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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Handmade Happiness

Handmade Happiness

Happy Holidays! As I attempted and failed to get last minute shopping done out there I decided instead to just craft a few extra items, raid the craft shop and and finish this gift giving thing on up! So, while I am crafting a little bit more I thought I would pop in and send some happy wishes and crafting ideas to help you finish up your lists as well. That way we can all get out of traffic and into fabulous fashions with egg nog in hand by nightfall. 

Here are a few fun crafting gift ideas for making the holidays a fun time for those close to you and for crafting up some handmade gifts!  

Gangster Coloring & Activity Book

Velvet Totes

Baby Hip Hop Outfit

So if you are going to go to one more spot..perhaps it should be the craft shop? Here are some hopefully helpful ideas...

For Her-Clutches & Purses perhaps?

Here are the instructions for making the clutch shown above. 
Materials: stiff interfacing, outside and lining fabric, thin batting (optional), scissors, zipper, thread, sewing machine, fabric to make yourself a pattern (optional)
Lay a piece of your outer fabric on the table folded and cut yourself a set of two rectangle that are about 1.5” wider than the size you want your finished clutch to be. Put one of these pieces aside and repeat. Cut out the matching batting pieces (2) in the same manner and size, as well as 2 lining pieces. Cut a front and back front overlay piece that is as wide as the front panel only comes up about 2” shorter in length and if using a batting cut a piece for the front and back of the overlay as well. Cut a long strip for the handle and fold and sew so you have a thin strap. I also like to cut a small front and back plus matching batting piece for a small pocket that I sew down inside the clutch under the outer flap. I prefer to tuck my clutch strap into a small pocket under the front flap but the choice is yours. If you prefer to use a beaded handle or even a strip of a thin gold cord or something it should look fab! For all areas you want to stiffen, cut one matching piece of the stiff interfacing or use a thin but stiff plastic insert (a plastic cross stitch panel for front, back and the outside overlay will work fine for support).

Begin sewing by making the inside clutch handle if needed and put aside. Take the front flap front panel -fabric facing up- and place the piece of batting behind it, and the right side of the back panel facing inward and sew along the sides and bottom. Turn right side out and press and sew the top edge closed. Put aside and take the materials for the pocket, placing the fabrics the same as you did for the flap and sew yourself a little pocket, and then sew that pocket onto the front panel B-which is the front panel under the flap. Make sure you have sewn the pocket small enough so as to be hidden when you have the overlay added on. Take the front overlay piece and with the fabric facing in, line the visible seam side up with the top of the back panel-fabrics facing in toward each other. Sew the seam and then take your zipper, lining up the back panel (with front flap now added) and sew the zipper seam. Add the lining fabric to the other side and sew to the underside. Keeping your zipper opened slightly and the ends lined up properly, add a long seam to the underside of the front under panel B and then add the inside lining piece to the underside as you did with the other side of the zipper. Sew around the outer edges and bottom of the front and back panels so as to keep all of the layers of fabric flat and together, add the handle to the side of the front under panel B at the top where the zipper is going opening is going to be (*sew the handle 1/3-1/2” below the zipper if you have a wider handle) and then turn the piece inside out and open it up so you have the inside of the both the front and back (flap tucked in) and sew around the edges starting on one of the corners of the lining and working your way up towards the outer panel piece, closing up the bottom of the clutch, up the other side towards the inside lining area again and stopping when you have reached the bottom of the other side *leaving the bottom opening of the lining fabric open. Flip right side out and check to make sure no seams are showing and then pull the lining out and sew up the bottom inside and then you have yourself one fabulous clutch!

For Him-Hawaiian Shirt’s anyone? (I'm finishing this one up..photos to come ;)

Materials: Fabric, interfacing, thread, buttons, sewing machine
I picked out this tropical fabric a while back and have been meaning to make my cutie a Hawaiian shirt so here we go! I happen to have made a Hawaiian shirt pattern I personally like for him but you can easily pick one up at the fabric shops. Altering based on the needed size is not too hard either. I find cutting the materials a bit larger will ensure the item will fit in the end as I can easily size it down as I go and pattern sizes tend to be smaller than the finished garment you were shooting for if you simply follow the sizes on the back. The pattern you are using may or may not have you top stitch those outer seams but I think it looks really nice so assume a smidge larger and your finished project won’t be too small for the person you’re making it for. If you want a specific size for a friend but don’t know how big that is in real sizes, judging the pattern along with the American sizing standard (wiki it-it’s easy ;) will prove useful in that area. Usually if you cut the materials a smidge bigger you’ll be alright when finishing it up and don’t forget cotton will shrink so I always like to remind you to either wash your fabrics before you sew them or make the items with the shrinkage allowance taken into consideration. These shirts might seem rather detailed and time consuming but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I originally expected. I learned from the first shirt I made that I should have made the collar and lining a smidge bigger when originally cutting the fabric but other than that, it was not too challenging. When top stitching the seams I definitely recommend ironing the seams before sewing them down so you get a nice straight stitch. Also, take your time and make small clean little button holes and it will look professional and like something he will want to wear.professionng that the gifted party will actually want to wear.
And then we have a few gifts for everyone, because they’re awesome…

Footsie Pajamas-Grab yourself a sewing pattern at your local sewing shop for a pair of adult zipper down the front pajamas. If you are unsuccessful at finding a pattern for this style in the pajama section of the pattern books then check out the costume patterns section for adults and you will find an appropriate pattern to use. Don’t forget to pick up about ¼ yard of additional fabric if the pattern you are using does not include footsies. When making the feet to add on you are going to want to cut an upper foot piece to add on and then a bottom piece that is the full size of your foot, or the size of the foot of the person you are making them for. Cut the feet big-you can always size them down-and though everyone likes the slipper bottom foot material, I always found a soft material best so my feet don’t sweat from that thin pleather-type fabric used for the pjs when I was a little one. Don’t forget to pick up a smidge of elastic (under a yard will do) in order to add hidden elastic around the ankles of the pjs. You can add the elastic around the ankles if desired after you have made the rest of the outfit. A sewing pattern like this will work... http://goo.gl/fUH92

Pillow Cases with Messages-Whether you are hoping to bust out some Star Wars themed gear for the friends or ‘wake me for kisses and coffee’ messages to your sweetie, it’s not a bad gift giving idea and all you need are some plain pillow cases and some fabric paint, a paint brush and a stencil and you’ve got yourself a sweet set of pillow cases as gifts. They will make all your non-messaged pillow cases seem boring I assure you and if you want to craft yourself up a few new plain pillow cases it’s even nicer-all handmade baby! All it takes is about ¾ yard of fabric and some thread and sewing the inside seams, folding over the top opening and then adding your images or designs is easy peasy! If you’re planning on making your own pillow cases then I recommend adding the designs to the fabric panels before sewing them together but if you happen to have a set of made pillow cases you won’t have that option. Everyone can use pillow cases and if you theme the gift appropriately such as chemistry designs for the chemist and such you just might have yourself a winner. Ohh you think this idea is dull do you? Let’s just see what old images I have kicking around here that will work for these…

Ohh yeah, the Ponch will do just fine for these...
Uh-huh. Not so bored now are you?
I didn’t think so.
Now go get crafting ya maniac, and think up something clever for your ohh so funny friends…

If you have art work you would like to add to a pillow case then I always recommend taking a photo of the art and printing it on iron on material (don’t forget to reverse the image first so it’s the right way when the print is ironed on) and then sewing the pillow cover front and back panel together but again, if you are working with pre-made pillow covers then slipping the pillow case over an ironing board with a towel or layer of cotton fabric on the underside will do the trick. Follow the directions on the packaging for iron on transfers. http://twistedsifter.com/2010/06/the-saturday-strip-week-11/

These images work well added to glass prayer candles as well ;)

Gangster Coloring & Activity Book-Do you know how difficult it is to find yourself a Gangster Coloring Book? It’s really rather difficult. I saw these years ago and totally wanted to give a few as gifts but they were at one point apparently voted one of the worst gifts so they seem to have fallen out of circulation since. Lame. So I made my own and it is totally awesome! Once you’ve finished laughing feel free to make you own. The real question is how creative are you? Imma listenin’ (continues to color)…

Here are a few photos from mine to help you along...

Happy Holidays & Happy Crafting!
Thank you so much for stopping by. As I finish up this post I would like to wish all of you the happiest of holidays and a fabulous New Year.  For any of you looking for last minute gifts I have a number of items shown in this blog post listed in the shop so order away and for those of you crafting your own, best of luck but I know you won’t need it as your items will look great no matter what you decide on whether it's clutches, pjs or even Baby Hip Hop styles for the munchkins!  
xoxo-Lindsay ;)

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