Thursday, May 20, 2010

You're Getting Good at Sewing

I don't give many homemade presents beyond my strict, and very well defined, list of people who understand the meaning of - and appreciate - a handmade gift. I know you understand what I'm saying. I'm particularly critical of my skills and have been known to knit and finish an entire baby cardigan only to put it away in a box because it's not perfect enough.

The majority of people I know are on the exclusion list. It's not that they're not nice people and don't deserve receiving handmade (actually some of them are on the list because through past behaviour I know they don't deserve handmade), it's mostly that I'm embarrassed of my level of skill and not sure how it will go down.

I'm less concerned about gifting handmade to kids, especially if they're related to me in some way. I've made a few things for the nephews, but mostly kept them small.

So for one of the newphew's 3rd birthdays last week I thought I'd do a backpack. I'd fudged my way through making one recently without a pattern, but this time I used the Made by Rae one, and it's pretty much exactly what I'd already figured out - but with nice instructions and good measurements.

I was pretty excited by it. I think a backpack is not a bad present for a three year old. The Smurf is not far off three and he loves carting his wordly posessions around with him. He loves his backpacks.

I decided to line the backpack and add some side pockets - which aren't included in the MBR pattern. But they're very simple to do.

I was pretty chuffed with the outcome (although I'll remember to snip stray threads before taking photos next time).

The three year old loved it and the Smurf has demanded an exact copy of his own.

But what do I make of the comment "you're getting really good at this"?

I know it was meant nicely, but I'm a bit confused.

Was I right to be embarrassed of earlier presents? Am I shit and maybe getting better? Is it a "keep up the good work, you'll get there one day" kinda thing?

Or, is it a wow you're not that bad at this, in future I needn't be so concerned about whether you'll make some kind of twee looking piece of crap and wish that you'd just do the normal thing and buy something like everyone else."

What do you think? Am I paranoid? Do you have an exclusion list? Or do you merrily make and give and to hell with what they think - at least it's not another piece of plastic fantastic!

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