Friday, January 15, 2016

Overdue: Some Christmas Makes

I love gifting handmade at Christmastime; my 2 kids, 7 nieces and nephews and many good friends keep me busy every year coming up with new things to make for all of them. 2015 was year of the treasure pouch/pencil case!  Thanks to Krista's fabulous pattern in Beyond Cotton, I was able to whip these up with some upholstery-grade vinyl in no time.  I love using my vast collection of fun Japanese linen prints for projects like this.

Christmas 2015 gifts I made
These are made to exactly the pattern size in the book.

Christmas 2015 gifts I made
These are smaller to accommodate some shorter zips I had  - Krista includes a formula for reducing the pouch size based on the length of zipper you have. Very handy.

The linen portions of the pouches are interfaced with fusible fleece and the pouches are fully lined. I'd always been afraid of sewing with metal zips; I've broken SO many needles making complicated bags with thick layers, or forgetting to change from a straight stitch to open hole stitch plate, that metal zips seemed like an inevitable accident.  Every time a needle breaks, my heart skips a beat and I feel I'm taking valuable days off my life.  Krista's pattern got me beyond my metalzipophobia!

The other project from her book that I made for grown-up guy gifts were these super stylish gadget clutches. I sized them for standard ipads. Because I could not find any locally, I had to order the 3mm industrial woolfelt from this shop in Toronto. I've since been asked to make a few more - they have a great finish, are not difficult if you have the right tools and according to my son T "they look totally pro!"

I thought the stamped number on the leather was cool, so I placed it as a feature rather than cut it off.

Gadget clutch from the book Beyond Cotton by Krista Fleckenstein.
Specially requested stitching detail by T - I must say I was happy that he took an interest and asked me to make this tiny one custom for his e-reader!

The woolfelt is pretty pricey, so I didn't want to waste any offcuts. Instead, I trimmed them into long narrow strips, appliqued some pretty ribbon and made these keyfobs! Result! (by the way, "result" is my all time fav British expression that I love using, even though I am completely unBritish).


I made a bunch of knitting bowls to gift friends, then got an order for two more. These are such fun to make! I was surprised at how easy it is to install the grommet through the cording. I first did a bunch of extra stitching where I wanted to place the grommet, then marked the circle with a fineliner. I cut out the hole (very carefully) with an ex-acto knife, then trimmed errant threads with small scissors before inserting the grommet.

Christmas 2015 gifts I made

Christmas 2015 gifts I made

The last gift item I managed were three of these super cute and handy embroidery floss wallets. Sadly, I didn't take any interior photos and only managed to photograph this one before gifting all of them. I stayed true to the great FREE tutorial by Melissa that you can find here, except I added a little appliqued pocket on the front for snips. It's super easy - the hardest part for me was cutting the vinyl strips for the inside pockets. It is really hard to see clear vinyl through your rulers!


Please excuse some of these not-so-great nighttime photos. Most Christmas sewing around here is done at night and is so last minute there's no time to wait for perfect daylighting to take proper pictures. With my family all far, far away, expedient wrapping and posting is required!

I think everyone was pleased with their gifts. I know I had a great time creating for family and friends this year. What did you make for gifting?


paulette said...

WOW!! I bet the lucky recipients were OVER THE MOON with their gifts! Thanks for sharing!

Brenda said...

Lovely gifts and lucky recipients. I want to try working with industrial felt and I'm looking for a local source in Winnipeg before I try mail order.

Kay said...

You were one busy lady, and I am sure you had lots of happy friends and relatives. I am particularly in love with the key rings. x

Anne said...

Those knitting bowls are especially lovely and such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Heaps of great gift ideas there, thanks! Maybe next year I'll get myself together and actually make some for Christmas gifts. I really love your rope bowls, they are so gorgeous. And just so gratifying being able to use up all those scraps!

Jodie said...

Those bowls ! With the gromet doohickeys - totally genius.

Deb Cox said...

Hi Krista, such a lovely post with all your wonderful handmade gifts. Do you have a tutorial for the knitting baskets? or can you direct me to where I might find one? Thanks kindly my dear. Always look forward to your posts on your blog.

Elsa said...

What a lot of hand made goodness ~ I think getting hand done things are the best gift of all!
Thanks for the link to the floss holder too ~ I've have a friend that does a lot of embroidery and she'd love this little pouch!

Pumlans flitiga fingrar said...

What a lot of fine presents for christmas. Handmade gifts for christmas is the best!

Patti said...

Such wonderful Christmas gifts! You are such a clever lady! Please, do tell, is there a pattern, tutorial or just some measurements available to help the rest of us recreate your knitting bowls? Thank you for sharing your projects!

momiji said...

Wow--you were certainly a busy sewist during the holidays! What a great set of gifts! I particularly like the knitting bowls. Can you recommend a tutorial for these wonderful corded bowls, with or without grommets?

Leanne said...

You sure gave a lot of lovely presents, lucky family and friends!!

SarahZ said...

Wow! Now to figure how to get on your list, lol! :D. Everything you made looks way pro! It had to be fun finishing so many smaller projects...they really are very cool, every last one of em!