My mother taught me to hand sew when I was really young, like 5 or 6. I started with really simple pre-printed Christmas ornaments that I only needed to cut out, sew and stuff with Polyfill. I eventually worked my way up to completing a small doll. If I remember correctly, her body was white felt and she was wearing some blue pajamas made from the leftover scraps of the Halloween costume my mother made for me the year I went dressed as Holly Hobbie.
In middle school home ec I made a giant stuffed polar bear. The seams on the polar bear were uneven which gave him a very crooked back. He currently resides in my attic.
That was it for quite a while. Last summer ('09) Little Tiger took a mask making class where she made a fantastic goldfish mask. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to make some sort of outfit to compliment it so she could be a goldfish for Halloween. Very rusty in my sewing skills, I opted to sew small silky scales and orange tulle for fins onto a pre-made orange sweatsuit. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
Then school took over and I wasn't motivated to sew again until this summer when some friends from Portland came to stay with us. They have a daughter who is the same age as Little Tiger and every morning before breakfast the girls had fun coloring together at the art table. One morning Little E, our four year old guest, created this
I really loved these sweet and colorful animals. When Little E left this picture behind, I knew that I had to do something to make these cuties three dimensional. So when I sent her picture off to Portland I included these
It was the first time I'd worked with embroidery floss in decades (probably since making friendship bracelets in middle school). The stitches are shaky, but they are supposed to mimic the crayon lines in the drawings. I've been sewing daily ever since and this daily creativity is what inspired me to embark on my all-handmade gift adventure.