Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A little summer Liberty

As I alluded to earlier, my girl finished Kindergarten the Friday before last, and let me tell you the totally unbiased, unvarnished truth--she rocked it.

I wanted to make her a little something to mark the occasion, and this is what I came up with.

She has been really excited about participating in our local public library's summer reading program, so I made a zipper pouch to hold her library card (I totally teared up when we went to sign her up for one, because I'm ridiculous) and her summer reading program badge. I also included some ice cream money--I thought this was the part she'd be most excited about, but I don't think she realized it wasn't a $1 bill!

A little scrap of fabric and some stitching on the front of a moleskine = summer journal. And a felt-and fabric pen case, stocked with the most perfect pens you could ever give an almost-6-year-old. Seriously. Fine-tipped for grownup-feeling writing, washable for her inattentively messy side, erasable for her perfectionistic side, and erasable with friction--which means no bits of eraser all over the place--for her daddy's perfectionistic side.

We had a lot of conflict during the school year about her weekly writing homework--coming up with something to write about was an impossible task, all five ideas I suggested were terrible, she couldn't possibly think of any ideas of her own, and oh the woe!    

I thought that having some pretty writing tools, and a built-in subject to write about, might help motivate her to practice over the summer. Plus, how awesome would it be to be able to look back years later and read a diary you kept as a 5 year old? I mean, even being able to look back at the end of the summer at all the things you did would be pretty cool, right?

Well, you can probably see where this is going. Let's just say that my summer journal strategy is not working too well at all so far. And I'm trying valiantly not to push, so as not to make the title of this post too unintentionally ironic.

I will say that she is racing through her library books (current fave: Young Cam Jansen series), and when I step back just a tiny bit I know that if she doesn't do anything at all this summer other than develop a love of reading, it will be a summer very well spent.

And don't worry, there's plenty of time for playing, too. My man also went to the toy store and bought her some Playmobil as an end-of-Kindergarten gift, so it's not all high-minded humorlessness around here. (You know, thanks to him.)

Crafty details: The fabric is, per the post title, from last year's Liberty Bloomsbury Gardens collection. The pouch is made with this tried-and-true tutorial (though I have to admit, this one came out a little small, and I need to make another). The pen case is my own design.

I am sure there are lots of patterns and tutorials for pen/pencil cases out there, but lately I have been enjoying coming up with my own ways of making various little somethings--I suppose you could call them zakka. I like the spatial reasoning challenge of figuring out how to construct these items, but the projects are small enough to be manageable and not too frustrating. Perfect little brain exercise, like sewing sudoku.

Next I'll show you the little somethings that I made for her teachers!


  1. Such a cute set! You know, I've seen sewists tout the frixion pens, and I've seen others worry about how gone the ink really is so I've avoided them. But for general writing - I must try them.

  2. Thanks for the kind words! I've had really good luck with the frixion pens for sewing so far--in fact the ink disappears much more reliably than that of the water-soluble fabric marking pen I was using before. For general writing, I have to admit they won't displace my favorite Pilot pens (which are just so much more lush, somehow), but for writing you want to be able to erase they are pretty great.