You have family and some of them are far away.
You want to give them something special, something of yourself, something they can't get at a store. You hope for those "my mom made it" connections. You want them to see in something from your hands your feelings for them.
I saw a Pinterest saying a while ago.
It said "I wouldn't miss you if you were here."
Boom, right to the heart that one.
Now those are words you can't say out loud.
Not to a child who is living their own good life in the place where they should be. If you said it you wouldn't feel any better and they would feel much worse.
So you keep those thoughts to yourself or you tell them to another mother so you don't have to explain a thing. Someone reading this right now knows exactly what I mean.
And you decide to make them something instead.
But because you have so much to express, you want a project to match. To a sewer that means real good fabric and something that requires real work.
On this basis I decided before Christmas I wanted to make everyone shirts. My job intervened however and I only got one made, which made me feel terrible in case it looked like shirt boy was more loved than napkin girl or heaven forbid more than the girl who got tops ordered online.
The thing is when the wrapping paper settled Christmas morning, it turned out everyone was pretty happy, maybe the online top recipient the most.
But we did discuss sewing over the course of the day. Two of my children, my son's girlfriend who is a hobby herbalist, and my son in NYC had requests:
- I would love an apron to wear when I work with plants. Would it be too hard to have pockets on it?
- Mom I really need a bag for dirty clothes when I travel. I don't know if you can do this - but a sort of square bag with a drawstring you can pull on top. He even sent me dimensions.
A bag and an apron.
This made me feel so bad - that's it? - till I figured it out.
If you don't sew, what matters most to you is something you can't buy exactly the way you want it yourself, not the complexity of the project.
Like that time I made my mother those elastic waist A-line skirts out of quilting cotton and all the ladies at church wanted to know where she got them.
So maybe I learned something. For years I have given made-by-me gifts with the comment "Hope it fits, it nearly killed me to make it." Not completely cool or in the spirit really.
When sewing to give you have to look at what the recipient can't do themselves, rather than through sewer's eyes.
What do you think?