Handmade Christmas 2016

I got back to sewing in December and made a bunch of presents for people for Christmas. I did manage to make one thing for myself before the year ended, but I will post about that another day.

My mom got a dark purple bamboo knit Cashmerette Concord T:

Concord T shirt for my mom

I made her one for her birthday last year and she really liked it.

I made a bunch of pj pants and shorts using the free pj pants pattern from 5 out of 4 patterns.

5 out of 4 PJ Pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

The top two were made for two of my friends that I work with. The bottom two are for my stepkids. The pants all have pockets in them and every time I pointed that out the recipient was pretty excited about it!

I have plans to use up all the flannel I’ve been hoarding for myself for this and try out the pattern. If I used up my flannel, I’d clear off a shelf and get the surplus into my cabinet. Most of the surplus is fleece leftover from the next project so if I make some fleece tops then that is cleared, too! Plans to get my stash down by 10% are underway.

The next project was all self-drafted. And by drafted, I don’t mean to claim any professional skills, but that I eyeballed most things and made guesses and luckily it all worked out!

First up, I made three mermaid tail blankets!

Mermaid Tail Blanket

They are super cute. Two are adult size for my niece and sister and the one is a bit shorter for my youngest niece.

I made shark tail blankets for my nephew and brother in law:

Shark Tail Blanket

These are probably my favourite out of the lot. Those teeth make me giggle!

Finally, I made a Cashmerette Turner dress for my friend and couldn’t resist trying it on:

Turner Dress

It’s made with some lovely medium-weight knit that a friend gifted me. The colour and print looks great on my friend. It’s all coffee colours and was originally going to be a Gilmore Girls related gift with a Luke’s Diner brooch made by me, but I never got around to it. So she has to wait for that part of the gift. She sent me a pic of her wearing it for her birthday and Christmas Day and I was over the moon with happiness. She looked amazing.

That’s it for what I made for Christmas presents this year. My husband missed out on the handmade gifts this year sadly, but I tried to remind him that he got two wicked Star Trek uniforms earlier this year!

Did you make any handmade gifts this year?

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4 times the dirndl, 4 times the fun

Reader, I sewed a lot of skirts this month. I do not need to sew skirts for a while. I made 4 dirndl skirts this month. A dirndl skirt, for those who don’t know, is a simple gathered skirt made of two rectangles sewn together and gathered on to a smaller rectangle, the waistband. Gertie has a tutorial for a dirndl skirt.

When I started sewing my skirts, I needed skirts or felt I needed skirts because my wardrobe was lacking in a million skirts. Now that I’ve sewn 4 skirts in a month, I think I’m good for skirts for a while.

The challenge for this project, however, was making the skirts with in-seam pockets and a side zipper as well. I have to count that a success all around and I got better as I made more and more of these skirts. Here is the progression on my skirts:

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The plaid skirt, my first one, has an exposed zipper and the other three have lapped zippers. The two bottom floral skirts are equally matched for quality. I didn’t attempt to do pattern matching. Although, I did try to match the plaid on the vertical. I mostly succeeded. The side with the zipper is about 4mm off, but perfect on the other side.

I extended the waistband of all skirts. For the two bottom florals, I added buttons; the plaid and pink floral have hidden hooks.

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I adore the buttons on the blue floral. They’ve been in my stash for a while now and I love them.

I didn’t do any fancy math or actually follow a tutorial when I created these skirts. I cut them based on the fabric amounts I had available. Some are longer and some are shorter; some are more gathered than the others and some are less gathered. I wasn’t really concerned with that. As long as you have some gathering, the skirts work quite well.

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My favourite of the four is definitely this blue and white floral; it’s the perfect length and perfect gather. It’s a cotton lawn from Joann fabrics. It’s a very light, flowy fabric and is perfect for Spring/Summer. I wish I had gotten more to make a dress as well, because I crave light florals like this. Do you go through fabric cravings like I do? Probably the reason why my stash is so large…. :/

My second favourite is the yellow plaid. I really love the fabric. I got it from the thrift store and it’s a very light fabric. I am unsure of the fiber content, but it’s likely a poly-cotton blend.

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I usually wear the plaid with my red Bronte top, but decided to wear all my skirts with mostly sleeveless tops in this photoshoot.

My skirt collection would not be complete without a pink floral skirt. I’ve been hoarding this cotton floral for a while and am very happy with it. I chose to put a colour block at the bottom of the skirt to increase the length. That was also a testing of my skills to match along the vertical. I accomplished that rather nicely. 🙂

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The last skirt I made was this red Christmasy floral that I inherited from my nana with a colour block on the bottom.

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It’s definitely the shortest and most gathered of the skirts. I am not sure I will wear it much to be honest. I feel very…Lolita in it. Which isn’t a bad thing…really. I like a lot of the Lolita style, but I’m not sure how I feel about it on me. I would definitely feel better in this if I were wearing some leggings or tights. Both this one and the blue floral flew up when I was taking pictures. Luckily, I was just on my back porch, but I definitely need something under those two for walking around in the summer.

I look at these pictures and I feel good about myself. I feel good for being brave enough to wear sleeveless tops and bare legs; things I have felt really self-conscious about in the past. I feel good about having made skirts that scream my own personal style. I might not have the supposed ideal body that society tells us is ideal, but this body is mine and I am determined to feel good and feel happy in it. I feel positive about myself in these skirts and that is what sewing is to me.

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