I've always wanted to sew. About 8 years ago, my honey bought me my very first (and only) sewing machine as a Christmas present. I was so excited to sew curtains, and placemats and slipcovers to decorate my apartment. But when I sat down with it and the operator's manual one afternoon, I was struck by a big dose of reality: I don't actually know what I'm doing!
I couldn't even thread the darn thing! It was such a disappointment that I tucked it in the closet and forgot about it. When Julian was a wee babe, I dusted it off and gave it another go, this time enlisting the help of Stephen's mom who is a phenomenal seamstress. But somehow those projects never quite worked out and most were never even finished. But each one taught me a new technique: cutting and pinning, sewing straight lines, pressing seams, zig-zag stitch, sewing along curves...
They taught me enough that when I came across Onegirl's Fleur Playmat pattern before Christmas while looking for a cute girly playmat for my Abbey I actually thought that perhaps if I took my time and followed the instructions carefully one step at a time then maybe I could make it myself...
I started with the petals. Sewing curves is hard! Some are rounder than others but having to sew 36 of them gave me lots of practice and by the end they were looking great! I stuffed them with batting and stitched down the center and put the whole project on hold. For weeks! I was too scared to go on. I had picked up some lovely coral cotton at Wal-Mart of all places while shopping for good scissors and thread and ordered the cushiest plush minky for the face and frankly had no idea how I would put the two together since the minkee is stretchy, it's a circle, and it's front and centre (literally) on the playmat so any puckering would be really obvious.
Then yesterday, after a nice evening stroll with my neighbour, I decided to go for it! I think the stars must have been perfectly aligned because everything I tried worked out perfectly the first time. I wandered from the pattern instructions a bit and still everything worked out! I decided to apply the face to the big circle using heat bond and was pleasantly surprised that is worked and didn't melt! Then I zig-zagged all around even though the heat bond instructions said not to and that worked out too! I did the same for the cheeks (cut from an old accidentally felted sweater) and embroidered on the eyes using stash acrylic yarn.
Could it be? Did I just totally make this? It was 2am by the time I had sewn on the petals, the backing and stuffed it all with batting. I quilted through all layers by sewing around the face which caused it to pucker a little but I can totally ignore that part because OMG I totally made this!! I considered waking everyone to show them while giddily jumping up and down exclaiming "I made this! I totally made this!" But wisened up and went to bed.
Here it is in Abbey's nursery. Oh, I'm so so pleased! Tired and cranky (after weeks of sleeping through the night Abbey woke up at 2:30 am, 4:30 am, and 6:30 am last night) but still beaming with excitement.
I think I can totally sew!