Ending the sewing hiatus

A few days ago, I got my sewing machine back from its I-Hope-the-Mississippi-River-Doesn't-Flood vacation at a friend's house, along with our instruments, photos, and other valuable or irreplaceable things. (We live very close to the levee, at a much lower elevation than we previously realized. It was an interesting couple of weeks. You'll be happy to know that the actuary and his family now have flood insurance.) The confluence of my sewing machine's merry return, my finally making time to catch up on favorite parenting and craft blogs for the first time in months, and my rereading of Amanda Soule's Handmade Home have led to a flurry of creative sewing activity in the last week.

I made a family set of reusable sandwich wraps lined with vinyl tablecloth material. Simple squares, two fabrics, fun contrasting thread, zigzag stitching, velcro closures. It took a couple of hours to make four of them, and that includes time to get snacks for my children, arbitrate disputes, change diapers, drink coffee, and start dinner. I was firing on all cylinders. It's totally invigorating. Kent helped by manning the pincushion, which was hilarious. He was very particular about putting the pins back when I handed them to him, and he ended up making my pincushion look sort of like the lunar module.

Detail for those of you who would like to make your own: I cut 14" squares of the outside cotton fabric and 12" squares of the lining fabric, then folded the outside fabric in on itself twice with a 1/2" seam allowance and tucked the lining fabric inside the folds. I zigzag stitched all the way around, then did simple topstitching diagonally across the square to hold the fabrics together. I used the iron-on kind of velcro, which was tricky because I had to get it hot enough to fuse it to the fabric but not so hot that I would melt the vinyl. I failed on the first one, so the first one has a nice little patch on the inside covering the spot where the vinyl melted completely onto the scrap fabric I had thankfully put between the vinyl and my iron. I got the hang of the ironing after that, and I definitely prefer the iron-on kind to the kind you have to pin in place and sew, or the sticky kind that's not really for fabric. Or you could do snaps, but that's less adjustable than velcro if your sandwiches turn out to be different sizes on different days.

A few people have already bought some, which thrills me for a lot of reasons. (1) I'm actually selling something I've made. (2) People are using fewer plastic baggies. (3) I get to keep making more. If you count yourself among the people who might like to own one or more of these, check out my new little Etsy shop. Please email me, leave a comment here, or send me a message through Etsy if there's a different fabric or color combo you'd like to see. I can definitely make custom orders.

Kent is amusing me by falling into the same trap I'm falling into; they are ALL our favorite, and we want to keep all of them. He was very upset when I told him that his best girl friend from school was getting the orange one he had designed, until I told him I could also make one for him and then they could have matching sandwich wraps. He's been so interested in sewing, and the particulars of the machine, that I'm really itching for him to be old enough to learn to sew (and for his feet to reach the floor so he can use the pedal).

This colorful little stack makes me incredibly happy. I am completely re-energized after my long time away from my sewing machine, so glad that our daytime dynamic around here finally allows for some crafting time again.

P.S. I have a new banner. My uncle suggested that many months ago, and I finally got around to it. It looks kind of wonky on the page, but it was fun to make a collage this time. The skill spilled over into making a banner for my Etsy shop as well. Ah, Photoshop. Your many mysteries will slowly be revealed to me. Someday.

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These are lovely! So creative, fun and practical. I'm glad to see you're back into sewing.
i love the new banner- not a bit wonky. :)
ditto on the banner
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