Friday, 13 December 2013

Gift stitching

Like most of the rest of you, I have been beavering away to try to add some handmade pressies to the Christmas list this year.  Curiously, I started out saying I wasn't making any this year (aside from a frame purse I made back at one of Judith's workshops) to relieve the pressure of the month of December.  However, I guess I just can't help myself!

One of my beautiful nieces has shown some interest in crafty, creative, stitchy things that I think she could use a little encouragement in, so when I weighed up buying her another itunes voucher or trying to find something to encourage her leanings, guess what won?

So on Saturday morning it was out with the denim and sewing notions fabrics to make her a little starter sewing kit of her own. I started with a pouch that she can keep all her bits together in.

I found a gorgeous variegated thread in my box that just looks fab on the denim (I could make a pouch for myself with just the denim and this thread I love it so much).  It was a little bit like playtime choosing the buttons and fabrics for this decent sized pouch, but I cannot begin to tell you how many mistakes I made in the construction of this.  Just seemed to be having one of those days when I knew what I should be doing, but couldn't get it to happen!  Anyway, even if the pouch is a tad smaller than I had planned it to be, I still think it looks good.

Of course, every sewing kit needs a needle book and a pincushion so I whipped up matching ones to pop into the pouch.

I'm adding some pins and needles, thread, a retractable tape measure and some pretty polka dot scissors along with two fun beginner's cross stitch kits.  I thought hard about what sewing gift I could give her that would be contained enough that she doesn't have to go looking for and purchase a lot of extra supplies, and one that would be simple enough for her to basically teach herself in the absence of anyone else creative at home.  Cross stitching seemed the way to go.  I used to do a lot of cross stitch myself and one of the big advantages of the kits is there is no investment in expensive supplies, materials and equipment so "having a go" needn't be costly or wasteful.  My niece is 11 and smart and she will pick this up no problem after a few Boxing Day tips from me.  I will have to be careful though that when I'm showing her "how to" I don't get carried away and keep "playing" with her gift.  They just look so nice to stitch up!

Next up. the same niece and her older and younger sister will be receiving one of these sock monkeys too.

These were really just made for fun and along with Charlie (see pic below) will hopefully be well received at our Christmas Eve dinner gathering.

When I first posted the pic of Charlie, Helen left a comment to say that a lady who comes into her work had made 400 sock monkeys last year and sold them.  Well, I take my hat of to that lady!  These were fun but I have to admit that I struggled making four of them never mind 400!  It's not that they're hard but there's quite a lot of fiddling and stuffing and stitching and four was enough for me.  I used the same tutorials as Indianna Dreams for these sock monkeys, choosing the bits I liked from each. And, interesting point to note, although all of the socks I used were the same size, the boys socks were much more curved at the toe than the girls which were pointier.  I preferred the shape the boys sock gave and liked the stripes better too, though I couldn't find any girls socks with stripes on.

Sock Monkey Tutorial by Web Goddess
Sock Monkey Tutorial by Craft Passion

My next two pressies are little tote bag additions to parcels for some family members.  For these I used the tutorial by Skip to My Lou and simply added a little wrap around tab with popper button to keep it all nicely folded in your handbag.  Wish I'd thought to add that little tab to my own when I made it because I love this wee tote bag.  It's not huge but is perfect for small shopping items and ever so handy to have lurking in a handbag since the shops now charge for plastic bags here.

I have also been plugging away at the baby quilt for my cousin's new little one.  I hope to get it bound soon so I can show you.  After that there's a Secret Santa pressie to tackle (in a hurry) and then I think it might just be time to retire my machine for the holidays and start making some other Christmas preparations - you know like the ones that involve cleaning and cooking!


  1. your little sewing kit is a fantastic present :-)

  2. Sock monkey, sock monkey... oh a sock monkey has just crept on my to do list! :-)

  3.'ve got a whole troop of monkeys now. Love the fold up bags to check that tutorial, thanks for the link.

  4. You have made so much. Great gift for the niece and I love that thread on the denim too.

  5. A perfect gift for an apprentice sewer! And I just adore those sock monkeys!! Jxo

  6. Your niece will be thrilled with her pouch! I would have been at 11 - cross-stitching was my first crafty endeavour, for all the reasons you mention! I LOVE the sock monkeys (lucky nieces!!) and could use one of those totes myself. Definitely checking out the tutorial. Thank you!

  7. You have been busy on the pressy front. Your niece will love her sewing kit and her sisters, the sock monkeys. Those bags are super useful too - you have sewed up a storm! Di x

  8. Wow you are keeping yourself very busy! Love it all, although not sure about the cooking and cleaning!

  9. Great collection of pressies there! I have one left that I *have* to make, and yet, I've been getting distracted by other small bits and pieces for other people, why?!

  10. Love that sewing kit! Great present!

  11. some brilliant makes Sarah. I bought some socks today in Tesco for my niece and I to make a sock monkey in the New Year. The little sewing kit for your niece is lovely, she will enjoy it


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