A few Christmas presents and a little elf
Last week I decided to get started on Christmas presents. I try to not overload myself with sewing obligations each year, but I always have a handful of projects. My kids each give a gift to one of their cousins each year. The first project was for my 17-month old niece. I decided to make her a Peppermint Swirl Dress by Candy Castle Patterns. Since this is the pattern I'll be using for my daughters' Christmas dresses, I decided it would be good to practice. I picked up these cute fabrics at Joann Fabrics during their Black Friday weekend sales. They are from the Tutti Fruiti line and from my past experience using them, I know they don't wrinkle and last well.
I'm really happy with the final result. This is a time consuming dress, but not too tricky.
And here's the fun overhead shot that shows exactly how twirly this dress is.
I altered the shape of the neckline, used the Swizzle Sticks sleeve add-on pack, and hemmed it slightly differently than the pattern recommended. I love the result and hope my sister and niece do as well.
Next I had a hard time deciding which project to do, so I did a spur-of-the moment project. I used my hat pattern from Tie Dye Diva and altered it to have a pointy top and triangles to make it look like an elf hat.
The hat is super cute and snuggly. I felt like it was too big on my son, so I went ahead and made a smaller size.
But the smaller size ended up being really snug on his head and not quite covering his ears (see middle picture below), so I gave it away to a friend at church who is about to have a baby. It will probably be big but maybe she can use it for Christmas pictures or something.
Here's the little guy in his hat.
Next I made two snuggly blankets for another nephew and niece. These are the best blankets. I made two as throw blankets last year and everyone loved them, so I made each child their own. All of them get a lot of use. They are simple: buy 2-2.5 yards (2 yards works for us shorties but most people would want 2.5 I think) each of sweatshirt fabric and soft cuddle fleece. Prewash because the sweatshirt fleece will likely shrink a few inches. Layer both fabrics on the floor. You can attach them with temporary adhesive spray or just pin around the edges. Use a serger all the way around, rounding the edges. And that's all! They make the comfiest blankets, but cost $75 if you spend full price, so I always try to use 50 or 60% off coupons.
It's nice having these gifts finished! I am close to completing my daughters' dresses for Christmas. I've actually never made them Christmas dresses before. Last year I made them some matching dresses in gold velvet but didn't manage to make them until January, so that doesn't quite count for Christmas! After that I have some simple embroidered teacher gifts and something for a service project our family is doing (still not quite sure what). I cut out some knit pants for myself today that I'll finish when I get a chance, and I also have been slowly cutting out a handful of kids tops for my oldest three that I'm considering trying to finish for Christmas but I'll scrap that idea if I'm getting overwhelmed. Oh, and I had decided against Christmas pajamas this year, but then I saw some cheap shirts at Walmart from cute fabric, so I bought them in the largest size with the intention of turning them into nightgowns for the girls and a pj shirt for my son. I also told my daughter I'd make her a skirt for her choir concert, and that project takes about half an hour. When I list it all out, it sure looks like a lot!