Indiesew's 2015 Handmade Gifting Guide
My typical holiday gifting M.O. is to start thinking about Christmas gifts around December 1st. On December 10th I start gathering supplies with lofty hopes of making every gift by hand. And by December 15th I’ve abandoned 90% of my handmade gifting plans and have braved the shopping crowds.
But this holiday season has been an unusual one in our household. My guy and I started planning AND making our gifts in mid November and finished them up last weekend. Making handcrafted items for our loved ones this year was relaxing and, dare I say, enjoyable. And as I gingerly wrapped up each one up, I understood why. This time around I chose easy, quick projects that could be sewn assembly-line style.
So if you have big plans of giving mostly handmade gifts this year, here are my favorite patterns that sew up in a snap and are impressive to boot. Plus, they’re affordable stash-busting projects if you’re on a limited budget.
Pattern Price: $4.50
Recommended Fabrics: Thick sweater knits with lots of stretch
Yardage required: ¾ yards or a large sweater
Total sewing time per item: 15 minutes
I’ve always maintained that the knitting and crochet world wins out in the handmade accessories arena. For a long time, I had been looking for a good winter hat pattern that doesn’t require the use of knitting or crochet needles. It just didn’t exist.
Then the Delia Beanie was released by Named Clothing and my prayers had been answered. Late one night I whipped up a quick version just to see how I liked the pattern. And then I sewed five more for my friends and family in rapid succession. All six beanies took just a little over an hour to sew. It’s that quick.
This simple beanie is meant to be folded up at the bottom for extra warmth around the ears, which is ideal for blustery Colorado days. I sourced this fabric from Fabric.com, but I’m planning to sew more from XL thrifted sweaters.
Scarves & Cowls
Pattern Price: $2.38
Recommended Fabrics: Soft wovens and knits (flannel or double gauze would be ideal for winter)
Yardage Required: 1 to 2 yards
Total sewing time per item: 20 minutes
Scarves and cowls are quick to sew because they’re simply two rectangles of fabric sewn together. The Scarves and Cowls sewing pattern by Make it Perfect provides a ton of options to personalize this cold-weather accessory.
Last winter I sewed up a pom-pom fringed cowl from this pattern, as well as a basic flannel version and a voile scarf. This pattern is well suited for the beginner sewist and it’s a great stash-busting project!
Pattern Price: $10
Recommended Fabrics: Jersey, French terry, sweatshirt fleece
Yardage required: 1.5 yards
Total sewing time per item: 2 hours
While not as quick as a beanie or cowl, the Lane Raglan by Hey June is a great pattern to sew assembly-line style. Because knit garments are stretchy and comfortable, you can be sure that your loved ones will be cozy without worrying too much about fit.
When sewing multiples of the same garment in different sizes I always cut the largest size pattern pieces first and trim them down as I sew the smaller sizes. Sewing a pattern like this, assembly-line style, is a great skill building project, too!
Pattern Price: $8
Recommended Fabrics: Leather and heavy-weight woven like denim or canvas
Yardage required: 1 yard
Total sewing time per item: 45 minutes
This is a great project to source leather from tired handbags or old leather jackets. Add an industrial metal zipper and your recipient will feel super spoiled.
Indiesew Gift Cards
If handmade gifting just isn’t going to happen this year, not to worry! Indiesew gift cards are a great gift for your sewing buddies. Gift cards are available in any amount over $10 and ship to US addresses in two to three business days. Place your gift card order by December 18 for on-time Christmas delivery to domestic addresses. Or, give a virtual gift card and don’t worry about shipping costs and delays!
Please note: All gift card orders placed between December 9th and December 15th will ship on December 15th.
Happy holiday sewing!
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