Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The return of the Christmas bags

Several years ago I sewed cloth bags to wrap all of my gifts for Christmas.  These were a big hit with my family and the bags were swiftly repurposed for all manner of uses.  (My favourite is the bag which now holds fifty or so wooden spools that my grandmother saved from her sewing – the spools are very popular with the younger nieces and nephews.)
So last year I was visiting my parents in the states and nipped over to JoAnn Fabrics and bought a selection of Christmas themed quilting cotton.  I had it squirreled away all year until last week when I decided to make more Christmas bags.  I’m a more accomplished sewist now so I made them with French seams and even included drawstrings on a few.  This isn’t meant to be a tutorial, as there are many excellent ones available online already, but I thought I’d explain briefly how I made mine.

Having laundered my fabric, I snipped and ripped it into squares and rectangles of the appropriate size for the item I wished to wrap.   I pressed them and finished the upper edges by turning the edge ¼ inch then another ¼ inch and stitching to enclose the torn edge.  Then I stitched the other three edges (or two edges for those folded rectangle ones) wrong sides together, pressed/trimmed, then stitched with right sides together. 

Finally I stitched on a length of ribbon, about a third of the way down one side.  Voila – a finished bag.  I’m also using these charming little wooden gift tags from CraftShapes.  I had grand plans for painting them or staining/varnishing them but it simply isn’t going to happen this year.  I think they are nice just as they come.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Finish it up – itis

Well, it would seem that I have contracted a serious case of finish-it-up-itis.  I guess it was inevitable, given all the WIPs lurking around the house, but the intensity of the illness has taken me by surprise. 
I began by quitting my job, a task that I knew needing doing for over a year, without a new job in hand. 
Next, I sorted through my yarn stash and re-discovered all sorts of WIPs needing just a little fix or a bit of tidying up. 
A week later I felt compelled to turn that pile of fabric into something useful (Simplicity 2245 Lisette Portfolio Dress).
Then I realised my sudden extra free time meant I could actually cook meals for myself so out came the 1000 Vegetable Recipe book and a small parade of yummy dishes soon followed.
And finally, having thought about starting a blog for a while, I decided to seize the day and give it a go.  I intend it to be a place to talk and showcase about my handmades, but I reckon it will take a little while for it to fully form.
I’m hoping that this finish-it-up-itis turns its attention to my need for an income and pushes me into a job search in the New Year.  I thought it might induce me to get the hoover out or clean the hob more frequently, but this doesn’t seem to be part of the disease.