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A Gift a Day: Day Thirteen--Handkerchiefs

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I've made handkerchiefs every year for Christmas for the children. I love handkerchiefs, and the children love them, too. I love that they don't need to ask me for tissues at church, and when my two-year-old has a runny nose, she can reach for a handkerchief instead of emptying a box of tissues.

This year I decided to make scalloped-edged handkerchiefs for my two-year-old.

I really like to use old cotton sheets to make handkerchiefs, as they are very soft. I had a twin-sized bottom sheet wear out. I used the edges of the sheet to make these handkerchiefs. I cut 12" squares for the handkerchiefs. I measured and marked three of them. I then made a small cut for the length and tore the sheet to get a perfectly straight edge. I cut a bit at each marked edge (every twelve inches) and after I had made the cut, I tore each of the handkerchiefs. I usually take a long time measuring and then I still get them crooked. Tearing ensured straight edges.

I sewed the scalloped edge 3/8" away from the edge of the handkerchief. I then used a small pair of sharp embroidery scissors to carefully cut away the edges of the fabric from the outside of the scallops.

Handkerchiefs

Supplies:

soft cotton (a sheet, muslin, or other cotton)
thread

Tools:

scissors
ruler
sewing machine

Time:

The total time for one handkerchief was about 25 minutes.

Today I made three handkerchiefs.

Cost:

$0.05 per handkerchief for the thread. You can read about how I buy my thread here.

I also embroidered two handkerchiefs for 2 of my other daughters, with their respective initials. I will be sewing scalloped edges on these as well. It took me about 2 hours to hand embroider each one. I did while I watched shows in the evening on Hulu. I will work to make 3 more handkerchiefs for the other children for Christmas.

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A Gift a Day: Day Eleven Change Purse

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For the eleventh day of A Gift A Day, I decided to make something that was not on my original list. I am making a purse for my daughter, and she doesn't want any pockets inside. I thought she needed something to hold some change, so I made a lined change purse. You can make one in any size for any object (longer and skinnier for a pencil case, or a larger bag for a makeup bag, for example). I cut my fabric 4 1/2" by 5", for a finished size of 3 1/2" by 4."

Change Purse

Supplies:

fabric for outside
fabric for lining
matching thread
zipper (about 5"; you can use a longer one and shorten it)
tutorial

Tools:

scissors
sewing machine with a zipper foot
sewing pins
ruler
marking pen or pencil

Time:

The total time for one change purse was about 45 minutes. I think it takes less time than that, but I am only getting 2-3 minute increments in which to work on any presents lately, which is making figuring out the time for any project, let alone completing a project, quite difficult.

Today I made one change purse.

Cost:

$0.00 per purse. I used scraps of fabric that I was given for the lining, scraps from garage sale curtains (these are the same ones from which I made a scarf), and a zipper from an old container that used to hold sheets. I repurposed the zipper because it had this fantastic "W" zipper pull on it, and the purse is for my daughter Winter (now I need to find another one for Wren someday!) If you want your zipper pull to be similar, you can purchase a letter charm and some large jump rings. Using pliers, you can remove the other zipper pull and replace it with a letter charm or another charm. (I have seen letter charms at Walmart, but they were a bit high, I thought. You can also try Michael's or Joann's.)

If you need to purchase zippers, Wawak has them on sale this month. A zipper this size is .37. If you want to make multiple bags in the same size, they have a buy 2 get 1 free deal until the end of November (same size and color zipper). They also have a Black Friday deal going all week (through the 23rd) for $10 off a $100 order with code WBF1112.

This takes the tiniest bit of fabric, so you can use leftover scraps from a previous project, or repurpose a bit of clothing. You can use a new zipper, or a repurposed one (just unpick the stitches).
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A Gift a Day: Day Nine--Velvet Headbands

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For the eigth day of A Gift a Day, I made velvet headbands.

 Velvet headbands

Supplies:

velvet fabric (Approximately a 4 1/2" by 17" piece per headband)
headbands
matching thread
tutorial  (An important note--I love this tutorial and I have used it several times in the past, but I disagee with the measurements. You need the fabric to be 4 times the width of the headband plus 1/2". Otherwise, it is not wide enough to accomodate the fabric lost in folding and the 1/8" seam on either side of the headband.)

Tools:

scissors
sewing needle
sewing machine

Time:

The total time for one headband was 15 minutes.

Today I made three headbands.

Cost:

$0.04 per headband.  My cost was very low because I used a $10 off $10 coupon at Kohl's to get 18 headbands for $0.64. I also had the fabric already; I've had it for many years. You can use a repuposed shirt, skirt, or dress for the fabric; I often see black velvet pieces of clothing at garage sales for $1. If you are buying the fabric you can purchase 1/4 yard on sale for 50% off to make several headbands for around $2.50.

You can find these headbands at Target, Walmart, Kohl's, and at grocery stores, for around $5 for 4 wide or 5 skinny headbands. I recently found them at the dollar store. They had just one less in each package. They had 3 wide headbands for $1 or 4 skinny headbands for $1.

Did you make any presents today?


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A Gift a Day: Day Eight--Ballet Slippers

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For the fourth day of A Gift a Day, I made ballet slippers for my two-year-old.



Ballet Slippers

Supplies:

satin fabric for outside
fabric for lining (I used fleece)
fabric for bottom of the slippers (this can be anything; last year I made the outside bottom in satin as well, but this time I used ultrasuede)
elastic (I bought both the kind I used today and the kind the pattern calls for from here)
interfacing (I bought a few bolst on super discount last year on Black Friday)
matching thread (read how and where I buy thread)
pattern (I used this one) You can spend less by buying a particular size set from her shop.

Tools:

scissors
sewing needle
sewing machine (optional; you could sew these by hand)

Time:

The total time for one pair of ballet slippers was 3 hours.

Today I made one pair of ballet slippers.

Cost:

$0.25 per pair (for materials).  I already had all of the supplies on hand, so nothing out of pocket for myself this year. These take just a tiny amount of fabric, especially in children's sizes.  I bought the pattern last year and used it last year, so I did not have that expense this year, but that would be an additional expense if you are just buying the pattern. I bought all of the sizes for a slight discount, which means I have all of the sizes from baby to adult. Since this is a pdf pattern, I can just print the pattern in the size that I need this year.

I bought the fleece on a huge sale at Joann's last year on Black Friday, and I bought the satin (just a 1/4yard, and I've used it many times for small projects) many years ago on sale. The ultrasuede was some that my grandmother bought years ago.

A note about sewing with satin--it literally unravels right before your eyes. I recommend zig zag stitching the edges of any satin pieces that you use. You can also choose to use another fabric that is less frustrating; it will cut the time down considerably.

I did some changing of the way the elastic was sewn, as I chose to modify the way the elastic goes in this particular pair. This added in a little time for figuring out how to change it.

Elsa loves to "do ballet" with a little chair and this dvd. All of my children (even my boys) loved this video.

These take so little fabric that you could make them by repurposing other clothing. An old t-shirt or sweatshirt could be your lining. The tops could be made with a piece from a shirt or skirt. The amounts for a 2-year-old are so small that you could use scraps leftover from sewing other projects. If you make these as called for in the pattern, you will need 2 butttons. Old buttons that you have saved are just perfect for this project. When I made these last year (I made 4 pairs) all of the buttons were repurposed buttons.






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A Gift a Day: Day Six-- Flannel Pajama Pants

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For the fourth day of A Gift a Day, I made flannel pajama pants.

I'm late in getting these up because I didn't finish them until today. I was only able to cut them out on Thursday night at 10:30 pm! I'm working on getting caught up on gift making.


Pajama Pants

Supplies:

fabric (2-3 yards, depending on the height of the person)
matching thread
elastic for the waistband

Tools:

scissors
sewing needle, or a sewing machine
measuring tape (to measure child's waist)
chalk pencil
existing pair of pants that fit the child to trace for a pattern (don't forget the seam allowances and room for elastic
safety pin for threading elastic through casing

Time:

The total time for one pair of pants was 1 1/2 hours.

Today I made two pairs of pajama pants.

Cost:

You cost will vary depending on the price of fabric. I made one pair from flannel sheets that were given to me, so I only had the cost for thread and elastic (about .25 for the white nad blue pair). I made another pair with flannel that I bought on sale last year at the Black Friday sale at Joann's, where I purchased the fabric at 60% off. These  (the green ones) cost me around $6.40 a pair. I stock up on fabric that I know I'll use when it goes on great sales. I bought my elastic in bulk at Wawak for these pants.
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A Gift a Day: Day Five--Pajama Shorts

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For the fourth day of A Gift a Day, I made pajama shorts. It's warm here most of the year, so comfortable pajama shorts work well for about 8 months of the year.In fact, today was really warm, so these would have been appropriate for today.

 

Pajama Shorts

Supplies:

fabric
matching thread
elastic

Tools:

scissors
sewing needle, or a sewing machine
ruler
existing pair of shorts that fit the child

I drew around a pair of shorts (that was folded in half) and made a pattern from those.

Time:

The total time for one pair of pants was about one hour.

Today I made one pair of pajama shorts.

Cost:

$0.05 per pair of shorts, as I used repuposed fabric (an old sheet that belonged to my mom) and the thread was a very tiny amount  I bought the elastic at a garage sale last year. If I were buying this fabric on 50% off sale at the fabric store, my total cost would be around $3.00. Another option for fabric is to look at garage sales and thrift stores. I have made pajama shorts in the past from old men's t-shirts and polo shirts from my husband. I prefer to make them from those, or from plaid fabric, but this was what I had, so I used it.
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