Have you ever heard of the expression “Achilles heel”? So, it turns out my Achilles heel is quite prominent and features heavily in my life as a mum, wife, practitioner, friend, daughter, daughter-in-law, and whatever else I might be. An Achilles heel is a weak spot, an area that despite overall strength, can lead to downfall. My Achilles heel is that I’m not good enough and however hard I try, I don’t quite hit the mark. It is an ongoing journey, and one that I think has become more of a challenge since becoming a mum, to believe in myself a little more and give things a go even if the outcome is not absolutely perfect. I have had two encouragements this week which have reminded me that good enough is good enough. Yesterday, I had a session with a little lad that has been labelled as high risk in his school environment. This made me feel anxious that I would be inadequate to manage him and unable to meet his needs. However, I did what I always do as a therapist and accepted him with whatever he needed to bring. How did the session go? With my safety at risk? Far from it. The little lad gave me a big hug as he left the building. Whatever I had done, whoever I had been was good enough for him. Last Sunday I decided to get my sewing machine out and have a go at making a P.E. bag for Poppi. My mum had made one for me when I was little and I felt I wanted to do the same. However, I’m a bit of a slap-dash stitcher and felt myself getting frustrated through the project. But, I decided to persevere and today I am going to share some simple steps to make a drawstring bag. If I can do it, so can you!
You will need:
A large piece of sturdy material – you can choose the size depending on how big you want your bag
Smaller pieces of patterned material for the name or decorations
1. Cut your material to size – I didn’t do this (because I’m lazy) and so it caused the finished project to be a little less neat! You will need a long rectangular shape.
2. Draw templates for your letters or decorations and cut them out of the patterned material. Pin them into place.
3. Using the zig-zag setting on your machine, zig-zag the letters onto the bag. This will prevent the edges from fraying. I had to go back over a few where I didn’t quite catch the edge (that just shows how out of practice with the machine I am).
4. Tuck over the top and bottom edges of the rectangle (this is the part your string will pass through so make sure you leave enough room). Stitch these down with the machine (remember to change the setting so you are no longer using zig-zags).
5. Fold the rectangle in half so your bag is inside out. Sew up the two edges to just slightly overlap the drawstring. Obviously, you don’t want to sew all the way up because you need to pass the string through. NB: You may need to zig-zag the edges of the rectangle first to stop them from fraying too.
6. I used a safety pin to attach to the end of the string to help pass it around the top of the bag. You may decide to have one string that goes all the way around or two strings that tie at each side.
7. Turn the right way out and present to your child!!
Like I said, it wasn’t perfect, but I was pleased that I was able to give it a go and the outcome was fit for purpose!
Even if this blog doesn’t inspire you to make a drawstring bag (and for many of you I’m sure it won’t), may I encourage you to find some time to give something a go that you might not be perfect at doing. We can’t all be amazing at everything and it is good for us to be pleased with our efforts when we try our best. We live in a world that wants success and success can sometimes feel so out of our grasp because others are better than us. Be pleased with what you can do and what you can’t do so well. I’m not suggesting we should settle for mediocre, but what I am suggesting is that we are works in progress and we ‘ain’t gonna get anywhere if we don’t try because we are afraid to fail or scared we won’t be good enough. What can you challenge yourself with this week to give another go? Trust that it’s another rung on the ladder and another informative experience.