Monday, 16 January 2017

Christmas craftiness

Leading up to Christmas I kicked up a gear and started making things as gifts. Mostly because I find it easier, and far more pleasant, to make gifts in the evening than to devote my few free daylight hours to trawling shopping malls looking for gifts! Yep, selfish Christmas crafting is totally my bag!

Speaking of bag(s), let's start with one...

Following Blogless Anna's inspirational lead, I made a Genoa tote bag as a teacher gift. It was the gift that kept on giving, as Anna gifted me the strap and rivet set, then I bought the pattern, then gifted the bag to A's teacher. In turn she has given us the wonderful gift of a year in which my little girl has delighted in starting school. She absolutely adores her teacher.

tooling around with my backdrops and not quite getting that floor/wall line convincing :)
A's teacher had been absent from school for a few weeks towards the end of the year and the kids were desperately hoping she'd come back for the last week. As was I, as I needed to know her favourite colour.

Turns out it's purple. Now that's not a colour that I ever have in my fabric stash, but as it happened I'd bought some purple fabric for P's teacher gift as that was her favourite colour. Luckily there was just enough left over for a Genoa tote!

 The outer fabric is a synthetic something or other that has a sort of plastic backing. I suspect it will be semi-waterproof and perfect for a tote bag. The lining fabric is a poly something or other. Both came from Super Cheap Fabrics on Sydney Rd, and the two bags were made from about $6 worth of fabric - just don't tell the teachers that. :)

I underlined the outer fabric of the bag with some of the stiff, sew in interfacing that feels like a sort of paper-felt. It gives this tote bag just enough structure (it can almost stand up on it's own) but isn't rigid or prickly at the seams like a horsehair interfacing. Thinking I had a big collection of "purse" length zippers I didn't buy one. Turns out this aqua one was the only one in the stash, but I like the happy accident of a pop of colour.

I love the key fob, and using the rivets and setting tool that Anna supplied was a breeze. Nothing like the frustrating, bound to fail, crappy rivets I've tried previously.

The pattern (realised through Pattern Fantastique) is a delight and I'm sure it will get plenty of use. I'll have to try and keep notes on who gets gifted one for fear of repeating myself!

I'll show you the other teacher gift bag next week, but now, another Pattern Fantastique gift. I made my mother in law the Lucent Visor. Here's me trying to model it:

Again, I bought the Lucent Visor Kit along with the pattern so that i would have all the correct notions. The main thing to source is the milliners plastic wire and little ferrules. I'm sure I'll find them easily enough when I have time, but buying the kit was a great time saver. The good stiff interfacing was also included in the kit.

All I had to supply was the fabric, and I'll confess it was all from the stash. The one seam that could end up being seen is on the inside where the brim meets the front hat, and my overlocker was really struggling with both the curve and the thickness. So I used some self adhesive cotton tape from Daiso to bind the seam allowance.

This was my first attempt at the pattern, and I suspect my next one will be neater. But, my mother in law loved it, and to prove that it is much more her thing than mine, here she is in her natural habitat (a chair on a balcony overlooking the beach) modelling it perfectly!

Then, quickly, before we headed out to the country I sewed a pair of pyjamas for my nephew. When I saw the fabric in Spotlight I knew I had to do it - they're heading up to Queensland to live by the beach for a while and I thought a knowledge of what might eat them in the water was essential! Hence, shark pyjamas:

He's about six months older than A, so i went up a size from the shorty pyjamas I made her recently. These turned out a bit big (he's almost exactly A's size) but they'll fit him for this Australian summer, and again through the European summer when they go home.

Leaving a big mess of fabrics piled up and cotton reels on the shelves, we headed out to the country for Christmas.

We got there about 4 days before my brother, sister in law and nephew, and so I made my sister in laws gift while we were there. Second Christmas is the one that atheists get to have when not everyone is around for the first one, and there's still food to eat and fun to be had. I don't know that it's really her thing at all, but she was very polite about it, wore it, and it really did suit her. Anyway, I enjoyed making it and that's what Selfish Christmas Crafting is all about. Right?

Oh, and if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I also made a mini macrame wall hanging for Rodger. :)

He pitched his tent in the garden as the "inn" was full and joined us for our second Christmas. I thought a little macrame wall hanging might make his tent more homely, but he seemed genuinely delighted with my "joke" gift and I suspect it might get a hanging in the real house. What a sweetheart!

A couple more things were made as gifts, but they came from a very beautiful book that I'm going to share with you next week. Stay tuned as there will be a copy to give away. 'Til then.

Genoa tote:
Pattern: Genoa Tote by BloglessAnna
Size: Medium
Fabric:  Cheap stuff from SuperCheap Fabrics
Notions: Interfacing and zipper (stash). Genoa tote kit - clips, leather straps and rivets from BloglessAnna

Lucent Visor:
Pattern: Lucent Visor by Pattern Fantastique
Size: Medium brim width
Fabric: Spotty cotton and aqua quilting cotton from stash (via Spotlight)
Notions: Lucent Visor kit

Patterns: Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt and Oliver + S Playtime Leggings
Size: Size 6
Modifications: Shortened leggings and cuffs as per my cuff tutorial on the Oliver + S blog
Fabric: Spotlight printed cotton/elastane knit. Grey ribbing from stash

Macrame necklace:
Pattern: Bohemian Macrame book
Notions: All from Feeling Inspired


  1. The Genoa tote looks like the perfect teacher gift and the sun visor for your MIL fit the bill perfectly. Interesting macrame necklace and your wall hanging sounds like it was fun.

  2. Thanks Sharon, I was very happy with the making process of all of the gifts. I can see many of those totes and visors in my gift crafting future!


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