Handmade Christmas Gifts

Now that Christmas is done and gifts have been given and received, I thought I would share what I made with you. Usually I try to find a fun project to make and give during the Christmas season.  In recent years I have made purses, zip pouches, table runners and hot pads. This year I decided to make an apron for my Vermont daughter-in-law.  Also, I made hot pads for my California son and his girlfriend as well as my Toronto son and his wife.  These projects were quick and satisfying.

For the apron, I upcycled a duvet cover that I had bought a while back. I was thrilled to find this cover in a tan and cream stripe.  The neutral colors and the feel of the fabric assured me I would easily find many uses for the fabric.  I had a vintage pattern from 1975 that I have been holding on to, thinking it would make a really cute apron.

Originally the pattern was designed for a wrap around dress and let me just say, I would have totally loved wearing this dress at age 15 (not that I was necessarily 15 in 1975… oh wait, I was.)  Anyway, I had a really similar dress that I made out of a green striped seersucker fabric.  I was so cool.

Ok, back to the apron.  I had seen these Japanese work aprons and really liked them – this pattern is a bit of a compromise between a standard apron and the Japanese wrap style. This one is more fitted with darts in the bodice.

It wraps around the back with the tie coming through an opening left in the side seam.

I finished the interior seams by folding the raw edges in and top stitching them for a clean look.  This fabric would likely fray in the wash so this will prevent any issues.

I even remembered to put a little label on the inside.

Overall, this was a fun project and hopefully my daughter-in-law will get lots of use out of it.  She is a great cook so I suspect she will use it.

On to the hot pads!  I wanted to make something with the Maker Maker fabric I have in the shop.  I cannot even express how much I love this fabric!!  I made Chemex Cozies out of the Grid fabric and the gray and black Lines fabric.  They were far and above, my top sellers for the Christmas shopping season.Anyway, I thought I would make some hot pads using the Grid fabric and the cats.  The linen has such a nice texture and weight, making it perfect for kitchen accessories.  These finished at at eight inches square and are filled with two layers of Insul Bright, making them nice and thick.

The next gift I want to share was not made in the sewing room!  My husband decided he wanted to make a gift for each of the kids. The boys and their spouses received gorgeous rolling pins made with pieces of walnut and oak that he laminated together.  He turned them on his lathe to make a one piece rolling pin.  I just love them!  The kids were taken with the wonderful finish and really appreciated the work that went into these.

Each piece is different from the next with the stripes and color variations making them unique.

Since Julia isn’t really in need of a rolling pin just yet, he made her a piggy bank.  She had such a great time with Daisy and Ella last year, he thought this would be a fun way to remember that summer.

This was a challenging project but it turned out so cute!I love the shape of this little pig’s body and her curly tail.  It was so much fun to watch Ray making these projects during the months before the holidays.  I love having a few handmade gifts under the tree.  I also made some placemats for my parents but didn’t think to take pictures.  I will take some the next time I am up at their house so I can share them.  Were you able to make any of your holiday gifts this year?  If so, share in the comments.  I would love to hear about them!

Linking to my favorite parties, including Finished or Not Friday hosted by Busy Hands Quilts.  Check the Link Up tab at the top of the page for more info!  Have a great weekend all.  🙂

45 thoughts on “Handmade Christmas Gifts

  1. Tish

    I love a handmade Christmas, I just usually run out of time to get anything done and never think to plan ahead. I did squeak out a flag wall-hanging for my neighbor. Those rolling pins are beautiful! And Julia’s piggy, adorable. The duvet fabric was perfect for the apron. I love that you went with a neutral print and a modern style. Or maybe I should say some styles never go out of style 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Tish. I am the same in that I don’t get started early enough. Ray was pretty on top of it and began making things at the beginning of November. I was sewing up until Christmas Eve though. I bet your neighbor really appreciated her gift though. So kind of you!

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    I’m pretty sure I had a dress like that way back when. I thought it was pretty cool, but what a great idea for an apron! Oh my! I love the rolling pins and the pig! He should sell them!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Wendy, Isn’t it funny to think back on the stuff we made and wore? I wish I had more pictures – I would love to see those outfits (rather than just imagine them.)
      I was telling Ray the same thing about his projects. It is hard though, because like quilting, so many hours go into these items and I don’t think you can charge a reasonable rate. But it’s great to make things for gifts.

      Reply
  3. Linda

    The apron is genius. I used to wear wrap-around dresses and thought they were so stylish. 😉 Your apron model steals the show, as always. 🙂
    How does the Maker Maker linen blend hold up in the wash? Although (embarrassed to say) I rarely wash my pot holders!
    Your husband needs to start his own Etsy shop – maybe Lathe and Hand instead of Needle and Foot? Lol! I am very impressed with his expertise. Isn’t it nice having talented hubbies!
    Happy 2018 Bernie! My prayer for you is a migraine-free year.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Linda! I would settle for more migraine free days in the month. That would be very much appreciated!
      I don’t wash pot holders all that often either. I tend to stain them and usually burn them here and there as well! But I have washed the Maker Maker and it becomes softer which is lovely. It also shrinks a bit. But over all, I think it holds up well.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      The best part of handmade gifts is surely the uniqueness of them. It is fun to tailor the gift to the recipient and think of what they would like to have. Happy New Year Danette!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      He loves woodworking. Several months ago he bought a used lathe which enables him to make things like the rolling pins and piggy bank. So cool!!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Yvonne. Ray and I both had a lot of fun making things for the kids this year. Next year our grand daughter will be at a really fun age for toys. I keep sending Ray ideas of things to make for her. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Chris

    Love the apron, gives me an idea for next year’s gifts! And that rolling pin, I can’t believe how gorgeous!!! Very talented hands at your house.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Chris! Somehow I am not that organized to start thinking about next year already. But really, I should. If I made just one gift each month, think how great that would be come November of 2018. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Rosemary Barron

    Oh my … what beautiful gifts!! I absolutely love the rolling pin as well as the pig!! When he’s ready to go into business, let us know. The apron and the pot holders, great! Love the Cats!! Hope you have a wonderful year. I don’T comment much but am a faithful reader!! Stay well!!!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Rosemary, thank you for the wonderful compliments! It makes me happy to know you enjoy reading this blog. Take care and happy new year!!

      Reply
  6. Kristi

    These are all wonderful Bernie! The apron is beautiful and function. Such a creative idea to use a vintage pattern as a basis. And the rolling pins and piggy are marvelous. What a treasure to receive something special from Dad!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Kristi! Are you three happy to be home? Wishing you all the best in the new year. Maybe this year we will finally get together for coffee?! Hope so.☺️

      Reply
  7. Sue Shamekh

    I love how you have finished your seam allowances on the apron- very professional looking!
    Also, love the rolling pins your husband made!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Sue. Small things like turning under that seam allowance make a difference on a project. It is worth the time taken. Happy New Year!!

      Reply
  8. Kate

    This is one of the times when I think the world should hod up it’s hands and say ‘No’ to the commercialism of Christmas and start making gifts or giving small items, tokens, then we could get back to the true spirit of Christmas. Your apron is lovely, I love the style and hot pads are so useful, such cut fabrics too. You have a very clever husband, the rolling pin and pig are beautiful, such lovely wood shown to it’s advantage, absolutely love them.

    Reply
  9. Jayne

    That apron is wonderful! What a great gift for your daughter-in-law! You put a lot of care and detail in to it! Woodworking is a lost art! Holy hell! Those rolling pins should be put on a mantle to show off! So beautiful and the workmanship is amazing!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Carrie! That kitty fabric is a favorite of mine. I really like the texture it has. Thanks for the kind note- Happy New Year!!

      Reply
  10. Preeti

    The cat fabric is so cute. Once upon a time I had an apron. Not sure where it went. May be I will make one – yours is lovely.
    Wow, that rolling pin is too good to smear with dough. And I love the little piggy. May be he needs an Etsy shop of his own.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      That is what I have been telling him but it is such a time management thing. He works at a very busy job, we have our house to maintain and he is renovating a house up on the river. So many projects, so little time!! Hopefully when he retires…… 🙂

      Reply
  11. Lynette

    Those are BEAUTIFUL rolling pins!! And the Piggy Bank! So very cute. I didn’t make any of our gifts this year, but I did hand make 10 ornaments. 5 were for an exchange with my sister and some cousins.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Lynette! I have intentions of making ornaments and got these sweet wool kits but nope, never even opened them!! Maybe I can make them for next year. I love handmade ornaments on the tree. Happy New Year!!

      Reply
  12. Torry

    This year I made star ornaments, microwaveable fabric bowls (21 of them) and lounging pants (aka PJ bottoms) (19 of those) for Christmas. This year the ornaments will be stockings and I’m starting them in March. I’ll cut out the pants in June and sew them over the summer when I don’t work outside the house. That will leave September, October and November to do “the gift.” (Which I won’t decide on just yet. Although I have an idea or two.

    I did aprons for everyone related to my daughter a few years back ; I was thrilled with how much everyone loved them. So I know your DIL will love and use hers, too.
    I love hearing what others make for their families, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Wow! That is amazing!! How organized of you to plan so far ahead of time. Are you able to find time to sew other things along with the many gifts you make? Very cool!!

      Reply
  13. Carol Westover

    I made hot pads for New Year’s gifts. I made 12 sets of 2 hot pads to be given to friends who join us for our annual New Year’s celebration. We celebrate the new year by having Chinese food at a local restaurant. I make up formal invitations based on the Zodiac symbol for the new year. It’s always a great time spent with friends. I have photos, but don’t see where to post them in this comment form.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      This sounds like a fun celebration with your friends – nice to have it after the Christmas rush has settled down. Especially nice to celebrate at a restaurant so no one has to cook a large meal for everyone. I am sure they appreciated and enjoyed the gifts you brought too. Happy New Year Carol!!

      Reply
  14. Anita

    Lovely gifts! I adore the apron…would you share the pattern number in case I can find my own vintage copy of it? FYI, I was 18 that year! The memories, the music, the turmoil…such a great time in history.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It was a crazy time to be a teenager, that’s for sure. The pattern is unusual because it is marked (by the manufacturer) as a SAMPLE. Anyway, there isn’t a number. But I googled it and there are numerous copies available on Etsy. Here is one link that had it for $6.00 which is a pretty good price. The shop name is “PrettyfulPatterns” and if you search her site for “apron”, it will come up. Or, copy this into a browser.

      https://www.etsy.com/listing/536177392/apron-pattern-butcher-apron-long-and?ga_search_query=apron&ref=shop_items_search_4

      Let me know if you make one. I’d love to see a picture! Hope you are able to buy the pattern. 🙂

      Reply

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