October 2, 2007

Close Your Clothes!

I made this activity book for Lara's birthday. It's made out of old clothes and some Freecycled fabric, and has pages of clothes-fastener activities with facing pages featuring poems about the fasteners. The pages are each stuffed with two layers of felt I had around the house. I cropped the poems (which I wrote) out the pictures, but I am transcribing them under each page. I'm so happy with how it came out! Good thing too, because it took fo-e-vah to make. Why is everything I do so laborious? I think I must just be a very laborious person. Anyway:

Close Your Clothes book

Close Your Clothes book - side view

Close Your Clothes book - button page

“Buttons are delightful doodads,”
Says a fishwife who reviews shads.
“They will last through any new fads,”
States a pair of kangaroo lads
To their neighbor, Marilou Gladds.

Adds famed button expert Clay Kee:
“If you snub them when you wakey,
Then you’re making a mistakey,
Coming to eat breakfast nakey!”

Close Your Clothes book - zipper page

There are two sides to a zipper,
Each side full of little teeth –
As you pull the slider upward,
They’re connecting underneath!

These small teeth are not for chewing
(That your own teeth do with ease) –
These teeth keep you warm and toasty,
Even in a frosty breeze!

Close Your Clothes book - snaps page

Let’s unwrap
The word “snap”:
It can be a beatnik clap,
Or a fish biting a scrap,
Or some sudden colder weather that requires a shoulder wrap,
Or a cookie made of ginger that can break in a mishap,
Or an angry little yap,
A quick photo of a chap,
Or a football hiked behind from beneath the center’s lap
Or a task so that is so easy it’s like taking a short nap!

Close Your Clothes book - overalls clasps page

Old MacDonald had a farm (E-I-E-I-O!)
And on his farm he worked quite hard (E-I-E-I-O!)
He herded his sheep, and he milked his cows,
Tended chickens, walked his dog,
Every night went for a jog!

Old MacDonald one fine day (E-I-E-I-O!)
Didn’t buckle his overalls all the way (E-I-E-I-O!)
How his animals laughed when his pants fell down
Cows said MOO-ha! Pigs said OINK-ha!
And his doggie barked a WOOF-WOOF-ha-ha!

Close Your Clothes book - belt page

They sent a new dress to the Duchess of Veldt,
A dress that was loose and too baggy, she felt.
To make it fit better and make her seem svelte,
The shrewd Duchess cinched up her waist with a belt!

Close Your Clothes book - velcro buckles page

A man and his dog were out walking one day
Through a field of dry grass that looked kind of like hay.
Then later he petted his doggie’s soft fur
Where a grass seed was stuck, a seed known as a burr.

He looked at the seed – it was covered in hooks
That held tight to the dog hair’s looped crannies and nooks.
Inspired, he made hook and loop strips to use
As buckles (called Velcro) for everyone’s shoes.

Close Your Clothes book - hairdo page

The silky curls and swirls in Lara’s hair
Are golden, hazel, auburn – scarcely brown –
When loose, they gleam in ribbons in midair,
Twisting themselves into a copper crown
Of knots and tangles that a comb despair;
It’s better in the wind to clip them down.

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi! my name is cristina
your book is amazing
i like it so much
its beatiful
i like the skirt and the shoes
congartulations

kisse from chile

ANI said...

This is gorgeous - Lara is lucky to have such a laborious mom!

emilyclare said...

This is one of the most beautiful projects I've come across.. I am really amazed and inspired by your handicraft. Your blog has been such a pleasure to read and really brightened by day!

Anonymous said...

My Goodness - what a response and deservedly so! The book came out so wonderfully, the poems explain and illustrate the pictures (or is it the other way around?)with wit and humor so wonderfully that I already re-read everything 4 times. Looking forward to more re-reading!!! and thank you again for a personalized entry :)

Anonymous said...

Came across photos of this project in flickr and was so impressed I clicked over to your blog. What a lovely, beautifully done book!

Anonymous said...

Wow your book is so thoughtful and amazing! Nice work - love your blog too!

Anonymous said...

That book is absolutely brilliant! So inspirational - thank you! Your daughter has a lovely name, by they way ;-)

Anonymous said...

I don't want to even think about how long that took! But the results are incredible so kudos!!

Anonymous said...

Please contact me! I think I can hire you to build one for a friend!

- John

Miss*Laurence said...

Saw your creations on the refashion website, and really loved the concept book! I'll get going on making one for my nieces' son who will be 2 in May, so I've got some time yet. Would I be allowed to borrow some of your poems?
X Thanks

kyliesmom910 said...

My goodness...I am in awe. Complete and total amazement! This is not only the best idea I have seen in ages (I LOVE how you can display some of your favorite outgrown but treasured clothing from your little ones) but is also done so beautifully! The poems are amazing as well and so creative! I cannot believe how amazing this is! Wonderful job! I am always trying to find a way to "use" my DD's outgrown baby clothes and this takes first place! Great job!

Anonymous said...

AMAZING! I'm going to learn how to sew!

-Ayo

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a beautiful book and such creative poems too! I love it!

Bay Area Knitter said...

This is the cutest activity book I've seen! I hope you don't mind, but I added a couple pics of it and a link to your blog on my blog! I just had to share! What an adorable idea!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

WOW! How creative. SUPER! FANTASTIC job! great work!

Kristy said...

Hi Anna, I'm writing an article about your wonderful book to be included on http://www.clothdiapernews.com I'd like permission to use your pictures in the article. Please contact me at kristy@weewilliewinks.com to approve. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

This book is awesome and just what I've been looking for for my son (in a boy version of course). Can I commission you to make one for me? Please email me...

stefanieva@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I would love one! do you sell them?

Amy Jo said...

Brilliant! You're gonna get a lot of comments from me today... haha! love your creativity. How did you get the poems on the fabric?

Unknown said...

Hi there! Thank you so much for posting your intelligent poetry and lovely book up here!! I was looking around for so long regarding soft books and stumbled onto your site. The braided beauty inspired me...check it out: http://angeldroppings.blogspot.com/2008/09/soft-fabric-activity-book.html

I'd love to know what you think. Thanks again for the inspiration! :) ~Lisa

elena fiore said...

Wow ! Wonderful! Anch'io nel mio blog sto preparando per un fururo Candy un art-journal. E anche la mia bambina si chiama Lara! Ciao dall'Italia, elena

Anonymous said...

I work with Autistic children and would love to have one of these, do you sell these or could you send me the directions.
Thanks,
armybrat0368@yahoo.com
Laurel

Jedda said...

I linked to you today. Absolutely inspiring!
Thislittleproject.blogspot.com
Jedda

Anonymous said...

The most beautiful book I ever saw!
I love, love, love it!

Anonymous said...

Fabuleux!!! bravo!!!

MooBear Designs said...

I have had the link to your lovely book on my comp for ages now... it's the first on my list. I was going to sew one with a friend using yours as a guide. We still haven't gotten around to it...I have everything I need including a new baby so I should just stop and do it hehe It will never amount to the beauty of yours but it will be cherished.

Thanks you for inspiring my heart.

kw said...

Oh, my! I am speechless. This has to be the most fabulous momma made thing I have ever seen!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

amazing. awesome. i'm featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

Anne said...

WOW!! I'm having to scrape my jaw up off of the floor. This is fabulous!! I posted a link to your project on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/lookie-what-she-made-close-your-clothes-busy-book/2009/08/15/
--Anne

Evelyn in Canada said...

I managed to see loads of good sewing posts while browsing for this one. I love it! I wonder if I'll ever make the time to make one for someone. It's too late for my own kids, but it's so cute.

Are you going to rewrite any of the poems and make one for Jakey?

bellasymphony said...

such a great idea for little ones to learn how to "fasten" themselves! I love it, great work!

aireefairee said...

Absolutely brilliant :)
I want one!!

Emily said...

This is amazing! The poems are really clever. I especially liked the "snap" one, I think, but I'm really impressed that they're all different styles!

Sara said...

wow, i love it! i took a look around your blog and it looks like we are from the same area. you do amazing things!!

Sew Can Do said...

I found this via somedaycrafts.blogspot.com and wow what a great idea! I'm just about to start making a quiet book for my kids and now I have inspiration for a second one (and boy does my 3rd old need help in this dept.)!

This is especially great because it's using stuff that's already got "functions" so it's easier to make and very eco-friendly/thrifty. Love it!

Bethany said...

This is amazing!! I found you via Someday Crafts. Thanks for sharing this fabulous idea! I'm adding it to my list of projects. :)

Tania said...

Oh My Giddy Aunt! You are officially the bees knees!

Unknown said...

This Is AMAZING!! I've been wanting to make one like this, I've linked it from my blog. What a great piece!

Renee said...

I'm speachless! Can you write a tutorial? I've never seen the shoe one in a book before. My little boy would love this.

Jana said...

Hey, I did my own version! Thanks so much for your idea! http://ronandjana.blogspot.com/2009/10/close-your-clothes-quiet-book.html

Fındık Kurdu Betül said...

it's amazing!

Gamze said...

that's great,ı couldn't find a word realy.ı gonna try to do make similar.ı hope ı can do.
xoxox

Aslıhan Kaplan Bayrak said...

this is really great! i wonder if i could make one, but i am not so qualified to do this. ;) this is not only a gift, it is also a piece of art. congrats!!!

Ezgi said...

It's amazing ! I think Lara is very lucky girl... I try to make to do this book, but I'm not sure it will be like yours... Maybe, I can use different objects..

Yamin said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://toddlergirls.net

Swati said...

This is awesome, and I do not use that word lightly. As to being 'laborious' I know what you mean! I am the same :(

First visit to your blog; looking around :)

hook bowling said...

Oh what a cool stuffs, so cool those ideas, I will make it for my child, are very cute for their rooms!

Unknown said...

Thak you very much for the ideas!

bed guard said...

This was definitely worth the effort you spent in making it - its gorgeous! Its also timeless as I have come across this years on and am going to make one for my daughter so thanks.

Mme Li said...

Great project.

faith ann raider said...

WOW! This is the cutest little soft book ever!

Fabricaddict said...

Your book is absolutely amazing!!! I LOVE it!! well well done :-)

Darlene said...

great job! just fabulous! I've got to make one for my grandbabies.

Dorian said...

I love this so much, I PINNED it! Great job :)

Anonymous said...

why yes this does look laborious, but well worth it! beautiful project! I need to make a quiet book for sure since my son seems to be giving up naps on the weekends!

Lisa Chin said...

This is brilliant! I made quiet books for my kids when they were little and they loved them. I will have to tuck away this idea for when I have grandchildren! (many years still!)

Jenelle Holm said...

This is an amazing idea!! I love it! What a fun idea for gifts for little ones!

Anonymous said...

Just too fun for words! Amazing project! Thanks for sharing!

Miss Pippi said...

How clever! Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

This is truely a "Labor of Love" ! It's just beautiful ... thank you for sharing

vikki said...

Wow, what a cute way to make a memory book out of your child's old clothes in such a clever way. Love it.

gretta said...

wow this is gorgeus,i love it, thank for sharing

Margaret said...

This is fantastic! I absolutely love it. Well done, it is a work of art.

Denise Santana said...

What a wonderful idea! Would you happen to be planning a tutorial or pattern of sorts for this project?!

Dan said...

Such a great way to keep those favourite baby outfits that you can't bear to pass on...definitely making one of these for my girls...one day!

Jacqueline said...

Just adorable! I love it and love the little clothes you have fashioned and your adorable poems too!

Marlene said...

J'adore, c'est très beau et très pratique. Superbe. Bravo

Lexapro said...

I want have to know more and more, on your blog just interesting and useful information.

Kelly Lamb aka Sew Lambitious LLC said...

This is fabulous! Nice job on this!
Kelly on FB
Sew Lambitious LLC aka Lambitious Creations on FB

Anonymous said...

This book is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen! Absolutely LOOOVe it!.....Marilyn

Sugar Land Scrapper said...

Love this idea! So creative.

Anonymous said...

Hiya, I just found this book and it is soo awesome. I am making a quiet book for my best friend and thought I would make some clothes pages inspired by you. I have a question how did you attach the clothes to the fabric? From the pics I can't see any stitches along the edges and it looks just awesome. Thank you. gypsythieves@yahoo.com

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

I saw a link to this post quite a while ago. I finally started making one last night. The only problem...I think I've got too many pages for one book. :)

Meghan said...

This is my favorite quiet book to date! I am starting one now. I was in tears going through all of my little girl's baby clothes. I am excited to actually be able to use them though! I am also wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing a few more tips on making my own. babymegs99@hotmail.com Thanks so much!!

Kerri @ Holly Muffin said...

Just wondering if you are selling these!?
I would love to purchase one.
Please email me at kerrimiller1990@hotmail.com if so!
Kerri

caroline said...

I too would love to purchase one if you are interested :) my email is kerpercie@gmail.com.

You are so talented!

Luvcreatincards said...

I've just found this idea via the Petit Citron website. Absolutely Brilliant, what a fantastic idea and a wonderful way to make a keepsake while teaching your children useful skills. You are one very talented lady. THANK for sharing with gorgeous project idea.

aysecehayaller said...

çok güzel olmuş...!!! ((: süper

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing! This inspires me to want to make a book like this for my baby, but my sewing skills are awful! You did such an awesome job! So creative!

Beverly R said...

I love the fact that you used baby clothes instead of having to create everything yourself. Out of all the patterns I've looked at this seems the most re-creatable. Congrats on a job well done.

Anonymous said...

<3 it! I am making something similar for my son's 2nd birthday coming up in a couple months! Thanks for the wonderful idea!!

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