Pippin Run Wild, Refashioning
Comments 13

A Bird in the Hand

Vintage hand embroidered bird. Vintage linen.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver

I love this quote. It’s such a simple, beautiful question, and it captures so many things in one sentence. Stop. Think. Dream. Consider. Then – and this is the bit I usually miss out – do.

So, I’ve taken this very profound question and applied it to something perhaps a little less profound: my sewing stash.

Bear with me.Vintage hand embroidered bird. Vintage linen.In April, I found this lovely little bird in a charity shop. I had a cunning plan to make something, but for 2 months I was too afraid to use it. Afraid of ruining it. So it stayed hidden away, brought out occasionally for me to stare at, and think, dream, consider. But yesterday I took the bird out of its hiding and took a pair of scissors to it.

It was done. No going back.Vintage embroidered bird, in the process of being turned into a brooch.Don’t worry! It gets better.

I chose some pink and green fabric to go with it, and cut out the inside of a small doily… Materails for making a bird brooch.…then hand stitched it all together to make a brooch. My cunning plan.Completed embroidered bird brooch. Textile jewellery. Fabric brooch. Upcycled, recycled, repurposed.I am, to put it Britishly (I don’t really know any other way), chuffed. It looks better than all my imagined versions, and it feels nice knowing the little bird won’t be hidden away any more, waiting to be used.Close up of finished embroidered bird brooch. Upcycled, recycled, repurposed. Textile jewellery. Fabric brooch.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Start small.

Stop. Think. Dream. Consider. Then do.

I’m still learning.



  1. I love this, I love the pin, I love the thought behind it. I too purchases pieces that I want to do something with, but then I get afraid and don’t follow through. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Thank you. It’s amazing how nerve-racking sewing and crafting can be, and it’s amazing how rewarding it is when it’s done. Good luck with your projects!

  2. oh, that’s absolutely gorgeous! and you’ll use it, and look at it, and it will remind you to keep DOING because it turned out so marvelously!

    • Thank you, Janna! I’m still learning to do, but it’s getting easier with every project. Sometimes it will go wrong, but mostly (fingers-crossed) it will go right. It’s amazing what life lessons you can find in a sewing stash!

  3. Pingback: Button brooches | Winter Owls

  4. Thats a really lovely motivating read. I have quite a stash of embroidery and fabrics that I am afraid to make the cut with. But you are so right, far better to be used than stored away not doing anything. Chuffed to find your blog via winter owls. Cheers

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