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On Pouches, Sewing and My Dad

Yesterday marked the third month anniversary of my dad's death. I was surprised to realise that it was only 3 months ago when my life had changed in a massive way. It definitely felt a lot longer. Like a lifetime longer.

During my remembrance, my sister and I ended up chatting about our dad. And, she shared an interesting tidbit about our father that I never knew before: One of his life's dreams was to be a tailor. Apparently, he knew how to operate the old sewing machine in our family home (something hardly anyone used in all my years of living there!).

Weird. I mean, my dad was a Civil Engineer. He helped to build bridges, roads, houses, and buildings. Later, he became a businessman. But, I also knew of his dream of becoming a farmer, just like his father (my granddad).

But, I've never heard of him wanting to sew. Until yesterday, that is.

Strange, the things we learn about the people we thought we've known all our lives, eh?

It felt right, though. After all, I believe that my dad played a very instrumental role in my interest in creativity and the arts. He was good in lettering. He drew nice sketches and doodles. He made toys out of old cans and discarded wires. He wrote poetry.

That's why when I last saw him in Nov/Dec 2007, I gave him a Moleskine journal as one of my gifts. In that journal was a letter. One of the last letters that I've ever written to him.

There were many things I said in that letter. Things that I'm glad I managed to tell him before he passed away.

And, one of those things that I said was that I was giving him that journal as a symbol of my gratitude. Not just because he was my dad, but because he was one of the first people to inspire me to explore writing and creativity. I didn't realise that when I was younger, for many reasons. I never managed to thank him before. And, I'm glad that I managed to have that opportunity to do so.

Perhaps, my longing to learn how to sew may have been passed on from him too?

Anyway, since we're on the subject of sewing, I know I promised to share some more of my sewing projects. So, I thought I'd show you my first few attempts at making pouches. I made these over the span of 3-4 days, during the last couple of weeks:

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1) Top Left - My attempt at learning how to insert drawstrings. I just used an IKEA fabric + craft ribbon. And yes, I have yet to figure out an easier way to put ribbons/strings from one end of the hole to the other. This pouch can hold an iPod, a small phone or some other basic stuff in a purse. 2) Bottom Left - My first attempt at sewing a zipper. It was a bit of a pain. I had to use fabric adhesive/tape, to keep the zips in place while I sew. Eeps. Anyway, this one's made from scrap fabric with 9-in (?!) zips. 3) Top Right - My 2nd attempt at sewing a zipper. This time, wanted to try a different kind of case/pouch (top zip). Really like how this turned out. 4) Bottom Right - My first attempt at trying to sew a buttonhole with the machine (4-step). NOT that easy. But, doable. I wanted to try sewing a button on with the machine too, but was too scared to break something. So, I sew the button by hand instead. Heh.

Each of these pouches just took 20-30 minutes to make. And yes, I sew slow. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, here's more sewing-related projects that I recently completed:

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1) Top Left - Just some practice stitches, using the different stitch types in my machine; 2) Top Right - The inside cover of my new sewing journal. First time I tried sewing on paper! ; 3) Bottom Left - Cover of my sewing journal; 4) An old shoe box that I transformed in to a sewing box.
I wonder what my dad would have to say about my sewing? ๐Ÿ˜€

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children’s book.

A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.

Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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