Dakota bought me a sewing machine several years ago, and I finally broke it out of the box this year. I took a beginner class at machine project and then started testing my skills at making soft toys. After a few bunnies I made from patterns found online, I decided to design my own plush. I ended up making these bears.
I really like how they came out. The body is a simple U-shaped piece, and the ears and arms are separate pieces that I attached as I sewed the body together. I made the pattern on regular white drawing paper, and just free-cut the face, which is made of felt.
I glued the eyes and nose onto the face piece with a small dot of fabric glue and then sewed around the edges with embroidery thread. Overall, these bears are fairly simple to make. They just take time. I gave one to my friend Nanci at her shower last weekend, and she loved it, which made me really happy. I can't wait to give away some more.
As our friends' babies get older, Dakota and I have devised another fun handmade gift to give: wooden baby blocks. We made the first set for one cute little girl last year. Dakota took some scrap hardwood from his shop and cut it into small wooden blocks, which he sanded smooth. Then, I used my wood burning pen to spell her name on one side.
And on the other side, I drew and burned in animals that match the letters of her name.
I am happy with how that gift turned out as well, although I'd like to improve my wood-burning skills a little. Also, I like that Dakota and I made these blocks together, so they're truly a gift from the both of us. I plan to make more of these when all the babies we know turn one.
With all my handmade gifts, I hope to create something that the child will really like, and maybe even keep for a while. And I really enjoy giving babies (and their parents) something that's especially for them, that can't be found in any store. Giving gifts is great, but giving a gift you made is even better.