Making It

Chris and I’ve been known to make things rather than buy it. Some think it’s wonderful, but others think it’s just being cheap. Because of this, I’ve always felt a little unsure of myself when I give a handmade gift so I used to supplement it by buying a little something as well.

Recently and especially for this Christmas, I no longer have any hesitation. Mostly it’s due to my discovery of craft blogs. I love seeing what everyone else is making and how proud they are to be giving the gift which they created. This has squelched all misgivings I have about giving lots of handmade gifts for Christmas this year.

Do you see my Handmade Holiday’s button? Please check it out if you haven’t already. SewMamaSew has devoted the whole month to gift giving ideas and even great tutorials to go along with it. Cotton Spice is also doing something similar with Last Minute Gift Countdown. (You’ve *got* to check out the owls!) How could you go wrong? I’ve even read that many other blogers have taken the Buy Handmade pledge. I’m not sure I can totally commit to buying or getting *only* homemade, but I love hearing that others are willing.

So with all this spurring me on, I’ve already started my “To Make” Christmas list and went out the Depot yesterday for more supplies.

Here’s a little sample of what I’ve already whipped up ~

Cloth Grocery Totes for the family:

Cloth Grocery Bags

These were easy to sew and are a great size. Using my Aunt’s suggestions for the measurements and French seams, these look great and should work out well. I still have many more to make, but I just picked up some great fabric tonight so I can’t wait to whip up more.

Cloth Slippers for the kids:

Christmas Presents

I used Stardust shoes’ “revised” pattern and enlarged them enough to fit the kids’ feet. I had to trim down the pink ones because when I enlarged the pattern 130% to fit a 18 month old, they turned out to be way too wide. The train one is lined with fleece and the pink on is lined with minkie. I also did not use suede for the bottoms, but instead used the polka dot “sticky” fabric. I figure that they will likely grow out of them before I have to worry about the fabric wearing out. I have 4 more pairs to make, but it should go faster now that I have the kinks worked out.

My list of other gifts is still growing daily, but at least I will be crossing things off as well.

What will you be making this Holiday Season?

(Oh, and be sure to check out SewMamaSew on Monday, Nov 19th. My little creation will be featured again as a gift idea. How cool!)


11 responses to this post.

  1. Great ideas, Irene. I’m going to pass them on…


  2. Posted by fini on November 17, 2007 at 9:04 am

    WOW you have been busy! I love the grocery bags. Super cool. Those slippers are too cute. Im going to check out those sites…


  3. Posted by Grace on November 19, 2007 at 2:59 am

    hi I found you from your flickr group through the blog you got your shoe pattern from. Anyway :o) Where did you get the bottom sticky dot fabric? and do you know the name of it? thanks so much for your time.


  4. I am french and sometimes I am going on your blog; I should want if the pattern of the slippers are somewheree on the Net. Thanks


  5. Grace-
    I’m really not sure of the name of the sticky fabric, but I got it from Joann’s . It’s in a weird section- back in the curtain accessories on a roll with curtain backing- I think. It was only about $6.99/yd. I hope that helps…


  6. Anne-
    You can get the slipper pattern at this site:

    Good luck!


  7. I want to know more about the way you constructed those bags! Really great, and so roomy!


  8. […] done so I am a very happy mama. (I still have a TON on my list since I’m trying to do mostly handmade gifts this year, but at least I’m crossing stuff off. I’m not giving […]


  9. […] onto the middle panel. I used another one of Joanna’s great tutorials. (I’ve used her cloth shoe and splat mat tutorials and love them. She has great tips.) Really, these were super easy and fast […]


  10. Posted by Michelle on March 20, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Lovely cloth grocery bags. Any chance you’ll have a tutorial or pattern for them?



  11. Michelle,
    In response to your question, I don’t think I will be writing a tutorial for the bags. I used a pattern from my aunt so it’s really not my creation. There are many tutorials already out there which explain sewing a bag much better than I ever could.
    You could visit my aunts on-line store, My Cloth Bags- I have a link on my website, for more photos and information about her bags. Hope that helps!


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