5 Feb 2013

birthday makings

I think I first came across the idea of handmade birthday crowns via Soulemama some time ago - and decided to make one for Reuben as a birthday tradition for as many years as he's willing to put it on! I didn't follow a pattern, just drew and cut a crown shape in three layers; cotton for front and lining and felt for a bit of structural reinforcement in the middle.  I went with nani iro's lovely spotty jersey cotton for the outside and an old grey and white pinstripe cotton for lining - because greeny grey hues look so good with little one's grey eyes and copper hair!  For embellishments I attached bias tape around the bottom with extra length on either side for a tie, different green buttons to the four points and embroidered a simple "R" on the front - I kept it fairly simple because the nani fabric is already busy - and also because I'd like to embroider a different little motif on the crown each year... He seemed fairly nonplussed about wearing it - and it was a wee bit too big - though terribly sweet all the same 

The second thing I made for Reu's birthday - and his main present from us - is a soft busy book which we call a "bits and bobs" book because, well, it is full of different bits and bobs! Again, I improvised without a pattern so it is quite "rustic" so to speak! I am very happy with how its turned out though... the brightness of the felt on every page, the different scraps of printed cotton (including two little playful girls from family pyjamas more than 20 years old) and a myriad of interesting textures and actives like squishy tools filled with plastic bags, bells on an elastic cord, zip, felt shapes to match with embroidered outlines, a pocket from Alex's cowboy shirt, and the top of a pair of Reu's overalls that no longer fit! It was a very enjoyable gift to dream up and thread together... but by far the best part is seeing Reu's curious face as he thumbs over the pages and pulls and tugs at different bits!


  1. What a wonderful crown and book. I especially like the creativity that went into the book for Reu. That is definitely a keeper for his "treasure chest".

  2. You are MAGIC!
    These gifts are too good to be true. It's the time and energy put into such heartfelt gifts that will stand the test of time, rather than the loads of meaningless plastic crap people load on their kids (which just end up in a landfill) Please be a momma "spokesperson" and promote this goodness...Love. Love.

  3. What a beautiful book...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  4. that book is perfect, truly! I am amazed and impressed that it was made with your own two hands! You are a gem and a fantastic mama :) xo

  5. What lovely gifts for your little one! And no patterns! I'm very impressed! That's how I tend to roll too with sewing. I would give up too easily with a pattern. Beautiful handmade things. Your little guy is lucky to have a mama like you!

  6. The first time I saw one of those play-books, I think I was about 14; I was so enamoured with them that I considered making one for myself. Alas, my sewing skills were not up to par. Reu's book is delightful, and that crown reminds me of Where the Wild Things Are.

    1. Thanks Lizzie... and you know I hadn't thought about the crown being akin to something Max wears in WTWTA - but I say you're right :)

  7. Oh to have your sewing skills! I love both of your projects and I'd love to skim that book myself.

  8. Hang on a minute... that icecream fabric looks a bit familiar. :P

  9. What sweet and creative things to make for your kid's birthday!
    Love the idea of the bits and bobs book. :)


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