Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's not because we're cheap, it's because we care (what other people think)

Every time Ittybit is invited to a birthday party, when it comes to finding an appropriate present, I turn into a strange and sad version of the entity known as Competimommy.

The gift -- especially when you don't know a person and are trying to make friends -- becomes all important.

It can't be too loud, or take up too much room. It can't cost too many dollars or too few cents. It has to conform to a parenting style you may or may not espouse -- Attachment, Free Range, Conservative, Liberal, Waldorf, Licensed Character Friendly, Plastic Aversion, Barbie Is Killing Feminism -- lest the item wind up in the trash.

Silly, I know. It's just another thing that will inevitably take up space on yard sale table or gather dust under a bed.

Since the crafting virus has recently settled in, I've been thinking of ways to spread the germs. Birthday Parties seem perfect.

Handmade, after all, is kind of the new black; upcycling, the new salvage.

So, fresh off the success of felt crowns, and feeling a little smug about the boy’s Monster Pilla, for the most recent party we attended we made a …


We made this for a friend's birthday - 97/365


* A man's extra large sweater (I used something I found in the closet that resembled terry cloth but softer)
* Something small made of polar fleece that has pockets I used a child's-sized vest.
* Threads of matching color
* Embroidery floss
* Fabric scissors
* Fiberfil stuffing (Yes, I did gut a thrifted pillow)
* About 20 minutes with a sewing machine (or an hour with a needle and a beer)

WHAT YOU DON'T REALLY NEED (unless you are worried you will drive a nail in the coffin of the economy {causing terrorists to win} if you don't keep buying stuff) BUT MIGHT BE NICE.

*A small (tiny) travel alarm clock


* Launder garments if they've been laying on the floor of your husband's side of the bed or the bottom of the kids' closets. For any length of time. Ever.

bg monster

* Cut the backside of the men's sweater into a large rectangle.

* Cut the pocket (top side only) off the fleece.

* Fold the pillow material in half and eyeball where the middle is.

* Place the pocket in the spot where the middle seems to be and pin it to the pillow material.

* Unfold the pillow fabric and topstitch the pocket around three sides. Leave the top open (unless your monster happens to eats laterally or sub-mandibly (that's not a word).

* Sew on the eyes with embroidery floss. (You could alternatively use felt circles and blanket-stitch them to the pillow fabric).


* Refold pillow material (wrong-side out) and sew around three sides, leaving the last side open enough to jam in the stuffing.

* Turn right side out and stuff it (I've always wanted to say that).

* Turn open edges inward and whipstitch pillow closed.

* Wrap clock, slip into pocket. All you need to do after that is make a card and you're good to go.


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