The “Pocket Book”

Sometimes I make something just to get the idea out of my brain and into the physical world. I try not to over think the process. It’s like freestyle journaling, but instead of writing, I’m making something. I don’t plan carefully, or make a pattern, or figure out all the details, or find the perfect materials, or worry about the quality of the finished product… I just play with an idea. It helps me to stay connected to the fearless child in me that isn’t worried about outcomes and is all about the joy of the process. Almost always, through this process of making things spontaneously, I make loads of mistakes. In my inner world – it’s the mistakes that help me learn. Why did that go wrong? How would I do it differently? What happened that I didn’t expect? Why does that look like total crap?

This is what came out the process this week. It’s a “Pocket Book”. Get it? A pocketbook. (I know… I know… I’m a dork.)

I have a plastic tub of old clothes that are soft and worn from use, but aren’t in good enough shape to donate. Sometimes I use them for fabric, sometimes I cut the zippers, snaps, and buttons off for possible reuse. I’ve been thinking of something silly I could make the baby, and I had an idea to put together a little “book” that would teach her the words ZIP, SNAP, BUTTON, and TIE. As I dug through my tub, I decided denim would be great for the pages. It’s sturdy and I have plenty of it. For whatever reason, I had the urge to cut a pocket off a pair of the jeans, thinking I could use it for something at some point. That’s when the nerd in me chuckled out loud, and thought… “Pocket… book”. What baby wouldn’t like a book in a pocket? I mean it’s a book… and a pocket. Am I right? Of course, this is coming from a woman who put pockets in her wedding dress. I did not, however, have a book in the pocket of my wedding dress. I digress…

I won’t bore you with details… I cut fabric… I embroidered some words, I hastily assembled… I didn’t like it. I did it again differently and while it’s not ready for mass production or gifting a friend… my little one seems to like it just fine.


Materials: (Free – recycled) Old jeans, a zipper pocket from some cargo pants, the cinched bottom of some old pajamas, the waist button from an old pair of jeans, the side snaps from a newborn onesie, some pink, gross grain ribbon left over the Minnie Mouse Dress, a scrap of soft blue minky, and a scrap of salmon-colored organic fabric —

Time: Lost track. Was having too much fun to care.

Good to know: In the first version I used a button from a shirt. It was cute, but I realized I was a little worried it might get chewed off and swallowed. The jeans button seemed safer, and it was also bigger and easier to get through the button-hole. I made the pocket into a two-sided pocket so it could hold the book and whatever else she wanted to shove in there. I used a variety of textured fabrics to give her a sensory experience, and the pink ribbon not only keeps it together, but gives her a handle. As it could technically be a choking risk, I wouldn’t leave her alone with it at this point. After I finished, I googled to see if I could find something similar. I found this. Similar and different.

How about you all? Ever get an idea and just go for it?