Craft & Design

My grandmother never threw anything away, and kept all of her possessions in pristine order. As a child, this was a little hard to deal with — don’t sit on the bedspread, no shoes on the couch, fold the towel after you dry your hands — but as an adult I’ve come to appreciate her fastidious care of her items, some of which I now possess and thoroughly enjoy.
This WWII Army Housewife bag is one of my favorite hand-me-downs. Apparently, it included a sewing kit back when it was issued, and these kits were issued by the Brits and the Swiss as well. Nowadays, this little Army Housewife bag holds my jewelry on overnight trips. And it makes me smile every time I look at it.
When I started to think about making gifts for my family, I decided that I wanted to try and capture that same smile-inducing nostalgia for my relatives. Since we’ve got a few silkscreen-type machines in the office, I thought I’d beg one friend to make me a design and another friend to show me how to use the Yudu machine (I’ve used the Gocco printer before, but wanted to try a new device).
I’m loving the results! So much that I’ve now screen-printed about 12 bags and 8 dish towels, and am wondering if I can get away with giving nothing but self-branded textiles for all my gifts. (And thanks to Daniel and Brookelynn for helping me out, not to mention everyone else who helped with the manual labor in the name of learning!)


Sometimes helpful editor and digital media director at MAKE and CRAFT.

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