Confident BeginnerA Jack of no Trades
Handmade Gifts are the best Gifts
Although I love buying things for people (or, you know, buying things in general), there is something inherently precious in a handmade gift that makes it so much more special than anything one could buy. Also, even if it is a shitty gift, people still have to pretend to like it because of the amount of time it took you to make it, so it’s a real win-win from the maker’s perspective.
Recently, I made some handmade goodies for my bff Ashley’s birthday. After weeks of waiting, I am so excited that I am now able to share this post. For the past 3 long and arduous weeks, this parcel was lost in the mail forever. Whether it be to the fault of myne own, or to clusterfuckery at Canada Post, this tiny little package was lost enroute to the intended party. I was devastated; one because I had lost things that I took time and pride in making, and two because I really didn’t want to remake everything again. However, through the miracle of jebus, aka the neighbour had harboured the package like a war prisoner for the past few weeks, Ashley finally received her package: 24 days after it was initially mailed, and 80 days since her actual birthday.
DIY Felt Doughnuts
Horray for doughnuts! Double horray for cute things made out of felt! These little guys are really fun to make and fully customizable to your liking. Are you more of a chocolate doughnut with pumpkin spice sprinkles type of person? Easily recreated. Are you a long-john lover? Done deal!
However, are you thinking “I have no sweet idea how to make these little guys and I need to know, Natasha, I NEED TO KNOW”, don’t you fret! I am working on my very first tutorial post, and it should be up next week! Start practicing your blanket stitch, and meet me back here in 7(ish) days! But, also, you know…read the rest of my blog right now.
Tuesday Bassen Sublime Stitching Hoop Embroidery
If you do not know who Tuesday Bassen is: STOP EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW, go look at her website and buy all of her things. Ok good, now that you’re back, if you have never worked with Sublime Stitching patterns: STOP EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW and go buy all of the patterns from their website. Ok, now you are back for good. I love all of Tuesday’s stuff, and I was so excited when her pattern came out on Sublime Stitching. I am currently working on my very first full pattern pillow, but in the mean-time, I banged out this little dudette for my lady squeeze. This is the first embroidery pattern I have ever done, so I really need to watch my backstitching lengths, but a purple haired girl eating pizza in a turquiose orb? Puh-leeze, this makes me happy every single time I look at it.
Valencia Clutch from Seamwork Magazine
The Valencia pattern is from the first publication of the Seamwork Magazine, and I have been obsessed with making it ever since I saw it. I was really excited to dig my teeth into this pattern as I have made about 1000 tote bags, but this was my first more fancy-schmanzy bag. I used a canvas aztec fabric for the outer fabric and Sarah Watt’s Hotsprings (blue) from her Honeymoon collection. I initially planned on using just interfacing to stabilize the fabric, but I knew I wanted something a bit more heavy duty as I was going to alter the pattern slightly. I ended up using fusible fleece on the outer fabric and I think it turned out great. I really liked the weight and the stability that the fusible fleece and canvas had together, and it made the bag really sturdy.
This bag was surprisingly simple to make. It is a great beginner bag, as there are not a lot of bells or whistles to this straight up clutch. I was worried that the clasp was going to be a bit tricksy as I have never worked with accessories like this before, but it was very simple to execute. Horray for gaudy gold notions! The only thing that I would change if I completed this project again (which I totally will) would be making slightly smaller lining pieces, or using a bit thicker of a seam allowance than the outer fabric. As the lining and outer are cut from the same piece, I knew I was going to have some bunching issues (which you can see in the photo), but making it a teeny tiny bit smaller is the norm for most bags, and something I knew I should have done immediately after completing it.
The Valencia pattern calls for a long chain and two chain loops on either side, however I opted to use one chain loop and do a little wristlet instead. I think it makes it way cuter, but that is just me. I used a keychain loop found in the jewelry section of Michael’s and it worked perfectly with the bag!
I hope this has inspired you to start hand-making some of your gifts. It is only the beginning of December, you still have time to plan and execute some cute bags, fun felt kawaii gifts, or you know, try quilting for the first time ever one month before Christmas (that’s advise from 2014 Natasha). I promise it will make you feel so awesome about yourself, and you will get to try a lot of new techniques and tricks that you wouldn’t try if you were just making 10 Wiksten tank tops at at time (that is basically my life from January to November).