Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot find that perfect solution to an everyday problem, from a store. This is especially true when you have a disability and want an item that most people wouldn’t even think of needing. When that happens, it helps to have some crafty skills; or at the very least have crafty friends and family who can help you make the items you want but can’t find in any store.
Currently, I own three such items which either I made, or were made for me, that I find invaluable in my daily life. “That’s great,” you’re thinking, “but how does that help me?” Fear not, my loyal readers; not only am I going to tell you about these wonderful items, but I will provide you with the patterns to make them yourself.
The first item is an oversized pot holder. This is essential if, like me, you can only use one hand to retrieve hot items from your oven. Normally, I use an oven mitt for this task, but mine recently stopped working as well as it used to. Additionally, my pot holders are all too small to use safely with one hand. Since I couldn’t get to the store before I needed to get some cooking done, I decided to whip up a quick potholder that would be big enough to protect my hand.
I used this pattern to make my potholder, with a few slight modifications. I replaced the 8×8 inch squares with 9.5×12.5 inch rectangles. I also chose to use insulated batting instead of old towels for the middle because I did not think a towel would be enough protection. (The person who wrote this tutorial said they’ve tested them safe for 450 degrees, so if you want to use a towel, you are probably safe to do so.)
I used left over fabric from other projects, giving my potholder a scrappy feel, and quilted the whole thing on my machine for fun. It works great and I saved myself a trip out in the cold.
The second item is the knitted booties that were given to me by a family friend. For years, I struggled to find slippers that would stay on my feet, up until now nothing worked. During the winter months our hardwood and tile floors get cold enough that I need two pairs of sock to keep my feet from going numb; this is partially due to the cold floor and partially due to my poor circulation. Then I received these knitted booties as a Christmas present. They are wonderful. They stay on my feet and are so warm. If you are a knitter or you know one, you have to try these booties. You can find the pattern here.
The last item is something my sister made for me. It is a vest for my dog Taden. She made it while I was seriously considering using Taden as an official service dog. She started by following thispattern to make it, and added a handle so that Taden could assist me in getting off the couch or out of a chair. It is a little more complicated than the other two, but if you really want one for your pup; head on over to Keirabelle Designs and my lovely sister will whip one up for you.
These handmade solutions are only some of my favorites, not just because they solve some pretty major problems in my life, but because I have an extra appreciation for the amount of love and effort that went into making them.