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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And...I'm back!

My mother-in-law and Dad have complained that I haven't updated my blog in over a month.  So, I thought that I better get to it now that the major holiday push has died down.  I've been sewing and baking and wrapping the last month!
Here are a few of the homemade gifts that I gave this year:

I got the idea to make Homemade Vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, and vanilla pecans from my friend, Carrie, who got the recipes and awesome labels from this website.  I didn't realize until I had already made all of my pecans that the labels are for Almonds.  I tried for about 45 minutes to try to change the labels but got grumpy and made my own.  They're not as cute as the originals but they look like they go along with the other labels fairly well, I suppose.  :)  I highly recommend making some of the vanilla to give as gifts next year!

My poor little boy is always complaining that I never sew anything for him so I challenged myself to make something for him this year.  I went with a safe option first, pajamas.  The pants are fleece and I used a t-shirt that we already owned, just added an "A" appliqué and a few abstract appliqués because the A was crooked to add interest.
I branched out a little bit on the next thing for Alexander but this is something anyone with pretty basic sewing skills could conquer.  I made him a Superman hooded towel.  Both kids love hooded towels, we had two, a  duck and an elephant so I knew that he would be pleased with a more grown-up version.  I got some basic instructions for putting on the hood online here.  To add the "S" on the back, I searched online for the outline of the shape and found lots of options.  I copied one like this into word and sized it as big as I could to make it fit on one printed page.  Then, I traced it onto some yellow felt and sewed it on the towel using black thread.  I went over each line with a tight zigzag stitch, like a small satin stitch, so that the black would be accented and wouldn't fade when I washed the towel.  Alexander loves it and has used it quite a bit since Christmas.

I got a wild hair one day after going to a friend's fair trade purchasing party.  Someone had made purses using felted sweaters and I just knew that I could do the same!  So, I went over to the goodwill outlet store and braved the bins of dirty junk.  I found several sweaters and I brought them home to wash and dry.  And wash and dry.  And wash and dry.  And wash and dry.  Yes, it took several wash/dry cycles to get them to shrink to the size/shape that I wanted.  Then, I just decided on a shape and cut it out.  I added a lining and a cute button closure.  My mother-in-law, Irene, is the proud recipient of this little bag.  I had to make something cute for her since she always comes up with great ideas for me.
The outside of the bag and the inside of the bag.  I'm not sure why it looks so wonky in the first picture because it's not quite that extreme.  I did make up the pattern but I think I can sew a straight line fairly well by now.

I'll post some additional gifts tomorrow!

1 comment:

Kyle & Cheryl said...

you are so crafty! i've gotten the bug a little - and have been doing hooded towels for shower gifts. just recently did a monkey and lady bug. i love the purse idea... mind to share any tips? your family is beautiful! happy new year!