Making It Ourselves With Wool

Every year, someone in our family participates in the Make It Yourself With Wool contest. This year, Eleanor and Margaret, with Amelia’s amazing and generous help, completed outfits. A couple of weeks ago, they participated in the state contest.


Aren’t those matched plaids awesome? Amelia is one great seamstress and we are blessed that she is willing to coach the girls as they learn new skills. They even learned how to use the serger this year!


Yet, despite all they learned and despite the fact that the clothing they made fits them perfectly and despite the fact that they will wear these outfits all winter, there was a measure of disappointment when they didn’t place in the contest.

Now take a look at what I made recently with some wool.


I based it on my friend Lynn’s contribution in Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas.


And I used bits of leftover wool from previous Make It Yourself With Wool garments.


I love this necklace! I learned new techniques making it. I will wear it a lot, all winter. And there is no disappointment in my not “placing” with it.


I started thinking about these two different experiences making things with wool. It seems that the greatest value in our participating in the Make It With Wool contest over the years lies in setting a deadline for completing a garment. We end up making outfits that we like and wear frequently. And, we’ve met fabulous people who have become friends. Yet, there is always the angst involved in being judged for our work. Although Amelia is an absolutely amazing seamstress, even she doesn’t know all of the “rules” that the judges are basing their placings on. The “rules” almost seem like they are a kind of secret to those of us who are not professionally trained seamstresses.

On the other hand, when I made that necklace, I didn’t even think about anyone else judging it. I didn’t think about how it varied from the original pattern. I wasn’t worried about trying to figure out “secret rules.” I just made it. I enjoyed the process and I’m enjoying the product.

And that enjoyment is another benefit I’ve received from participating in the Silver Bella community of crafters. It seems that it might possibly just be totally acceptable to “do your own thing” in the crafting world. There are no “secret rules” or set patterns. I can truly create what I like to create and be welcomed into community. At least that’s been my initial observation. And I hope it holds true.


10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    JennyD said,

    Oh man! I’m jealous of Eleanor’s cape! I wants one! Hehe!

    So glad you’ve been having a good time crafting. Been enjoying reading about all your projects! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good job with the necklace!

    I cannot believe you have time to post….talked to ‘Melia today, and it sounds you’ve had an eventful last few days. I’ll be praying for you! Hope you had a good birthday despite it all, almost-birthday buddy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 2

    MOM said,

    Great neckllace and I’m sure there’s something new in your wardrobe – which will match these colors.

  3. 3

    Clara said,

    I totally agree about the learning that I can actually do crafts/make art that doesn’t have to meet someone’s standard! It is SO freeing!

    The girls are growing up toooo fast.

  4. 4

    Sandi said,

    Lisa, I know the feeling. Krystal feels the way your girls do, but she has a new dress for a wedding 3 weeks away. It’s done and no stress. We actually have a very frustrating state…Kerrie entered in Illinois and made it to nationals both times. Krystal is going to try Missouri next year. I wish I had answers on how to break the barrier to winning, but I do try to focus, as I know you do, on what was gained and what the ultimate goals are. Your girls do great, and it’s so wonderful that Amelia helps them. In contests, you win some and others frustrate you. I am struck by what an awesome responsibility you take in your hands when you judge…regardless of how much thought you put in, it’s still just an opinion. Take care, Sandi

  5. 6

    Paula said,

    The fact that you can generate an idea and see it thru to an actual garmet that fits you and you will wear is is ‘Gold Medal ‘ material ((hhaaa) in my book! Bug & Del are both CHAMPIONS in my book!

  6. 7

    Jacob said,

    Oooooh, Aaaaaaah. Purdy necklace!

  7. 8

    Jacob said,

    Oooooh, aaaaaah. Purdy necklace!

  8. 9

    Amelia said,

    Am I really that short?

  9. 10

    Laurie said,

    I’m still impressed you made it at all, so close to Silver Bella! It’s lovely!

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