Soft goods is an area in which I wish I had more experience. My mom put me in sewing lessons as a young child because she figured that would be a good skill to have (and I think she was tired of me handing her weird scraps of fabric to assemble weird clothes for dolls that I didn't even play with regularly).
Fast forward 20 years - I bought a sewing machine for some class project involving a lamp shade and I also use it to fix my pants occasionally. Looks like my mom was right in thinking sewing would be a useful skill for me to have.
Now that I'm a "working creative," as they say, I feel the need to diversify and hone some my skills outside of work. Yay sewing practice! what better time to practice than as gifts!
Several years ago, I purchased a microwaveable heat bag for a lovely lady to keep her cozy through winter. Although well loved, it became musty because it lived in a damp environment. Inspired by that and a casual comment about how she used to tuck it in her skirt to hold it in place on her back, I dreamed up a new and improved heat pack for her: a tied sash with a removable and easily replaced heat pack!
The sewing for this was actually pretty straight forward. The slight challenge was figuring out the optimal order for sewing the different patterns together in the prettiest way. I could have cut one long piece and do a series of running stitches but the contrasting patterns made it more interesting and contemporary.