Hand stitching

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I remember back to when I was first learning to sew. I would make skirts and shirts for my Barbies with scraps of fabric and needle and thread. I realize now I was lucky to have a mom that did some sewing because she had the tools I needed to take those first few tentative steps into sewing. She also had a Singer sewing machine in a cabinet that she bought in the early 70’s with her own money (my sister still has that machine and the cabinet, too) but I didn’t use it until I was much more comfortable with sewing.

Eventually I moved on to sewing machines and making more complex items. I would occassionally hand sew something, but usually hated doing so. It was efficient, neat or easy compared to the sewing machine. I tried to avoid hand sewing as much as possible, unless it was to sew on a button.

This winter, I received a gorgeous new sewing machine – a Singer 7470 Confidence. It was a HUGE upgrade over my old machine that could only sew straight or zigzag stitches. My dear husband bought it for me as a Mother’s Day/Birthday/Christmas gift and I LOVE it! I used it for a ton of stuff, wanting to turn it on nearly every day. It was so easy to thread, so smooth and quiet and so fast, too.

But something strange happened around the time I got my machine. I made a shirt for my brother and one of the very last steps was doing some hand stitching on the collar to close it up. It required tiny little stitches that needed to end up being invisible. And through those little tiny stitches, I found a love for hand stitching. I have since moved on to sewing plushies or softies and other items that don’t require such intricate stitching, but I still love it.

See, I think hand sewing is a lot like knitting. It is rythmical. The push then pull of the needle and thread through the material, the repetitive motion, the tiny stitches and the slow but sure progress that comes with hand sewing are so satisfying to me.  I find myself addicted to sitting down with a piece of fabric or two and a needle and thread and sewing away. So much so that I have even taken a hiatus from knitting for a few weeks now! I never thought I would see the day something took over my time knitting!

So, if you see more hand stitching for a time, that would be why. I still have lots of knitting projects planned and my sewing machine has not been neglected. In fact, I just finished a second fabric basket on the machine. I just need to hand stitch up the turning hole and it will be complete and ready for blogging. So, bear with me as I indulge my current hand stitching fascination.

The Easter Bunny sews, too!

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I always loved Easter as a kid. I couldn’t wait to see what the Easter Bunny would leave for me in my basket. And now, I love passing on the tradition to my kids. But my daughter has a birthday coming up and they have lots of grandparents that would be spoiling them, plus they don’t eat a ton of candy, so I wanted to keep baskets simple for them this year.

I had been playing around with sewing plushies from craft felt. I got the book “Cute Stuff” from Aranzi Aranzo out of the library a few weeks ago and was totally inspired. I decided to use some of the ideas from the book to make some felt bags for the kids, complete with appliqued characters and their names embroidered on them. My son is VERY into dogs and my daughter adores cats and the color pink (as all good 5 year old girls should!) This is the result:

Easter bags

Easter bags

I had so much fun making these and they were so easy!

From there, I decided to make some plushies. Since my son is a doggy fanatic, I found a scotty dog pattern from one of my favorite blogs, Allsorts. This was so simple and cute that I ended up making a pair of dogs for him!

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For my cat loving daughter, I found the Pointy Kitty pattern from another blog I love, WeeWonderfuls. I tried this one with flannel first, but since I decided to hand sew it, the flannel didn’t work well, so instead I found some bright pink felt and added some flower embellishments to her sides. (I thought I had a better pictures. I will add it when I get one taken.)

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I also added in some fabric eggs (although I admit they were a bit lumpy!) that the kids like throwing at each other! You can see those in the picture above. They were made out of scrap fabric.

Coupled with just a bit of candy and some books, the Easter bags were complete! And upon opening all of it, my daughter looked closely at her kitty and said, “I think the Easter Bunny sewed this!” I asked her if the Easter Bunny did a good job and she said yes. LOL! I guess she is going to expect something hand sewn from the Easter Bunny every year now!