It Took Me Six Years to Make This Birthday Gift

It Took Me Six Years to Make This Birthday Gift

Posted by Jen Lopez on Jul 12th 2023

By the Yard

My best friend and I have been doing the handmade birthday gift thing since the mid-eighties. We were broke college students then but we both knew how to sew (Thanks, Moms!) so handmade was the only way to go. As the years rolled by, we gained more income but less time due to kids and work but neither of us was willing to give up the tradition. As a result, birthday gifts became hilariously late. I have a June birthday and she has a January birthday. There have been years when we gave each other’s gift on the other one’s actual birthday. So, when I talk about taking six years to finish a gift, that’s not a joke, that’s a historical accuracy! 

Originally, I was planning on making a lined bag from this particular Alexander Henry print which is a total match for the recipient’s interests (bunnies!), but I never could settle on the right fabric for the lining. I finally found the perfect matching lining around year 2, then later accidentally gave it away around year 4 when I was culling the fabric pile and donating fabrics to an aspiring bag maker. Of course, this lining debacle is not the only reason this gift is six years late, but it’s what I’m going with right now. 

Then, as fate would have it, I bought a new Viking serger last weekend. Or should I say: I finally mustered the courage to part with $600 for another sewing machine that I don’t really “need”. In the back of my mind, I’d been working up a “zero waste” project bag pattern as a way to dispatch with my monstrous fabric stash. It turns out my friend is also really interested in zero waste sewing. It was fate. The added bonus was the serger’s nice, encapsulated seams... I no longer needed the lining! The bunny fabric finally met its match and my friend’s birthday gift is only going to be seven months (and six years) late.


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