Monday, March 16, 2015

While you were sleeping:

One of the traditions I started this past Christmas, my first as a parent, was homemade gifts. I loved the idea of having something under the tree that was lovingly crafted by me -- something that represented all the time and energy I put in to create a unique thing for my child. It's something that they will have forever as a symbol of my love. My plan is to do this every year so that each child has a few special and unique things from their childhood to look back on with warm memories. This was my first year to do it for Baby M. After brainstorming, I decided to make a stuffed turtle for him. Since we lovingly referred to him as the turtle before he was born, this seemed appropriate.

I found a free pattern on the Purl Bee blog (I love pretty much everything they put out) and some fabric that I already had on hand. I only needed to pick up some fiberfill. That's how much this project cost: a bag of fiberfill (that I got 30% off because I used a coupon).

I started by cutting out my pieces using the pattern and laying them out. That's one main body, two shell pieces, two tail pieces, two heads, two front legs, and two back ones.

Then I pinned all the pieces together and sewed the seams using a 1/2" seam (or maybe it was 1/4", I don't really remember).

Once I had both pieces completed, I pressed the seams to make sure they were nice and flat so it would lay right. Then I pinned the two sides together.

I had a little trouble making sure it was all pinned correctly (that little tail is tricky!). Once I had it right and was happy with it, I just sewed it up (leaving a small hole to turn and stuff), pressed the seams again, clipped the curved seams, and turned it right side out.

I was left with a sad, deflated, little empty shell of a turtle. It started to come to life once I started stuffing it, though. Then all that was left was to sew up the hole and add some eyes. I decided to embroider the eyes since it was for a baby and I didn't want to have to worry about buttons or anything like that.

I also embroidered M's name and the year on the bottom of one of the feet (flippers? paws?) so he will always know that his mom made this just for him on his very first Christmas.

And come Christmas morning, there he was -- waiting so patiently to meet his special new friend. 

M was pretty excited to meet him too. I get kind of teary-eyed just thinking about this kind of thing. I have such great memories of sharing special Christmas mornings with my childhood stuffed animals. I love that this may be that kind of relationship in the making for M and his little turtle. 

I have already started making a few special things for M's first birthday. I can't wait to share them with you.

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