before i show you the sewing, i’ve got a little story.
it’s no secret that my little gal has a strong affinity for elephants. she has since she was about a year old, and the obsession continues to this day. it’s pretty cute to have this feminine little girl that loooooves giant gray mammals with huge noses, but hey she loves what she loves!
well. she has about 20 stuffed elephants, but her favorite has always been Frankie, and E is very attached to her. Frankie is Real in the Velveteen Rabbit sense – loved to the point of shabbiness. one day, E dropped Frankie somewhere between summer camp and home, and we didn’t realize she was missing until bedtime. her absence caused a panic. E has a huge heart and tons of empathy for everyone and everything, and she was so certain that Frankie would be very sad and lonely without her. of course, E was very sad and lonely without Frankie. my husband and i were worried that someone would see a “ratty old stuffie” on the sidewalk and would just toss her in the trash. it broke our hearts, and after making the walk himself to look for her, my husband even found and ordered the same type of elephant on ebay (though of course Frankie could never be replaced).
fortunately, this story has a happy ending. in fact, E happened to drop her in front of pretty much the best house possible. Monica, a mom of three little boys that could see how loved Frankie was, noticed her on the sidewalk and kept her safe that night. my husband and i actually went to high school with Monica and say hi when we see each other in the neighborhood, and her son was even attending the same summer camp! it was a wonderful coincidence that the next day at camp (after I had searched the place top to bottom) she came over and said “is anyone here missing a stuffed elephant?” i freaked out, hugged her, and beelined straight to her house, where she had kept Frankie dry (yet visible!) during the overnight rain…
i mean! oh man! it made me cry! E was thrilled to be reunited with her special stuffie, of course, and thought it was funny that Frankie “spent the night in a tree.” i had to make Monica a thank you gift. wouldn’t you?? an especially good deed deserves a handmade thank you, for sure.
the top is Leah Duncan’s Valley of Azure from her Meadow line, which you first saw on me here. it’s from my sponsor LiMa Sews – this print is now unavailable but she still has other prints from Meadow here. i accented it with some stretch chambray and a mustard yellow zipper. i interfaced the outer fabrics to give it some more structure.
the lining is Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn from a few years back; i think this project finally used the remainder of what i had in this print and i’m sad it’s gone!
it turns out Monica later did a search for something sewing-related online, happened to stumble across my blog, and emailed me – she sews too! i didn’t know at the time whether she’d even know i made the clutch (though I think E told her when she ran it up to her doorstep along with her handmade thank you note).
anyway the whole story still makes my heart swell up a bit, even though it happened a few months ago. i’ve been meaning to tell it here just as a happy little tale that may brighten your day. we had feared the worst for poor Frankie, but she and E are happily together again and i couldn’t be more grateful for the woman that made it possible.
thank you, Monica!! you are a good person. 🙂