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With my husband home from deployment this year, and perhaps more time to sew (due to kind husband and family members who watch Nathan for me on occasion…Thanks!), I was able to sew many homemade projects for family and friends. Now, don’t get me wrong, the majority of the gifts Steven and I gave this year were purchased from stores or online. I guess it’s a dream of mine of sorts to only give out handmade items to my family & friends at Christmas, to have all the time in the world to make everything I want to, and when those items are given, to feel like I gave “enough”. Do you know what I mean? I try to give from the heart….sometimes it’s something done by hand, but sometimes giving from the heart also means buying those Legos and clothes that you know will fit! Ahem.
So, without further adu, here is what comprised the homemade or sewn portion of our Christmas gifts this year…with a few family snaps thrown in. And I might add, what a JOY it truly was to make all of these things, and mostly to see them received with gladness. That makes my heart very happy, indeed!

 This dress was made for my niece, inspired by THIS photo on Pinterest. There was no pattern, but I used a 4T dress Lilly currently wears to draft this one. To my honest amazement, it ended up fitting just right (which violated my past track record of making things for her).

 For Lilly as well. Shirt/Legging PJ combo. The shirt is a 4T from madebyrae’s Flashback skinny Tee pattern. And the leggings were “sleeping johns” from the book, Sew Liberated. They both complimeted each other very well. Oh, this knit print was from JoAnn Fabrics.

 A gift bundle for my newest baby cousin, Tristan. Making baby stuff I think is just my favorite!

 Giraffe Rattle out of Lotta Jansdotter’s book, “Simple Sewing for Baby.”

 2 bibs from Lotta’s book as well. My favorite bibs for Nathan have been the thicker ones like this…..flannel on the front, terry cloth (towel material)on the back. Very absorbent just the moment when you need it to be.

 A fold-up and go changing mat. My own layout. As you can see, I mitred that corner a little rough with the bias tape! Had I had more patience at the time I would should have redone it.
A “grow-with me” apron for Nathan (for kitchen or tool bench). I saw a similar tie back design at Ikea a few years ago, and thought it would work perfectly for my homemade aprons. I can’t stand having a thick tie at the back of my neck, or one that’s fixed, so the apron slouches in front. Yuck. This design features slide canals for the cotton cording to be fed through, which allows a one-step, perfect fit every time. I may consider posting this pattern with tutorial in the near future???? Any takers?
The blue ticking is a thrifted (actually garage sale-d) bed sheet, and the cotton webbing a pajama pant tie from a discarded pair of hubs PJs. The picture doesn’t reflect this, but I used yellow thread throughout to give a little contrast and modernity to the apron. As if Nathan cares though, ya know?!

 Freezer paper stenciling. So fun. So easy. Inspired by the giraffe on Tristan’s baby print (blue and green) above and THIS too. For his name stencil: I printed off his name in a font I liked, colored the backside of the paper (over the letter) with a graphite pencil (a #2 pencil will work too), laid each letter face up where I wanted it on the bag, and then traced over each letter with a ball point pen. The lead leaves a faint mark on your fabric (if it’s light in color). Then I used my pebeo fabric paint to fill in the letters.

 Pincushions. Front view (above), Underside view (below)
 Oh, okay….I only gifted one of them. This one, below…..yes, is all mine. For those: pesky super hard to read numbers on the teeny tiny side of the needle that you need a microscope to see PINCUSHION. Yes, this is suiting me now just. fine.

 Snap Happy Booties by SewBaby, Size 6. Knit print from JoAnns for outer, green Ikea fleece blanket for lining. I know these will make a baby girls feet very happy!
 Made By Rae’s Peekaboo Bonnet Pattern. I love. this. pattern. It’s so sweet, so easy, as all her patterns are. And, did I mention….it’s reversible? Oh, I hope I get to have a baby girl someday!

 A shoulder bag for a very kind girl named Sam, who read to my N and niece, Lilly, great stories all year long. Free bag pattern available from here from Sutton Grace.
 Chevron shoulder bag. Same free pattern used as above. On this one I left off the monogram, and created outer pockets on both sides of the bag. You can NEVER have too many pockets. Never.
Awesome grey chevron print in duck canvas from Hobby Lobby, and inner linen fabric from JoAnn Fabrics.

 A weekender bag (but I made it for holding yarn) from Lotta Jansdotter’s book, “Simple Sewing.” The red cotton webbing and awesome floral duck canvas print, again both from Hobby Lobby. One of very few times I ever make something and follow a pattern WITHOUT pictures. But, I just read it slow and it all worked out. I think I should make a bag like this for myself. Well, someday.

 And Nathan even helped me make some of the gifts. I used THIS idea off Pinterest and had him color/finger paint/use the brush/whatever to paint over some sticker letters I placed on this canvas. After his painting dried, I peeled off the stickers. A perfect gift it was from Nathan to his Mamo (my Mom) for Christmas. Papo received a colorful N hand print with a box of swedish fish.

 Another idea off Pinterest turned personalized thanks to my less than impressive skills with MS Paint and Printable Iron-On Decals. Ticking = bed linen….Inside each one?: flashlights, sheets, rope, clothespins, and glow sticks. A basic starter kit for serious FORT building at home! One that will hopefully be added to over the years and filled with happy memories!
 And while we’re still talking of “homemaking”, look at the AMAZING card that Steven made me! A pop-up, hand made, hand painted Christmas card! LOVE IT!!! He impresses me all. the. time! I loved this! I also loved the gift cards he gave me, but the special touch he gave it all made my day! I love you, my Sweetheart!
 Nathan trying to open up ALL his remaining gifts with his new drill.
 N sporting his new apron Cmas morning, and getting hands-on instruction from Daddy on how to drill his first hole.

Not the greatest pic of us all, but I had to squeeze in the only one I took of us all together this season. I think most of our pics are now of Nathan. But, can you blame us?
Hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy display of our handmade Christmas. If I’m endeavoring to make more items next year, I better get started NOW! : )
We hope you all had an absolutely WONDERFUL Christmas with family and friends, and we wish you a Happy New Year as well! Thank you to all my thoughtful & loving friends and family who have made this season for us one of the best we’ve ever had. Thank you and we love you!


Joy2Sew is a sewing business specializing in bridal alterations, custom costume creations, sewing lessons, and pdf patterns for children's costumes.

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