When Handmade goes wrong

I quite like making things to give as gifts.  It is always a delicate art.  First you must be sure you want to invest the time and that the final product will turn out well.  Second you must think carefully about who you are giving it to.  There is nothing more awkward than getting the feeling that the recipient doesn’t actually like the gift because a solid drawback to handmade is that you can’t return it.

This is a story about a handmade gift that the recipient, my father-in-law, liked just fine.  The problem was, I had made a really big mistake when putting this gift together.  Let’s see if you can spot it:

log carrier

What is it you ask?  Why it is a log carrier of course!  An absolutely chic log carrier if I do say so myself.

the embroideryThis embroidery took FOREVER!  In the end I just couldn’t do it on my machine and off I went to my friend Rebecca’s for help.  Man did it turn out great or what?  I was ever so pleased.

cute tag

Then there are the little details like this cute tag.  I was in love with this present and I couldn’t wait to give it.  Have you spotted my error yet?  Keep looking.

recycledjeans

And just why did I love this thing so much?  Well I thought it looked pretty great and it was made out of recycled materials.  In the picture above you can see that it is lined with denim from an old pair of jeans.  The cream coloured fabric on the front was left over from a couch slipcover I had made.  The thread was leftover from my bridesmaids dresses (13 years ago!!).  And finally the twill tape for the handles was from a grab bag at Value Village.  I was in recycled gift heaven.

folded

Can you tell now what is wrong?  Yep.  As beautiful as it turned out, it was utterly useless for carrying wood.  I had made it long and skinny.  It would likely only fit one or two logs (super long ones at that).  Sigh.  It was supposed to be folded the other way so that it was deeper and shorter.  I was entirely horrified and with no time left before the family gift exchange to fix it, I did what I had to do…I gave it to him and then took it right back offering promises to “fix it soon”.

oh dear

This is the way it was supposed to go.  Which means the embroidery is going the wrong way and so are the straps.  Not such as easy fix after all.   And do you know what is worse?  I still haven’t fixed it.  I’m going to do it tonight and give it to him again before Christmas so at least I don’t have to say it took me a year to fix it.  Wish me luck!

book

Oh and by the way, I found this project in this book.  I’ve now made a number of the projects in here and all of them have turned out so wonderfully!  I’ll share a few in the coming days.

What are some of your DYI disasters?

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2 responses

  1. Ha ha! We are of like minds this weekend, my Canadienne friend. On my to-do list for this weekend is to fix the handmade gift I gave to a dear friend last year, so that I can mail it to her with her gift for this year (not yet made).

    Last year I made an over-sized, very-lightly-quilted throw with one side in flannel and the other in cotton voile. So snuggly and soft! On Christmas Eve, when I was putting ribbon around it, I noticed that I had forgotten to sew one entire length. It was sewn together with little circles at odd intervals to keep the fabric from billowing out too much and it was sewn and top-stitched around three edges. But, that one long edge hung open with frayed edges peaking out. Not lovely.

    So, I too gave a gift and then snatched it back. But, what’s worse is that, instead of letting my friend finish it up on her sewing machine, I packed the blankie into my suitcase and took it back home to NY from San Francisco where I was visiting. Silly fool, me. That soft, snuggly grown-up’s blankie has waited all year (gulp) to get one straight seam sewn. Perhaps her gift this year is that I finally fixed last year’s gift? So lame and yet, it’s looking quite likely.

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