Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Personalizing Handmade Gifts

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Hello and happy humpday! Today I'm writing a post about one on Beej's Christmas gifts. It's another Colette Negroni - my third one now - so while the construction is straightforward at this point, I've been thinking about handmade vs RTW gifts lately and how to make the handmades special. If you're interested in construction notes, you may want to refer to the last Negroni I made him.

Sometimes, when I'm shopping RTW and compare these items to my handmade clothes I can feel a bit discouraged. Something like a store bought men's shirt can look so crisp and precisely finished compared to what I make. And it can cost so much less! I know there are other aspects beyond cost to consider - the special meaning behind handmade, environmental considerations, a statement made against mass consumption, etc.  - but when you've spent hours trying to get a crisp fold on a placket or a perfectly curved flat felled seam and see something comparable for less than twenty dollars it can be a little frustrating.

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Fortunately, Beej likes his new shirt (even if he does look rather stoic in the above pic). One reason he may like my gifts (besides the fact that I'm his wife and I've put in time and effort) is that I try to think of ways to personalize his gift - to add something he wouldn't be able to find at H&M.

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For example, Beej loves patches. Seriously, he collects them. For his Christmas shirt I sewed on a patch of his favorite libation. I also look for fabrics that he likes. All three Negroni shirts have been made with linen. It's a fabric that he really likes to wear, and while there are a cajillion cotton button-ups available at most of the chain stores, you don't see quite as many linen shirts, perhaps due to the wrinkle factor. As an added bonus, I LOVE sewing with linen. Love the rustic texture, the ironing, the steamy lineny smell....everything.

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Here he is showing off his patch and looking a tad bit happier.

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Finally, I think it's nice to add a handmade label or special note. This one's a bit mushy to share, but I think it makes his gift that much more special. (It's a little hard to read, but it says, "I (heart) my bb.") What are your thoughts about handmade gifts for your significant others? Does your partner like for you to make him or her things? Do you embrace unselfish sewing?  I'm curious.

Thanks so much for reading and have a fantastic rest of the week!

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