Tool Roll by Arounna Khounnoraj for BOOKHOU, pattern originally appeared in Making No. 7/DESERT
- The Poppy Linen is so lightweight and soft with amazing drape for a linen. Probably because of these lovely properties, its shape tends to distort easily. If I were sewing a garment with this linen, I would want to use stay stitching.
- Svetlana Sotak has a YouTube channel with very helpful sewing videos. For this project I watched her video on adding fabric tabs to a zipper – as a bonus, she also walks through the construction of The Essential Pouch in this video.
- I made 2 versions of The Essential Pouch, one with interfacing and one without. I would definitely use interfacing again, unless the main fabrics were more structured like a canvas.
- More zipper practice, hooray! Third try was a charm on this set of projects as you can see in the pictures below. I need to go slowly and try to sew as close to the zipper ends as possible. The fabric tabs on the end of a zipper are definitely a nice touch, but only when they are sewn in as intended.
I live in a place that is only widely known for one thing, if it is known at all – a springtime bloom of orange poppies, made so spectacular by the contrast to the surrounding ecosystem: the edge of the Mojave Desert. I label the seasons here as “hot and windy”, “windy”, or “cold and windy”, and most of the plants that naturally grow here are as tough and mean as the climate. The poppy is tough too, no doubt, but the shimmering and shockingly bright orange petals are incongruous in the best possible way. In the fall of 2019 and early 2020, there were an extra handful of rain events timed just right to produce a fantastic crop of poppies.
Also growing during that same time period: fear and uncertainty due to COVID-19. At the time I took these pictures, our world had been largely locked down for a month. A poppy bloom like this would have normally drawn thousands from nearby cities, but us locals got to witness the sight in relative quiet.
Just a few months earlier, I had joined a group of local women in a book club. This turned out to be so fortunate, as I developed meaningful connections with these women during a time when I would have easily defaulted to isolation. As the pandemic took hold and our world was shut down, we switched to virtual book club meetings, and then to weekly Zoom check-ins. Some of my favorite books we read last year were Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú, and Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message by Tara Mohr.
The books we read were mind-opening, and the conversations and connections we made during that uncertain time were so good for my well-being. When I came across a remnant piece of the California Poppies Linen on the Maker’s Fabric website, I knew that I wanted to make something for the women in the book club to show my gratitude for their friendship. Also, this location is just a temporary stop for all of us, and I thought it would be nice to have something to remember this unique place and time.
I really enjoyed the process of searching for projects to utilize the less-than-a-yard scrap of precious linen. I am still very new to sewing, and each of these projects were great practice and stretched my skills. They are far from perfect, and in a previous life I would have been so uncomfortable giving away something with obvious imperfections. But I have declared myself a recovering perfectionist, and small steps like this help me break away from needing to present an unblemished version of myself. And anyway, I hope it’s the thought that counts!
It made my day (twice!) to receive pictures of the tool rolls being put to use by my creative and talented friends. As our journeys naturally diverge, I hope we can look back at our shared experience with gratitude that our paths all crossed during a time more rare than a desert poppy superbloom.