Saturday, January 29, 2011

Semi-Homemade Gifting

Semi-homemade gifting is like Sandra Lee's famous Semi-Homemade (R)* Cooking:  It's got its advantages, but it's not quite as good as the real thing.

Take this little diaper bag I made for my friend Lizzy, who gave birth to the sweetest little girl a few weeks ago.  (They christened her Rosalynd Ivy, a name that sounds like it belongs in my own family, where Roses and Ivys run semi-rampant.  (Don't believe me?  One of my grandmothers was named Ivy, the other was Bertha Rose.  An aunt who passed away during childhood was named Rosalee, and my own middle name is Rose.  Plus I have nieces named Rose and Ivy.  So, yeah.  It's not really my fault if I feel like Lizzy's Rosalynd semi-belongs to me.))

But back to the bag.  It's cute, huh?  And as you can see, it's got roses.  It's made from a vintage tea towel semi-stolen from the mounds of crafty semi-junk in the Relief Society closet at church.  (In my semi-defense, it was stolen with permission.  And everyone who was interested has had a chance at them at various semi-crafty activities.)
It's lined with vintage rose print fabric from the little old lady stash.  The pockets are from a fat quarter I bought at Wal-Mart more than a year ago.    Lizzy likes it because the larger pocket fits her Nook perfectly, a coincidence I'll happily pretend was my plan all along.

Here's where the semi-homemade part kicks in. The straps are cotton webbing, which is not quite as cute but a million times faster than fabric straps. I finished it off with an elastic loop and rose button closure, and was done in less than an hour.  Seriously.  Not the semi-hours I usually work in, where a 30 minute project takes 2 hours because of interruptions, blunders, and changes-of-plan.  No, this one, from start to finish, including cutting at the beginning and hand sewing at the end, came in under an hour.

So, while I do think it would have been nice to add fabric straps, or extra pockets, or ruffles, I'm happy with the end result.  These days, time is the thing I'm running short on, and the only way I'm going to get through my stash (and my to-gift list) before I move is to take some semi-shortcuts every now and then.

PS:  Just in case you're wondering, the not-homemade-at-all portion of the gift was a little bundle of onesies and a pair of ruffly pants plucked from a clearance rack in a moment of semi-weakness.  (Contrary to scientific opinion, the strongest force in nature is a clearance rack full of cute baby clothes.  It doesn't matter if they're the wrong size, season, or gender for your own child.  Sometimes, those ruffly bloomers just find their way into your cart.  You know what I'm talking about.  Admit it!)  It makes me happy to pass them along to someone who can use them.

*That's right, the phrase "semi-homemade" is trademarked!  Here's hoping I don't get slapped with a lawsuit for daring to type it in a semi-public forum.

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