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Gift Sewing

  • Handmade Gifts - A DIY Guide

    Our DIY guide to handmade holiday gifts

    This year, make your holiday gifts. We'll help!

    Every year about this time, I promise myself I'm going to get a jump start on my Christmas sewing, so that all my friends and family will receive lovingly crafted handmade gifts. I start mulling over ideas in October, make a few plans in early November, then BAM! it's Christmas Eve and I'm in a slight panic, hunkered over my sewing machine and wondering if I can use glue to finish a seam. My niece will never notice, right??

    But this is the year! No more procrastination or selfish sewing! We've racked our brains and scoured the web for creative, thoughtful handmade gifts that you can sew (and that people will actually want). It's early yet - so no excuses!

    DIY handmade gifts Handmade gifts, L to R: 1. Diva wallets 2. Passport covers 3. Pom pom swaddle blankets 4. Carolyn Pajamas 5. iPad case 6. Fancy eye masks

    1. A Diva Wallet or Clutch

    This wallet requires very little fabric and can be made in an afternoon. It's practical, cute, and can be completely customized. Since it uses quilting cottons, the possibilities are endless! If you're not feeling confident about sewing this up, take our class on Sunday, December 4th to let us help you with your first one. (Register here). The clutch is a little simpler than the wallet so you might even be able to finish two in one sitting. Try it in laminated cotton for a makeup bag!

    2. Mini May Pin Cushions or Passport Cover

    Fellow sewists can never have too many pin cushions, and they're super scrap friendly. Fill them with these  ground walnut shells and you're good to go! If you have a traveler in your life, make a passport cover that you can totally customize.

    3. Whole-Cloth Blankets

    Whole-cloth blankets have to be the one of the most rewarding sewing projects. Simply sew two pieces of fabric together and bind! Quilting optional. We have been making them with Robert Kaufman flannel so they're extra cozy. We also love these pom-pom swaddle blankets from See Kate Sew. Perfect in this Robert Kaufman double gauze with our pom fringe!

    4. Pajamas/Robes

    Who doesn't love to snuggle up Christmas morning with some new jammies? Try the Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files, the Sewaholic Tofino Pants, or the tried-and-true Pajama and Robe Pattern from Palmer/Pletsch. Good for kids AND adults, especially in some fun seasonal flannel!

    5. Tablet Sleeves for iPads, Kindles, and more

    Like so many gifts on this list, tablet sleeves can be made from just about any kind of fabric and are therefore easy to customize. We like this pattern in wool felt from Oh So Lovely. For something different, try it in Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric or some sophisticated faux leather!

    6. Fancy Eye Masks

    The Queen of DIY, Martha Stewart, has a great pattern for lovely eye masks. We made some up in this Liberty of London Tana Lawn and this Frou Frou pre-made binding. Small project, big impact!

    DIY handmade holiday gifts Handmade holiday gifts, L to R: 1. Blanket scarf 2. Wool felt ornaments 3. Waxed cotton apron 4. DIY IKEA bag 5. Stowe bag 6. Tool roll

    7. Scarves, scarves, and more scarves!

    Blanket scarves are hugely popular, and super easy to make. We made one by cutting a 1.5-yard piece of this Robert Kaufman flannel and fraying the edges. It's as easy as that! Fat-quarter infinity cowls are another fun project that let you show off 6 different fabrics. If you want to make a cool zippered scarf with us, register here for our class on December 10th!

    8. Felt Friends

    We carry a lovely variety of 12" x 18" felt  (35% wool, 65% rayon) that is perfect for making ornaments and stuffed animals. (We're even offering the Dala Horse and Bird ornaments as a kids class on Saturday, December 3!) Sew Mama Sew also has a cute shark pattern and tutorial ... but you could also make a bunny, bear, sloth, you name it!

    9. A new take on the giant IKEA bag

    We all know those giant bags are awesome for toting all your stuff to the beach, that camping trip, the quilt show.... why not make your own and skip the trip to IKEA? This free pattern from Miss Make will hold everything. Pop in the shop for some oil cloth or laminated cotton and whip a few up!

    10. Aprons for all!

    We love making aprons, because they work for everyone. They're useful, can be made out of a variety of fabrics, and are easy to fit! Using our Palmer/Pletsch apron pattern, we made a sturdy waxed cotton apron that'd be great for woodworking, BBQing, and gardening. Contrasting quilting cottons work great for kids and adults alike!

    11. Specialty bags

    There's a bag for every hobby. For the yogi in your life, try this yoga-mat bag pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics. Wine enthusiast? Here's a two-bottle wine bag pattern from Sew Mama Sew. And of course the Grainline Stowe bag was designed for knitters, though we've found it works great for carrying projects of all kinds!

    12. Tool roll

    This pattern from Better Homes & Gardens is meant for makeup brushes, but can easily be modified for sewing supplies, woodworking tools, knitting needles, picnic utensils, harmonicas... you get the idea! Make it extra durable in a waxed cotton.

    Have other good ideas? Post them in the comments!

    Happy sewing!


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