Monday, January 12, 2009

For the Sister Of My Heart

FINALLY and at LAST, I’ve finished the present I’ve been working on for the Sister Of My Heart, my oldest girlfriend in the world. That is, the girlfriend I’ve known the longest, and not the actual oldest girlfriend in the world, who is probably 93 and living in China.

It was her birthday late in December, and I’d meant to have this finished and posted off to her in time …. But alas, I failed miserably, and how bad does that make me feel?

Yes, I was busy in December with two markets a week, not to mention my ordinary day job, plus of course Christmas was hurtling up towards me at a rate of knots with all of its usual duties and chores (I wrapped presents on Christmas Eve, and My One True Love and I never did find the time this year to actually put up a tree)… but that’s no excuse and I felt terrible that I wasn’t able to complete this in time.

She turned 35, which is a birthday definitely worth celebrating - my theory is that once you’re 30, you really only need to make a song and dance about birthdays that end with a zero or a 5. This was one of those, and I didn’t get my present to her on time.

I’ve been metaphorically flogging myself about it ever since.

Christmas came and went, my parents came to stay and left again, the New Year arrived while I was sleeping, I started back at work, and still this project sat there on the table, bereft and unloved. It started to stare at me accusingly every time I went near it. Last week I swear I heard it mutter something rude.

…. so this weekend I sat down at the sewing machine, and I got it done at last.

It’s a messenger bag made from this excellent Montessori pattern. I love these patterns, they’re very easy to use and you usually don’t have to photocopy the pattern pieces – they include everything you need rather than printing some pieces over others. You just cut them out and away you go.

What do you think of the end result?

I used a plain indigo denim for the body of the bag, and an Amy Butler design (one apricot/orange piece and one lemon/lime piece) for the pockets on the front and back.

My scrap box spat out a piece of red and yellow check for the accents across the top of the pockets, and I found a big wooden button in my button jar. The lining is old indienne print that’s been kicking around in my stash for a while.

And those adorable babushkas on the front? They come from an out-of-print fabric which I absolutely love and cannot find another scrap of. If anyone knows where I can get some more, please tell me!

I cut them out individually and stitched them onto some coloured wool felt to give them some stability, then pinked the edges for a decorative finish.

I’m quite pleased with the end result, though of course it has the usual errors and odd-looking bits. Despite all my careful efforts, my work never really looks professional and properly finished, it doesn’t matter how hard I try. It’s just as well that handmade things are on trend at the moment, because that’s the only “look” I can do!

I can picture the Sister Of My Heart wearing this across her body as she trips to work in the morning through the lovely dawn mist, wearing her new black satin volleys (they sounds great, don't they - I think I want some). It’s roomy enough inside for her to fit in her work shoes as well as a packed lunch plus a book for the train trip. And if she buys a magazine at the station on the way home it will slot perfectly into the big lemon/lime pocket on the back.

I’m going to get this into the post today, along with a grovelling note that recognises my tardiness and begs her forgiveness. Sometimes I can really be a crap friend, especially when you consider that I love the Sister Of My Heart like she’s family.

Today I am wearing a brown and green abstract-printed jersey wrap dress, with a chocolate camisole underneath. Chocolate brown pumps to match.

But my heart feels black today, because I should have finished this in time for her birthday, and so I ought to be wearing black instead.


SoMH said...

Well, now that I've been allowed to look at this blog (Australia Post having finally consented to deliver the bag, a week later), at least I don't have to think about what my identity-name thing is going to be.
The bag is SUPERB, for all the reasons revealed in the story of its making, as well as for the very fact of its having been lovingly (not to mention painstakingly) handmade just for me.
Also, in the several hours since I put it down beside me here at work, it has garnered a number of requests from colleagues for your details, for the purpose of ordering their own!
PS It did occur to me that at least it arrived in the same month as my birthday (just; note date today) :-) I think the black heart business is possibly just a bit OTT self-flagellation...

Mountaingirl said...

And this is undoubtedly MUCH more beautiful in real life. The pictures do it no justice at all - it's a gorgeous bag and so well made!