Handmade Christmas gifts

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this year in an attempt to avoid all the things I don’t like about Christmas and focus on the things I do like about it, I tried to make all most of my gifts. As the run up to Christmas also coincides with the busiest times in my working calendar this was only achieved by keeping my present list very short.

Along with the denim whales, doctors kit, and princess-fairy-angel costume here were some of the things I made:

1) Quilted vest in blue chambray

Quilted vest using Purl Bee pattern

Quilted vest using Purl Bee pattern

I made this vest using the free pattern and tutorial from the Purl Bee. I struggled slightly as my machine doesn’t seem to enjoy quilting even with a walking foot, so I had to manhandle the fabric quite a lot to prevent the underside pulling too much. The real work involved in this project was the bias binding which the pattern suggests you hand sew onto the front edge. Having used self-made bias (it always seem to wrinkle and pucker if you sew the top side using a machine) before I knew better than to question this, so enjoyed a couple of evenings hand stitching in front of the TV.

2) Liberty print ties

Liberty print ties

Liberty print ties

While I’m aware its almost certainly a social faux pas to make your dad and your partner matching ties, it has to be less of a faux pas than cutting up two lots of Liberty print fabric on the bias. Think of the waste! This was my first attempt at ties, and it’s fair to say they encompass all my least favourite aspects of sewing – careful, precise cutting, careful, precise hand stitching plus some careful, precise pressing thrown in for variety. These ties were also made using a pattern and tutorial available for free at the Purl Bee. Whilst I found the tutorial aspect very clear and very helpful I did have some difficulty with the pattern pieces which didn’t seem to line up straight at all for me, but with a bit of fudging it seemed to work out okay. I also added some length to the tie to make it up to a standard size.

3) Peacock print bag

Self drafted peacock feather bag


This bag was made using a self-drafted pattern and also has a detachable shoulder strap (that isn’t shown). I spent quite a long time thinking about the best way to construct the bag but not quite so much time constructing it as I was fast running out of time. I’m not sure I used the best type of interfacing for the job but am pleased about how the strap looks broken with the rectangle rings. The irony is, I desperately need a bag myself, and I’ve yet to find the time to make one, but then you are supposed to give gifts that you’d like to receive yourself aren’t you?



19 thoughts on “Handmade Christmas gifts

  1. Love the bag fabric. I was able to make several gifts myself – finished Christmas Eve Eve! haha. But much less stress than last year. Those ties are beautiful!

  2. All very lovely presents, gosh you must have had a lot of late nights. I am most impressed with the ties. I have heard about how tricky they can be to make, the hand sewing bit puts me off. The fabric is gorgeous.

    The peacock bag is not my kind of fabric but it is my kind of bag. WANT!!!!!! You are so darn clever.

  3. Ha I love the ties, and I loved and laughed at this even more: “While I’m aware its almost certainly a social faux pas to make your dad and your partner matching ties, it has to be less of a faux pas than cutting up two lots of Liberty print fabric on the bias.” 😀

  4. I’m just in love with the peacock bag!!! beautiful and luxurious print. The vest also because is very simple but classic… and the ties…amazed how perfect they are. I never have attempt to make one of those.

    1. As long as you have patience with every step it is straightforward enough – but the details really show so neat cutting and neat handstitching is required. Give it a go – it was my first attempt and worked out fine.

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