Thursday, August 19, 2010

Look What I Made!

Operation Handmade Christmas is well underway. Again, I'm not making every present, just five or six of them. This is a huge step for me as I have never made a homemade gift.  Well, I did make a couple but they turned out so horribly they never even saw the wrapping paper. But this year will be different. I have two, yes two presents nearly finished! Hooray! And guess what? They don't look that bad. I'm actually looking forward to giving them away rather than anticipating the blinding shame and embarrassment that my elementary attempts at crafting usually inspire.

Unfortunately, I can't really tell you what they are. The recipients read this blog and they wouldn't be very surprised if they read about their gifts here, now would they? I can give you a vague sneaky peek though. I'm like a proud mother hen, displaying my chicks out for all to see! My first gift allowed me to experiment with patchwork. I've been just itching to start quilting and this small project was the perfect intro. I selected my own fabrics (no pre-selected packs for me!) cut my own strips (no airborne rotaries this time) and arranged the layout. It's not perfect....My 1/4 seam allowance was a little more, sometimes a little less. Some of the seams aren't quite straight. But the imperfections add a whimsical touch and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Here's a picture: Can you guess what it is?

The second gift is a crocheted one. I picked the softest yarn I could afford and it's really turning out lovely. I didn't use any fancy stitches. I still need to practice those by making dishcloths. It's mainly double crochet which may look a little utilitarian but it's still quite pretty. Here's an abstract of that one:

I just received the pattern to begin gift #3 today so it's off to pick out my fabric and buy some fusible interfacing, whatever that is! I like the pattern so much I may just make one for myself too. For gifts # 4, 5, and 6 I've been searching the internet for inspiration. There's a great wide world of sewing blogs that would suck up my entire day if I let them. Whilst searching for new ideas, I came across a tutorial for a 20 minute skirt on Whipstitch Modern Sewing. The skirt as actually made for a little girl out of a fat quarter and was RIDICULOUSLY easy. I mean really. Even a bonehead like me could do it. So I thought I'd whip one up for myself since my daughter has more than enough skirts.

I adjusted the pattern as necessary. It took me about 45 minutes instead of 20 but hey, who's counting? I used an old sheet that was thrown in a batch of gifted fabrics from my grandmother. It's one of my favorite shades of blue and I thought the color would be versatile. Not to toot my own horn but wow. This is the best stitching I've ever done. My casing was darn near perfect. I've never got my stitching that straight or that  close to the edge. And I did a decorative stitch around the hem which I've never attempted and that looks pretty rockin' too. The only problem is....I am a woman. The skirt tutorial was for a girl. Girls do not have hips widened by babies. I do. The skirt is not "tight" per se, just much more form fitting than I expected but totally wearable. In fact, I wore it today. In public. And no one pointed or laughed. Success!


  1. You are so crafty! I'm proud of you!

  2. Great job on the skirt. I just got a sewing machine and am dying to start something on it this weekend, might give it a shot!

  3. I LOVE your Betty Page pinup pose. Classic! Great colour, great repurposing, great faith in yourself! Isn't it so wonderful to wear something, no matter how imperfect, that you made yourself? And how clever to upsize a pattern from a smaller're on your way! Hope your gift recipients understand the work and sentiment involved with homemades...I'm not your mom, but I'm proud of you too!

  4. I'd love to know more about your homemade Christmas gifts. I am also trying to come up with some ideas. Shoot me an email if you get the chance with photos and what they are. I enjoy your blog and it inspires me! K. Whitson. email is Thanks. Many blessings!

  5. Beautiful skirt - love the colour and the decorative stitching. Isn't it fun to make something new and useful out of something old.