2014 Christmas crafts photos and links

November 15th: My Christmas-crafting stash, courtesy of a trip to Wal-Mart.
November 17: Easy Victorian Shell Mitts (fingerless gloves).  Ladies, one-size-fits-all; but if I do another pair, I think I might try a larger hook. Yarn is Bernat Premium.

November 19: Christmas cushion cover from Look Ma, No Patterns. Made from several packages of old bias tape, two thrifted placemats, and an old pillowcase as backing.
My stash of thrifted red, green and white bias tape. More than I will ever trim anything with in this lifetime. What can I do with it?
 A few 17-inch strips of bias tape
A few more.
 Laying out the strips before sewing them on.
 Sewing the ends to each side of the backing fabric. Then the rest of the strips get woven in.
Finished front view. Some of the bias tape likes to play tricks and revert to its folded state. I think the original pattern may have used only extra-wide tape that didn't need to be unfolded.
Back view

I sewed a square cushion insert from some interfacing-type fabric (from a rummage sale), and stuffed it with polyester craft stuffing (already on hand). I couldn't decide who to give this to, so it just ended up in the living room.

Also November 19:  Canadian Living Retro Mittens, ladies' small or child's large.  Yarn is Bernat Premium, same as the fingerless gloves. If you're looking at the pattern, there's a typo in Rnd 19; it should say 10 stitches, not 20. (Obvious if you do the math.)  I added two extra rows to the cuffs.
November 20th:  Tea wallets!  Tutorial at Handmade Therapy. The fabric (inside and outside) is from the Wal-Mart fat quarters rack.  The pattern called for fusible interfacing, and what I had on hand (bought several years ago) was Therm O Web HeatnBond Lite Iron On Adhesive. Which I realized, after I got it fused onto the insides of the covers, isn't technically fusible interfacing at all; I think the pattern meant to use something with just one adhesive side, and this stuff has two. But it worked out fine, because when I pressed the wallets at the end, the outside covers just fused themselves to the inside covers.
The photos are of the second one I made. I wasn't happy with the first one, because when I sewed the fused cover on and followed the pattern's tip to have the "interfacing" facing up while you sew, it threw it off kilter and the wallet, although okay, ended up being a bit small. On the second one, I sewed it all together with the adhesive side down, and it was much easier to work with. Go figure.
I have two more to sew; they'll have cat-print outsides and orange insides (you can see the fabrics in my Wal-Mart photos, above). I think I have enough HeatnBond left to make maybe one more turquoise and brown wallet, to make up for the not-as-good one. I'll probably work on that later today, before I have to change the thread for the other fabric colours.
Each wallet has room for four tea bags.  You can find other versions online that have eight pockets, but I thought four was enough.
This is the outside, unfolded.  I used hair elastics for the fastening.  They are to be closed with a button, but I haven't gotten the buttons out yet.
What it looks like from the side (minus the button).

November 20th, update:
Four completed (plus the one that was too small.)
November 21: Circles. Or, five partially made owls, from a tutorial on Bunny Mummy. (Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver. The computer is doing funny things to the colours: those deep pinks should be bright red, the green is Spring Green, and the yellow is Cornmeal.)
November 22: Men's Crocheted Fingerless Gloves, from My Recycled Bags. Yarn is Bernat Premium, Soft Grey Heather. (A great crochet site, by the way--click on the very recent posts there for some nice small gift ideas.)
Mr. Fixit's fingerless gloves are finished too. (see above)
Owls--still in progress!  The tutorial called for round black beads for the eyes, and I couldn't find any at either the dollar store or Wal-Mart.  Pony beads weren't quite big enough.  But I did have pegs from an old Mastermind game!  I hot-glued black pegs through the centre holes in the eyes. This wouldn't be a good idea if you have young children who might pull the eyes out, but on the other hand neither would the regular beads; these owls are meant for decoration only.
November 26: One owl, done. The only thing I don't like is the beak--I will have to get some brighter orange or yellow and go over it again.
November 26 again, sewing find of the day:  Sew Mama Sew's theme today is things for kids to make; I don't know about kids, but I had fun making an iPod/cell phone propper-upper cushion from Factotum of Arts.  It's a good photo tutorial; the photos are nice and clear, and there are lines to show you exactly where to sew.  If you have a 9 x 12 piece of fabric, a sewing machine and thread, some rice, some stuffing, and a strip of something firm (see below), you're set. An iron is helpful too.
I didn't have any of the Pellon ultra-firm stabilizer called for, so I cut a strip of vinyl from an old binder. It worked fine.  My mother's generation probably would have inserted a strip of plastic canvas; even cardboard would probably work.
I think you could use this little pillow propper for more than electronics, too.  It's strong enough to support a small book, or a CD case (so you can keep track of what's playing, if you're antiquated enough to be listening to CDs), or maybe a favourite card.
December 1: done the owls.
These four iPod slash phone holders are done too, except for hand-sewing the gaps closed. If you're making these, be careful closing the gap in the small tube section, because it's really going to show. I sewed up the first one and I thought I was being careful, but you can still see where I sewed it. If you are good at invisible stitching, this is the place for it.
December 2: Child's crocheted purse with fabric lining. Again, the colours aren't showing up properly for me: these yarns are all bright primary colours, the handles are bright red, and the lighter pinkish stripe above the blue should be bright orange. The lining is a reddish-orange cotton from Wal-Mart's pre-cut rack. (I am thinking of adding a box of crayons inside the purse, since the stripes are crayon colours.)

December 4: 
Treasure box! I crocheted over a shoebox and its lid (added extra cardboard for reinforcement).  What I'm putting inside: some vintage hockey cards I've had for a very long time--I thought the younger generation might enjoy them. (Again, the colour is off: blue and red stripes, not pink.)
December 5:  Almost done: my personal deadline for gift-making was December 6th, and I might just make it. Still to do: finish that handsewing on the iPod holders and finish one lady's Victorian Shell Mitt (second pair, these ones are gray). The treasure box, purse, one owl and a tea wallet, along with a couple of other things, have been wrapped and packed for out-of-province relatives. Most of the other things will stay local, including the covered cans I posted about here.
December 5: Two pairs of ladies' shell mitts, in gray Bernat Premium. (I got started and kept going.)
What was left on the ball (that was close!):
December 6: All the holders, finished and packaged. And that is the end of my gift crafting. Anything else this month will be just for fun, and no time limits.
Bonus Crafting, December 9:  Mr. Fixit has had this big snowman since he was little. He's covered with what appears to be knitted fabric, but he's not a soft toy.  He is getting a bit shabby, but Mr. Snowman still gets put out in the living room every year.
Today I was going to try making one of these cute little snowman ornaments on DapperToad.com.  I was working on it and looking at Mr. Fixit's snowman, and wondered how much extra work it would be to turn the basic head/body shape into a mini-clone of the big one.
I added the hat, arms (made in one piece), feet (two little circles), and facial features to match the original. Still haven't figured out the broom, though--and that old one is pretty skimpy already, so I don't want to go snipping. I'll have to keep my eyes open for something that resembles straw.

December 10: Here we go.

Other things posted on the regular blog:

1 comment:

...they call me mommy... said...

Your gifts are just LOVELY!!! :)