Category Archives: handmade gifts

Embroidered Handkerchiefs

*sigh*…I haven’t posted in an embarrassingly long time again. I assure you that it’s because I’m busy crafting, enjoying my family, recovering from the stomach flu (okay that one was not fun), enjoying my family some more. I have lots of posts queued up in my mind, but they wont write themselves. The pictures are taken. Heck, they’re even uploaded into blogger. I just need to sit down and write. I’m going easy on myself, though. No promises on new posts before the new year.

Here’s a little something that I made for my dad’s birthday gift this year. I wont tell you how old he turned, but it was one of the decade ones so it was extra special. My dad is one of those guys who isn’t easy to shop for. I usually end up buying him books because he is a big nerd (in a good way) and is constantly learning about lots of things all at the same time. Hmm…come to think of it, I’m like that too. Only I like to learn about things I can make with my hands, while he likes to learn about things like batteries, LEDs, and computational linguistics. Still, we’re both lifelong learners and I think that’s pretty cool. (Not to leave my mom out…she’s also an avid reader and lifelong learner).

Anyway, I wanted to make something special for my dad. He still uses cloth handkerchiefs so I initially thought about making him some handkerchiefs. Finding just the right fabric (soft linen, not too thick, but still crisp when you iron it) was overwhelming at best. Instead, I chose some really nice Irish linen handkerchiefs on Embroider This and decided I would embroider them for him.

Hubby and I brainstormed and he suggested writing post-sneeze sayings in different languages on the handkerchiefs. I loved the idea and started looking up the sayings I would use. When I wrote down “a tes souhaits” in French, I realized that French offered me the perfect trio of sayings (perfect in that I had three handkerchiefs). When someone sneezes in France you say “a tes souhaits” (to your wishes). If the same person sneezes again you say, “a tes amours” (to your loves), to which the sneezer is supposed to respond, “que les tiens durent toujours” (to yours lasting forever). It was settled. I printed the sayings in the font I wanted, used transfer paper to transfer them on the handkerchiefs, and set out to embroider. They were a hit and immediately got put to their intended use. I’m glad he’s not afraid to actually use them rather than keep them in a drawer.

Happy Birthday Dad! (Over a month later). I love you!

"Waldorf" Dress- My first home sewn dress!

No no, it’s not for little man. And no, I’m not pregnant. We have some good friends from college who’s sweet little girl was born just 2 months after our kiddo. They recently moved near us (yipee!), so our littles have become good buddies these last few months. Much to her daddy’s dismay, they love to give each other big open-mouthed baby kisses whenever they see each other with absolutely no prompting from their mommas.
Anyway, back when we went to Paris, my mom introduced me to the fabric district. Needless to say, I fell totally in love. In this neighborhood, fabric stores are like Starbucks in Seattle. If you’re standing at the door of one store, you can see at least 4 other fabric stores. Amazing.
I found the fabric for this dress there, and immediately knew I would use it to make a dress for our friend’s daughter’s birthday. I’d never made a dress before, but doggonit, I would make one for this occasion. I found this adorable pattern on Etsy from 5Berries, confirmed that just over a yard of fabric would suffice to make the dress, and set out to work. It took me about 4 nights of sewing to finish it, but I am pretty darn proud of it. The pattern was very detailed and included instructions for how to make French seams (which I had never done before), and how to gather (which I had also never done before). I learned so much from making this dress. Maybe next time, it will only take me 3 nights!
I ended up giving little man’s friend her new dress about 6 weeks early because I was too excited to let it sit in my closet for that long just waiting for her birthday. Happy Birthday baby girl!