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Tefilin bag disaster!
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DVOM




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 4:10 am
I can't sleep. I'm hoping that writing this down will scrub out my brain, let me fall back to sleep.

I ordered a beautiful needlepoint tefilin canvas for my oldest son's upcoming bar mitzvah. It was very expensive, but knowing that this what he wanted and wanting to do this special project for him, we splurged.

He looked through hundreds of pictures of needlepoints from the store and finally custom designed his bag. It's really beautiful, a Jerusalem scene and his name in gold.

I picked it up and started working on it. My husband and son came home last night from school and work, excited for the big reveal... And were both horrified.

Apparently, it's huge. When I ordered it, I asked what the normal size for an ashkenaz bar mitzvah boys tefilin bag was. This is what they told me was standard. I didn't question it.

All my son's friends are getting really small, rectangular bags. The canvas I ordered is a larger square. Did tefilin bag sizes recently change? It didn't seem big to me when I ordered it, but what do I know about the cool, in style tefilin bag size?

I'm so distressed for my son. He obviously didn't want me to feel bad, and shrugged it off, but was just as obviously upset. I saw him come back to examine it a few more times during the course of the night... somehow his maturity and restraint in dealing with the disappoinment made me feel even worse. I am so proud of him and the little man he's turning into. I want him to have a non- nerdy tefilin bag.

I don't think there's any way to salvage this. We really can't afford to start over. I'm so upset. I know this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I so badly wanted this to be special and wonderful for my son, and I'm so upset at myself that I didn't do more research in advance about the correct size.

Ok, vent over. Hopefully I'll sleep now.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 4:14 am
Oy. What a nice idea. I'd be upset too.

Can the piece be cut down to size a bit, but still preserve the a large chunk of what you have already worked on?

In other words, if there is a needlepoint image of Jerusalem, can it be cropped and used for a smaller version of the bag?
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amother




Powderblue
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 4:46 am
Is it customized/did you have his name printed on the canvas yet? If not, maybe you can return it. If it is not returnable, maybe it is the proper size for a tallis bag. You can needlepoint it for your dh or save it for ds's marriage iyh.

He really shouldn't use a large bag. It is something he will iyh use every day for many years...
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 4:49 am
Is the design painted on the canvas, or does it come with a chart?

If the design is painted on, see where you can crop the edges, as suggested above.

If it comes with a chart, ignore the size and shape of the canvas and look at your design. Is it square or rectangular? The size of the chart or of the canvas does indicate the finished size of the project. Don't forget that a lot of the edges will come off when the project is finished. Again you may be able to crop.a little around the edges.

If it is larger than you expected, it might take you longer to stitch than you expected. Make sure to give it enough time. If it really doesn't work as a tefillin bag, frame it as a picture! Also a beautiful memory.

ETA If it's really too big, you could stitch it and then put it away to be used for a tallis bag when he reaches that stage.


Last edited by Elfrida on Wed, Jan 13 2021, 6:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 5:23 am
Awww, no!!!

How long is it until his bar mitzvah? I can do a needlepoint and mail it to you if I have a few weeks
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Kumphort




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 5:42 am
I never made a needlepoint bag before but Is it possible that the square is longer than a standard bag because it’s gets folded down when u make it into a bag? Part of it will become the bottom and sides of the bag?
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dankbar




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 5:52 am
Are such type of bags standard in your community? I never saw such a type of bag. Standard in my community is velvet or fancier more modern up-to-date is leather.

Will he feel comfortable with a stitched bag?
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 5:55 am
dankbar wrote:
Are such type of bags standard in your community? I never saw such a type of bag. Standard in my community is velvet or fancier more modern up-to-date is leather.

Will he feel comfortable with a stitched bag?


I remember DVOM's original post about this. Her son asked for it specifically - apparently it's trending. But she was very nervous that she didn't know how to needlepoint, and would need a while to do it.
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amother




Floralwhite
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 6:32 am
I’ve needlepointed my boys teffilin bags.
It’s a very special and beautiful thing to do.
Alot of boys have it now.
I would take it back to the store and tell them it’s not the standard size for ashkenazim. You specifically asked for that and they didn’t service that for you. See what they can do for you.
What size did they draw it on? A tallis bag size?
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sky




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 7:08 am
Is it possible it will be smaller once sewn together?
The boys do use a slightly larger then typical tefillin bag at bar mitzvah to hold tefillin and Siddur.
Does he have a friend in the neighborhood to bring over their bag after school to compare the size
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yo'ma




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 9:42 am
Is it a canvas or a ready made bag? If it’s a ready made bag, it depends on the size. Maybe you can have the inside made smaller.
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shanie5




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 1:40 pm
Define "huge". Your dh and son may not realize that it will be smaller once its sewn into a bag and the tehillim are in it. Those who are not used to sewing, needlepointing, or crafting aren't always able to picture the finished product.

Measure the canvas. Then find a bag the size he wants and measure that one. It's the best way to determine if the canvas is that much bigger than he wanted.
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challahchallah




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 1:56 pm
Does it get folded in half to form both sides of a rectangular bag? Otherwise, I agree it sounds like they gave you one for a tallis bag instead.
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amother




Silver
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 2:04 pm
I would sit with ds and make a list of your options going forward. Let him know that you want him to have the right size bag- this is not something he should feel uncomfortable about, and he probably will. See if you can brainstorm about different solutions and let him choose his preference.
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amother




Gold
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 2:10 pm
Typically these bags are seen in the Brooklyn Syrian communities. These boys wear tallit. I think all Sephardim start wearing tallit at 13, some younger.
What you probably got was a tallit bag.
I would save it for his wedding and buy him a really nice velvet one.
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DVOM




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 7:05 pm
Hello everyone!

I've been running running running since I woke up this morning and just came back on to read these replies.

Thanks so much for the support and advice.

There's a happy ending to the story:

I went back to the needlepoint store with a friend's tefilin bag to explain the problem. They are going to be able to split the canvas and get the Jerusalem picture on one side, and my little guys name on the other. They were so nice, so apologetic, so accommodating, thank God!

My son just came home from school and seems genuinely happy with this solution.

Hopefully a less broken sleep for Mama tonight!
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DVOM




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 7:07 pm
dankbar wrote:
Are such type of bags standard in your community? I never saw such a type of bag. Standard in my community is velvet or fancier more modern up-to-date is leather.

Will he feel comfortable with a stitched bag?


He's actually specially requested one. It's apparently becoming very popular and some of the cooler kids in his class have them.
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 7:11 pm
DVOM wrote:
Hello everyone!

I've been running running running since I woke up this morning and just came back on to read these replies.

Thanks so much for the support and advice.

There's a happy ending to the story:

I went back to the needlepoint store with a friend's tefilin bag to explain the problem. They are going to be able to split the canvas and get the Jerusalem picture on one side, and my little guys name on the other. They were so nice, so apologetic, so accommodating, thank God!

My son just came home from school and seems genuinely happy with this solution.

Hopefully a less broken sleep for Mama tonight!


I am so happy they figured out a solution that enables him to use it now.

Mazal Tov!
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yiddishmom




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 7:23 pm
I am so glad the issue was resolved and all are happy

@DVMOM, from all your posts you come across as a phenomenal person, in this specific case - a phenomenal mother!

Mazel tov! Many more simchos!
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 13 2021, 7:27 pm
amother [ Gold ] wrote:
Typically these bags are seen in the Brooklyn Syrian communities. These boys wear tallit. I think all Sephardim start wearing tallit at 13, some younger.
What you probably got was a tallit bag.
I would save it for his wedding and buy him a really nice velvet one.


By us it's 9 yrs old. So adorable to see these little boys wearing tallit they feel like men.

I hope needlepoint won't be popular when it's our turn ....

I can picture myself really messing it up.
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