Friday, December 17, 2010

Craft for the craftily challenged

I am not the most craftily-enabled person around. In home economics at school I was the person accidentally sewing their material to their lap or gluing their fingers to the table. However, with a friend's baby due I wanted to make something for her. Some months ago I bought a breast pump from a website and was sent this nappy wallet as a freebie. I would not have thought of buying it, but it's been really useful in the bottom of the pram for outings that don't justify dragging along a whole bag worth of baby accoutrements. It's literally just a cotton pouch, with a fold-over velcro-secured flap, lined with a different colour fabric. I, ahem, decided it would be easy enough to sew one for said friend. Well, it was. Kind of...

Expedition One to Spotlight:
1. Arrive at Spotlight. Realise that Spotlight is the size of several enormous barns. Whoever knew crafty types needed so much stuff?
2. Spend inordinately long time choosing fabric whilst baby grizzles.
3. Get in stupidly long queue. After about ten minutes of standing in queue bouncing baby, think about fact that the only scissors in the house are for cutting fingernails, food or wrapping paper. Get out of queue and add unreasonably expensive pair of fabric scissors to basket.
4. On way back to queue, think about fact that whilst we have a (borrowed) sewing machine it only has white thread on it and chosen fabrics are dark blue, and white with red and blue flowers. Go back to thread section and add red and blue thread to basket.
5. Get back in queue. Get sick of bouncing baby and decide that you need a measuring tape in a cute green magnetic tin with a frog on it. Ignore the little voice in your head that says they only put cute stuff like this alongside the queue because they know their queues are so long and that people will get bored in them and decide to buy more stuff. Add measuring tape to basket.

Attempt One at Home
1. Spend a week or so looking at fabric in pleased, ambitious sort of way. Hold two bits of fabric together and admire how they match nicely. Show them to anyone who comes to the house and tell them all about what a useful gift you are making.
2. Decide that it might actually be time to start doing something with fabric. Realise that whilst your nappy pouch appears to just be two types of fabric sewn together, and you now have two types of nicely matching fabric (plus a whole bunch of other stuff...) you have no idea how to actually turn two pieces of fabric into nappy pouch.
3. Decide that you can actually use your very cute magnetic frog measuring tape to measure your nappy pouch and cut out bits of paper the same size and then figure out how to sew them together. Spend an entire evening in front of the television trying to measure existing nappy pouch, and bits of paper, and then cutting out bits of paper. Give up and go to bed.

Attempt Two at Home
1. Decide that Google Knows Everything. Google "nappy pouch" and then "diaper wallet" and discover that, fortunately, you are not the first person to have had this good idea.
2. Find and be very grateful. There are actually two posts on the site that are suitable although one is ostensibly for an electronics cozy: they are and
3. Realise that you will need something to draw on fabric with in order to be able to cut in straight lines and that pen is not ideal.
4. Give up and go to bed.

Expedition Two to Sewing Shop
1. Go to expensive sewing shop in Subiaco because the thought of another Spotlight trip is too daunting.
2. Ask intimidating sewing shop lady for "one of those chalk pencil things you can draw on material with."
3. Accept the do-you-not-know-anything stares along with the "tailors' chalk" offered, pay for it and escape before the baby realises you have dragged her to another sewing shop and throws a complete fit.

Attempt Three at Home
1. Utilising "tailors' chalk," cute magnetic green frog measuring tape and ruler-from-the-pantry, draw appropriately sized rectangles.
2. Spend about twenty minutes painstakingly cutting it out using new fabric scissors.
3. Concede that fabric scissors aren't going to cut it, haha, in terms of precision and that you are going to have to go on...

Expedition Three to Spotlight
1. Get to Spotlight and pretend that the baby is not screaming as soon as she realises you are taking her into her absolute least favourite shop in the whole world.
2. Find the section that flogs patchworking stuff and realise it is expensive.
3. Decide it is an investment, because after all, you are going to do this again, aren't you?
4. Choose a rubber mat thingy for cutting on and a pizza cutter thing for cutting fabric.
5. Stand in another queue.

Attempt Four at Home
1. Realise that attempting precision cutting, even with a fancy new rubber cutting mat and pizza fabric cutter thing at night, whilst tired is not the best idea. But when else is it going to happen? Certainly not during the day whilst the baby eats every piece of fluff off the ground she can find, alternated by tormenting the cat.
2. Discover that D is much better at using the pizza cutter thing. He claims it is because he got good experience cutting tiles when he and Dad fixed the tiles in our bathroom. Decide to let it pass and be grateful that someone in the household is able to cut the fabric into pieces.
3. And that was really the last of the issues. The instructions (I chose the electronics cozy version because it looked easier) were actually pretty straightforward to follow. It took a few more evenings and another trip out to buy press studs (fortunately from the supermarket and I whisked them off the shelf before E could realise they were sewing related and tell me what she thought of that) but it appears to be finished.

Here is what it looks like...

Postscript: if anyone tells you that I actually quite enjoyed this and have enough material left for another one and D's cousin is expecting a baby later this week... well, you should laugh and refuse to believe them...


_vTg_ said...

Very crafty! (you should include the story with the gift!!)

And yes, Spotlight does have the longest queues... unless you are there alone! They also carefully include a breakable item at the end of every aisle, just to ensure toddlers have the most fun...

Is that a green gin bottle poking out? Very thoughtful inclusion..... ;-)

ANB said...

haha, whilst every new parent probably needs a gin bottle it is actually the far less exciting top of a bottle of hand sanitiser...

arunga001 said...

I HATE Spotlight but I loved this post! So funny x

From the looks of things it turned out great. You'll be able to see my recent crafting exploits v. soon (spent time taking some of the product photos today)

Bel said...

Haha I somehow missed this one until today - very Bridget :-)

And I am very impressed with your domestic achievements - whatever happened to the girl who burnt the soup pot?? xxx

MultipleMum said...

A comical account but fantastic result! Well done. Did you back up for your cousin's baby? Thanks for Rewinding x

Miss Mandy said...

Well done, looks fab.

I'm a frustrated sewer, I am usually caught dropping a few swear words as things don't go my way, but it's usually because I try and take short cuts. When will I learn.

sascedar said...

such a funny post! your gift turned out great, I bet it was appreciated. visiting from rewind!

bigwords is... said...

OMG you sound like me when I attempt craft! You did a fab job though it looks really cool! Nice to meet your blog x

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