Friday, 26 December 2014

Homemade Christmas present roundup

Seeing as the Husband and I are pretty poor this year (we can afford bills and not much else) I decided that it would be best to make as many Christmas presents from my fabric stash that I could. Here's a roundup post of the things I made, as well as links to the tutotials I used. This list might help some of you save some money next Christmas.

Firstly, I needed something small for female coworkers and church friends, and after a discussion with my grandma, we came up with the idea to make them lingerie wash bags. Most ladies we know use them (I mean who wants to handwash delicates instead?) The last store bought one I had frayed after the first wash, and one my grandma had, the zip broke after the first wash. I had a quick look on pinterest (admittedly I could have come up with a tutorial/pattern myself, but time is of the essence this time of year) I found this cute tutorial, with fabric binding on the sides, that I liked the look of. I didnt follow the tutorial to the letter though, as I also overlocked and french seamed/top stitched my seams for extra strength.

The pieces of fabric cut out ready to make my first test bag
Almost done, just need to add the binding
Completed! Actually this was the second one, which I gave to my friend Rachel from Elsie George Boutique. We have very similar taste in fabric. 
My test one, just out of the washing machine.
I made 2 to start with, out of the same lovely floral cotton. I tested one out, by washing it a few times, and so far it has held up perfectly. I think the extra work I did on the seams should help it stay together for quite a while. After the first 2 turned out so well, I proceeded to cut out 6 more in differents fabrics, to suit different personalities.

4 more cut out ready to go
I didnt get photos of them all completed before I gave some of them as presents

My mum asked me to make her 2 plastic bag holders (you know, the tube kind with elastic at either end) so I whipped up 2 out of a bit of cherry print fabric I had. For each one, I used a rectangle 18 inches by 22 inches, overlocked the edges, folded in half longway and sewed the seam (I sewed it twice for strength) then turned in the edges with a wide hem, leaving a small gap open, which I then threaded some 1/4 inch elastic through. Attached a quick fabric hanging loop to the top, and they were done!

Mum's 2 bag holders plus her lingerie bag

I then found a fat quarter of horse fabric I knew my friend would love, and made her one as well.

My mother-in-law mentioned she would like a vintage style petal half apron, so I had a look at old patterns for inspiration, then drafted one up for her.

I based it off this one from pinterest
I started by folding a piece of tissue paper in half lengthways, then drawing a rough half petal shape out for the centre panel. I cut it out, then placed another piece of tissue paper under and to the side of the centre piece and drew out the side petal, which I then cut out. I then cut out a centre and 2 sides from both the main fabric, as well as a blue fabric to line it with. I also cut out a blue waist tie and a pocket from the birdy fabric. I added white piping along the edges, this is how it turned out:

I think she liked it. She wore it christmas day while cooking at her place.

I also like to hand sew felt christmas ornaments for my friends, so this year I came up with these (thanks pinterest)

This is before stitching them up
 I had someone in a facebook sewing group ask for the  pattern for these,  but as I had just cut them out free hand, I didnt have one. So I traced around the pieces I had and came up with this

Feel free to use this to make your own

For my Besties kids I thought it might be nice to sew them some christmas pyjamas. Last year I made them all toys (fort building kit, zombie bride with removable organs and a plush cthulhu) but I thought, as kids, they probably get toys from everyone. So using some of the leftover polka dot fabric from my christmas dress, as well as another different christmas fabric for each kid. I made each of them boxer shorts, using the Darcy boxer pattern from measuretwicecutonce as well as appliquing a piece of fabric to a plain shirt from big W/best and less, with help from this applique tutorial. The girls shirts were discounted winter shirts, so I took off the sleeves, and bound the armholes in the boxer short fabric, and I used the ladies size 8 option in the boxers (I'm hoping they will fit for a few years)

The girls pyjamas

The fabric I used on the boy's pyjamas

I somehow forgot to take a photo of all 3 finished sets. For the boy's pyjama top, I appliqued a koala to the front, then using a premade iron on applique, gave the koala a moustache. He loved his pyjamas so much, he wanted to wear them to the Christmas morning church service (his mum wouldnt let him) I made his boxer shorts a bit longer than the girls, added a few faux fly buttons, as well as taking a few inches off the sides, as the pattern is in adult sizes.

Then there are the people who are hard to sew for, particularly the men. So whipped up some fudge in a few flavours, and gave them that. Here are the recipes I use for fudge, theyre super simple and you only need to cook it in the microwave

Chocolate fudge:
400g can of condensed milk (395g will do)
100g butter cubed
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
100g dark chocolate finely chopped

Line a 20cm pan with foil.
place condensed milk, butter, sugar and syrup in a 3L glass bowl (I use my trusty pyrex bowl from the op shop) cook uncovered in the microwave for 10-12 mins, stirring every 2 mins, until bubbles appear over the whole surface while cooking (honestly my old microwave needed 8-10 mins, but my new one cooked it in 5) Stir in the finely chopped chocolate until it is melted through, then pour into your tray, and refrigerate. When set, lift out the fudge with the foil and cut into small pieces. One time for valentines day, I even used cookie cutters to cut out fudge hearts.

Cookies and cream fudge:
395g tin of condensed milk
1 cup castor sugar
125g butter
2 tbsp glucose syrup
200g white chocolate chopped
1/2 of a 150g pack of oreos chopped

Follow the same steps as for the chocolate fudge, but after the chocolate is stirred in and melted,  add the chopped oreos and mix.

For the Strawberry fudge, I used the cookies and cream recipe, but left out the oreos and added some strawberry flavouring and a few drops of pink food colouring.

I did have a great present planned for my husband, but unfortunately, I didnt get it finished in time for Christmas :( so everyone will have to wait (including him) to find out what it is.

Now that Christmas is over for another year, I'm looking forward to sewing up this baby for myself. Its a 2005 pattern, but with a distinct 1950's style to it. It was a present from my mumsy, and I'm thinking either view C or D

I hope everyone had wonderful Christmas, and that 2015 will be a great year for you!

Dixie O'Dare

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