Friday, January 23, 2009

Every once in a while JoAnns will have a tremendous sale on patterns--a 99cent extravaganza. And a while back when i felt the need to fill out my pattern cache, I took those sales very seriously--researching all the patterns i wanted from whichever particular brand was on sale, and having a field day in the pattern drawers. As an aside--there is something deeply comforting about the sound of those pattern drawers-the feel--like ball bearings on velvet, or the taste of the perfect custard. It's a creamy feel, those drawers, and it's one of my personal joys to pore over a drawer of patterns to locate that gem I saw only moments before on a page. And the feel of a new pattern envelope! Everything flat and pressed--not like the jumbled mess that occurs AFTER you cut everything out.

But back to my sale. So with a new baby at home, I felt the primordial need to create a "busy book. You know--use up all those scraps like our grandmothers of yore. Be thrifty! Create an heirloom. One thing i had forgotton though is the amout of time these sorts of things took, and the crazy little efforts to applique this and button that. This pattern sat in MY pattern drawer (a not quite as pleasing vintage wood drawer with the unmistakable squawk of Wood against wood) until just a month ago. I was pulling out some other patterns to scan into my new catalog (trying to make a buck or two in this economy) when i ran across it again and realized--yes it was time. My son is now two. It's time to learn to button and tie and zip.

I decided to embroider the cover to make it personal. I had lofty goals to embroider the blank pages opposite the activity pages with the "instructions", but by the time i got to this, I just wanted to finish the damn thing and move on.

I found that some of the pages had no real skill at all. And nowhere in this beast was a snap to be found. Is a snap not a worthwhile skill? More challenging than velcro, which found itself highlighted on at least TWO pages. The Cat page simply had jingle bells in the bowtie, and the butterfly had crinkly wings. Where's the challenge there?

So i changed the cat to a snap on bowtie, as well as replaced the velcro on the birds nest with snaps. As for the butterfly, I lost inspiration, and simply sewed on a bow to tie. I don't expect my toddler to master tying anytime soon, but he can practice here as much as he wants.

This pattern required a great amount of felt. I was hoping to really dig into my statsh to put this together, but instead had to make an emergency run to Michael's to fill my felt cache. (and inexpensive cahe to have) Once i got over my disappointment, I began to realize how easy felt made thi project. If i had to sew and turn all thos little bits, I would have put a bullet in my brain. Or at least ran my hands through the serger.

In the end, I had to finish up the hand work--sewing buttons on and closing doggy stomachs, lest his poly intestines came free. After that came construction. But i was so DONE with this thing that i didn't pay attention, and sewed up the wrong sides when i put the pages together. They were supposed to be on the Right side with the left side blank. Oncei realized my mistake, I just rolled with it. There was no way i was going to rip anything else out and begin again. This book needed finished before my son awoke from his nap. Period.

Said son loves this book by the way. He will sit for some time, babbling in his "sweet" voice and trying to rip the buttons off. Fine praise indeed.

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