because none of them sews, and so they can't possibly understand that it takes effort and time. As one of them joked when I said I had made my daughter some underpants, "I'll buy you some, they are a dollar each!"

Clearly, that is not the point.

Ah well, actions can only be judged by their intention, and mine is to make something personal, that I hope will be personal, ethical, and involve a bit more effort than just going to a store and putting down some money to buy something on sale.


Keely said...

I agree with your husband - make a batch of bibs (which are cute by the way - and what a great idea!) and give them all at once. That it's tough if your friends wanted something else.
One way I found to deal with "requests" was to say I already had some fabric, but if they wanted to buy something particular I could see if I had time to make something. :)

Jenni said...

The bibs are really cute and I am sure they will be well received. I understand your hurt as you had chosen the pattern and fabric carefully for the previously planned gifts. I don't think non-sewers always realise quite how much time, money and skill goes into such gifts and they probably didn't realise they had upset you.

Kelley said...

You are a much better friend than I. After someone criticised a GIFT, there'd be no way on this Earth that I would try to figure out something else. How big a sense of entitlement do they have?

As far as sewing gifts goes, I've got more money than time, so if I choose to spend my precious time creating something for you, you can better your bottom dollar that I don't want to hear anything negative about it. Haven't these women learnt anything about being a gracious recipient?

Oh my goodness, Imaan, I'm outraged for you - and I'm not even involved. OK, rant over. Sorry about that.

Hopefully, it all worked out for you.

If you ever wanted to give me a gift, I'd LOVE a handmade one! :-)