On Pom-Poms and Experimenting

If I have learned one thing while sewing, it is that experimenting and risking failure is the only way to get better at something. I expected to get better at embracing risk in my sewing, and I have, but I am still surprised to find it is trickling over into other areas of my life. I’m finding it a little easier each time stepping out of my comfort zone – a little exercising here, a little knitting there….

yarn pom pom garland

I’ve never been one for home decorating.  I thought rooms had to be “done over” in one big swoop, and there was no way I had the time or money for that. Besides, what if I didn’t like it? or Andy? and all the money and effort was wasted? And this house is wonderfully functional but probably can’t be beautiful anyways…

The Nesting Place

Then, I read The Nesting Place, and I was challenged me to have an attitude of thankfulness for what I have been given and the freedom to just try to turn my house into a home that suits us. It’s about making small changes and experimenting. If a whole room is too much, make a vignette. Mistakes are part of the process.

the nesting place

So, I read these words while trapped in my chair this summer and steeped in them for far longer than I would have like. And now finally, Andy and I are working towards living them out, starting with acquiring a set of bookshelves. It may seem simple, but it was a huge victory for our family.

book shelves

Then to top it off, I did something WILD. I made a yarn pom-pom garland. Just because. Just because the colors made me happy, and it felt celebratory, and it was out of my comfort zone, and it felt good to experiment.

yarn pom pom garland

“Just because” feels good.

Miniature Vestments

I don’t often volunteer to do sewing projects for other people, but I was more than willing to make an exception for this project. We are so happy to have the “Catechisis of the Good Shepherd” catechism program available to our children. It is a program based of of the work Maria Montessori that guides the children on their spiritual path to knowing and understanding our loving God, and the richness of our Catholic faith.

Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Our local program is always short on volunteers, but with so many children underfoot (and now with my injury) I am not in a place to volunteer my time in “the atrium.” I realized this summer that I could help in a different way, and I offered my sewing skills in anyway that it would help their classroom.

Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

The children spend part of their time at workstations, and I was given the task to make miniature priest vestments for a learning meditation. For this activity, the child follows a booklet to dress a mannequin in priestly garments. They learn the name of each piece, it’s meaning, and read excerpts from the prayers said while the priest is “vesting” before the Mass. Through this “work”,” they are learning parts of our religious tradition while going through a meditation. so beautiful.

Let’s talk details. The catechist leader provided an androgynous 10 inch velvet-covered dress form that these pieces where designed for. (I can’t even imagine how hard it was to find a masculine decorative mannequin. If anyone has helpful links, shoot me an email.)

Note: These are child-friendly paraphrases of the actual vesting prayers. Read more about the vesting prayers here.

Amice

Symbol of Purity

“Lord, give me strength to conquer the temptations of the devil.”

Amice - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments Amice - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Alb

Symbol of Purity of Soul and Body

“O Lord, make my heart clean.”

Alb - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Cincture

Symbol of Chastity

“Give me, O Lord, the grace to keep myself pure.”

cincture - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Stole

Symbol of the Clerical Office and Immortality

“Give me, O Lord, the help to be able to come to you in heaven.”

Stole - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Chasuble

Symbol of Charity

“Give me, O Lord, the grace to serve you faithfully.”

Chasuble - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments Chasuble - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

I wish I had known about these beautiful prayers as a child. It make me happy that my children are learning about them.

Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Because I know I will be asked, I will not be making any more of these sets for sale, or writing up a polished pattern or tutorial.  However, I have scanned the pattern pieces and put them together with some project notes. I hope they can help other catechism classes or families in teaching there children.

Download of Pattern Pieces

Again, this is not the full pattern write up like my other patterns, but there should be enough information for an experienced or adventurous sewer to make their own set.

Chasubles - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments Amice and Cincture- Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments Stoles - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments Alb - Miniature Catholic Priest Vestments

Alison Glass Embroidered Pillow

Alison Glass Embroidery Design - sewn by sew fearless.com

I met Alison Glass‘ gorgeous designs during the spring Quilt Market and I love her style. So, when I needed an embroidery project to bust my boredom with during August, I ordered her pattern and sent Andy to the store to pick out floss that matched my chair. He did good, didn’t he? It is nice to have a visual artist as a spouse.

Alison Glass Embroidery Design - sewn by sew fearless.com

I was especially proud of him for finding the linen-looking fabric for the backing, which is actually curtain lining. It was exactly the feel I was going for.

Alison Glass Embroidery Design - sewn by sew fearless.com

Pattern: Alison Glass’ “Field Day Embroidery + Wool Appliqué”

This is the first time I used an iron-on transfer pattern and it was so very much easier than any other method I tried before. The transfer ink was rubbing off very quickly, but when I discovered it fading, I traced it over with a friXion pen. I will be looking for iron-on transfers in the future for sure.

Alison Glass Embroidery Design - sewn by sew fearless.com

I’ve been enjoying having this beauty in my living room. It is a happy by-product of a lame summer on the couch.

Knit Flower Hat

 

Knit Green Hat

Okay, so this isn’t sewing, but knitting is pretty broken-leg friendly and I had some leftover yarn from my green knit hat last winter.

Little Flower Hat Pattern, knit by sew fearless.com,

Yarn: Shine Worsted in Macaw

Pattern: Little Flower Hat 

Little Flower Hat Pattern, knit by sew fearless.com,

I’ve discovered that I need to have some sort of pattern in my knitting or else I get too bored. This flower took a few tries before I figured it out, but because it was small, it didn’t take very long. Immediate gratification is always good.

Little Flower Hat Pattern, knit by sew fearless.com,

I meant to give it away as another baby gift, but Gladys discovered it that it fit her, and that was the end of that.

Little Flower Hat Pattern, knit by sew fearless.com,

What kind of cozy projects are you getting into a the weather gets colder?

Peruvian Woven and Leather Baby Booties

peruvian woven and leather baby shoes - sew fearless.com

Goodness! It feels so good to be back in the sewing saddle again. It takes a bit more negotiating hobbling around on crutches, but it is manageable because I have an organized sewing space with my tools close at hand.

peruvian woven and leather baby shoes - sew fearless.com

I attended a baby shower yesterday for a lovely friend of mine. She is welcoming her first boy after five girls. Her joy at welcoming another child was a delight to watch.  Every child is such a gift and the love just continues to multiply.

Fabrics: Peruvian woven, lemon meringue leather

Pattern: Slip On Baby Shoes Pattern

peruvian woven and leather baby shoes - sew fearless.com

I look forward to meeting you, little dude!

(see more baby gift project ideas here)