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Saturday, 11 June 2016

A Father's Day Shout-Out to Dad & AllFreeSewing

Quote by Clarence B Kelland
A Father's Day salute to dads...
In preparation for Father's Day next week, I did an online search for quotes about dads. Amid the usuals, I came across this one, courtesy of Clarence B. Kelland, an American author:

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

My relationship with my late father was never one of daddy's little girl. In that respect, I have always been my mother's daughter. But true to this quote, he set an example for me in how he lived. Perhaps just as important — in ways that I might not yet fully appreciate — I believe he also set an example of how to die under challenging circumstances.

I haven't had to contemplate a Father's Day gift in close to a decade now, but I've lately wondered, if Dad were still here, would I have made something for him as I've been doing for Mom for the past few years?

If so, what would I make? I've gathered up ten ideas in this post...

Waxcloth Folder by eSheep Designs
My waxcloth folder project...
1. My first thought is that Dad would definitely have found a use for a full-size waxcloth folder. He was a very organized person in terms of keeping records and would likely have appreciated having a durable folder to hold important papers. So that is a definite possibility.

Tablet Envelope in Waxcloth by eSheep Designs
My tablet envelope project...
2. My second thought is that Dad would likely have purchased a tablet of some sort. He had always, always been an early adopter of electronics (I'm convinced we had some of the first VCRs ever made) and while he was never interested in personal computers, I do think he would have been taken with the idea of the tablet. So my tablet envelope would be my second choice.

image courtesy of Sew4Home.com
image courtesy of Sew4Home...
3. My dad was an excellent chef, so an apron would be a natural option as a DIY sewing gift (much as I dislike the idea of sewing an apron for some reason — too ubiquitous perhaps?) for Father's Day.

Sew4Home — one of my fave places to hang out — has a great combo project for a BBQ apron and mitt here.

image courtesy of Sew4Home.com
image courtesy of Sew4Home...
4. Another of my favourite projects from Sew4Home is this bucket organizer for tools. At one time, my dad would have been out there in the driveway detailing his car or in the garden tending to flowers and I can see where this might be a nifty item to have on hand to hold his necessities for either of those situations. (I wouldn't make it with white fabric, however!)

image courtesy of Sew4Home.com
image courtesy
of Sew4Home...
5. Continuing with projects from Sew4Home, here is a remote caddy that all fathers — or maybe all men and even some of us women — could use.

I recall that my dad used to have a variety of remote controls spread out on the coffee table. Some would be used very infrequently. I think this would be a great way to get some of them off the table and yet still close at hand. I would add a pocket for batteries since my usual practice is to remove batteries from seldom-used remotes.

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image courtesy of georgialeigh.com
image courtesy of georgialeigh.com...
6. Over at AllFreeSewing, I found a project that Dad would have used: a CD caddy for his visor.

During the 1980s — the first decade of his retirement — Dad was quite into the popular music of the day. (Think Springsteen, Madonna, etc. He had more CDs than I did, but I guess that's not surprising since I had way less disposable income at the time!) He would have found this item useful to store his in-car music selections.

image courtesy of shrimpsaladcircus.com
image courtesy of
7. My dad wore glasses and had assorted eyeglass cases (none of which seemed ideal), so making him one would have been a very practical gift. This ultra stylish faux leather glasses case that I found at AllFreeSewing fits the bill perfectly.

I am imagining that this would be a great project with which to start sewing with vinyl and faux leather. It's relatively small and doesn't appear to be too difficult.

image courtesy of gardenmatter.com
image courtesy of gardenmatter.com...
8. This one is a variation on the bucket tote organizer idea. Also found over at AllFreeSewing, this is a tool belt for a bucket. How neat is that, right? I never saw Dad as a tool belt wearing kind of guy, but a tool belt on a bucket? Why not! Since both he and Mom spent a lot of time in the garden, this is a DIY gift that would have been used.

image courtesy of Noodle-head.com
image courtesy of
9. Did I mention that Dad was very organized?? Attached to the back of the door leading to my parents' basement was a hanging pocket fashioned out of an old calendar and a manilla envelope. This hanging mail organizer would have been just up his alley, I think.

This project (that I found via AllFreeSewing again) is one that I'm sure we can all use. I've had it bookmarked for ages but for practical reasons (i.e., where would I put it), I've not gone any further with it.

image courtesy of skiptomylou.org
image courtesy of skiptomylou.org...
10. This last one is just something that I think would be easy to make and that my dad might actually wear. It's a take on the infinity scarf trend (maybe more like my buff from last week) but made in a style that is "less" rather than more. My dad had a few flannel scarves that he wore in the winter so I can totally see one of these neck warmers made in a checked flannel for him.

It's been said that it's difficult to sew gift items for men, but I really think it is more the case that it's probably more interesting to sew things for women. For most men, you might feel restricted by the choice of fabric and pattern. But as you can see from the above suggestions, not everything that you might make for a man is specifically tailored just for men.

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I will close this post with some personal excitement and a promotional blurb about what's happening over at AllFreeSewing.com.

In early April, the editor of AllFreeSewing contacted me about getting permission to include my tablet envelope project in an eBook that she was producing for a Father's Day promo.

My exact words in response were "AllFreeSewing has been exceptionally good to me, so how can I say anything but an enthusiastic "YES" to this?" I wouldn't necessarily want all of my projects featured this way, but it appears to be a mutually beneficial arrangement and it's no secret that I owe much to AllFreeSewing for various past promos.

image courtesy of AllFreeSewing...

Then three weeks ago, I was contacted with the news that AllFreeSewing was going to run a contest to celebrate Father's Day. They had pre-selected five projects appropriate for dads, which would then be put up for a vote to determine "the fave". My tablet envelope is in the running. The designer of the winning project — judged by the number of comments left — will receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

Lacking in any sort of social media reach apart from this blog, I won't be able to generate enough attention for myself to encourage voting (hee, hee), so that will have to be left up to the fates.

And while it may sound trite, even if my project gets no votes, it really is an honour just to be selected to be part of the celebration. How could it not? Dad would have gotten a kick out of this little achievement.

So in honour of him and all other dads past and present, go check out the fun stuff over at AllFreeSewing and maybe cast a vote; the contest runs through June 17. One random voter will win a TrueCut Rotary Blade Sharpener.

Thank you, AllFreeSewing, and a happy Father's Day, Dad...


  1. My dad left too soon (31 years ago). I knit him a hat once and it came out too large. I was rather new to knitting then. I know dad would have been touched if I made him something, but he was also picky and had his own tastes for sure, so I don't know if he would have wanted anything except maybe a lap quilt.

  2. Oh and I noticed your "a round tuit" on the side. Dad gave me a "coin" once that was a round tuit. He loved that kind of humor.


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