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A Gift a Day 2014: Day Eight: Pajamas

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Boys Pajamas 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Ezrom has been asking me for some traditonal-style pajamas for Christmas, so this gift is straight from his wish list.




Pellon Iron-on interfacing

4 Buttons



Pattern (I used Butterick B5586)



Sewing machine


Sewing pins


 Boys Pajamas The Prudent Homemaker


It took me 6 hours to make a pair of pajamas, including cutting them out. I think it should be less, but I had a lot of interruptions, which meant this gift took me a week to complete! If you've got 4-6 hours of interrrupted time, you can make these in a day. I sewed all of the seams with French seams, which also lengthens the time.


$1.50 for this pair.

I was given some flannel that I used for this pair. I bought the elastic in bulk from Wawak. The buttons were from my button jar (cut from old worn clothing).

I bought the pajama pattern a couple of years ago online (I tried for several years to buy this pattern when the patterns go on sale, but the store was always out, so I bought it from Butterick's website). I'll use it for several pairs of pajamas, so I would put the cost for the pattern at $1.25 for this pair--though it could be less, depending on how many pairs I eventually make with the pattern. 

If you would like to make some pajamas, flannel will be on sale at Joann's starting Wednesday.November 26th,  at 6 a.m.  It will be 75% off. This is a once a year price, and the lines will be long. I recommend getting there early, and if there is already a line at the cutting counter, getting a ticket right away so that you don't spend 3 hours in line at the cutting counter. Solid flannel will be $1.49 a yard, and prints will be $1.79 a yard. 

Pellon interfacing will also be on sale. It will be $2.99 for the bolt (regular $7.99). From past experience, I can tell you that you might have to be there before 6:20 a.m. to get any, as they never have enough of these. I bought 3 bolts 3 years ago on sale like this, and I used some of that to make this pair.

All buttons will be buy one-get one free.

Fabric.com will also have Black Friday sales, but I haven't yet heard what those will be.

Wawak, where I buy elastic in a big roll, also will have Black Friday sales. Again, I don't know what these will be, but it could also cut down your cost on elastic, as well as buttons (their buttons are less expensive than those at Joann's).

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?


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A Gift a Day: Day Seven: 18-inch Doll Shirts

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Today I'm doing something in this series that I've never done before.

Today I'm sharing some gifts that Winter made!

Doll Shirts The Prudent Homemaker

I actually had planned to make these doll shirts (just like the pink one that she made) for the girls this year. We had seen similar shirts in the American Girl catalog. So, when I saw what Winter was making, I was rather surprised! 

Winter is 12 (almost 13) and this is her first time making doll clothes. She has used a sewing maching a bit, but not a lot. It's also her first time sewing on knits and her first time using a pattern.

I think she did a fabulous job, and I know her sisters will be thrilled!



Jersey knit (you can reuse old worn shirts if you like)

Tulle (we used a couple of old, worn dress-up ballet skirts from the Dollar Tree)


Sharpie (permanent marker)


Shirt Pattern (it's free)




Sewing machine

Ball-point needle (when sewing on knits, a ball-pount needle is important)


Light table or bright window 

Hand-sewing needle


Winter followed the directions for the free shirt pattern to make the shirts. She then traced a ballerina and a fairy silhouette onto each shirt (she found the silhouettes on Pinterest). 

For the tulle, she cut small pieces and sewed a gathering stitch (a long stitch) though each bit, and then pulled the threads tight. She then stitched then on top of the ballerina and the fairy.

She added some tulle around each sleeve as well.

She hand-sewed each sequin on around the shirt. The sequins were ones that had come off something that she had.



I had all of the supplies on hand to make these. Most were repurposed items, but I did purchase the pink knit, the velcro, the thread, and the marker at one point. These cost about $0.25 each to make if you are buying all all of the supplies on sale/with a coupon.



Each shirt took Winter, a 12-year-old beginning sewer, about 1 1/2 hours each. 


Doll headbands


When she was done, she used the scraps and two hair elastics (1 cent each from The Dollar Tree) to make a couple of matching doll headbands. They are simply braided strips of fabric sewed onto hair elastics.

She is also planning to make some jeans for the dolls, using the bottom half of jeans we've cut off of worn jeans (when the knee was ripped and I cut them off to turn them into shorts).

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?




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A Gift a Day 2014: Day Six: Herb Garden

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Herb Garden detail The Prudent Homemaker


Today's gift is a gift for a friend of mine. She has a place in a pot for a small herb garden. I am giving her several herb plants to put in her pot.

You could arrange your gift in a pot or another container, to be put in a windowsill until spring, if you live in a colder area. Our winters are mild and these herbs will overwinter, though the oregano and peppermint will die back, and do better if cloched during the winter. Those of you who live in the Southern hemisphere could include several annual herbs, such as basil and dill.



Herb plants from your garden

Plastic pots (I used ones leftover from previous nusery purchases)

Potting soil




hand trowel


Herb Garden Gift The Prudent Homemaker


I dug up several small plants that I grew from seed this year (the mint was a cutting from a plant that I had purchased. You can also root a mint cutting in water and have a new plant ready to plant in less than a week).

I transplanted them to a few small pots and watered them in.

I dug oregano, green onions, parsley, thyme, and peppermint. 



It took me 15 minutes to gather the supplies and replant them. However, they could use a little time to perk back up after being transplanted, so they will sit for a week or two before I give them (this gift will most likely be given later this month, rather than waiting until Christmas).


The only real expense for me was the potting soil. Your cost will vary depending on how much you spend for dirt. These cost me 25 cents total.


Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?

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A Gift a Day 2014: Day Five: Hair Ribbons

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Hair Ribbons

When I was a child, I loved hair ribbons. I had a few that I still remember--and still have! 

I remember visiting a friend when I was 8. Unlike me, she had a sister, and their house had drawers in the bathroom vanity (mine did not). Her mother opened the drawer one day when I was there, and it revealed a drawer full of hair ribbons. I was smitten. 

When we first moved into this house, we changed many things, including the bathroom vanities. Rather than keeping the sitting area between the two sinks, we added drawers. One was designated for hair ribbons, though at the time I had only two daughters and not five!

The girls have been asking for more bows in their hair, particularly when I braid their hair. 

I have a good amount of ribbon that I just haven't gotten around to cutting for them, so this year I made it a priority to cut ribbons for them. I'll make a trip to the Dollar Tree for a package of 100 hair elastics, and I'll tie the ribbons on them to make them easy to add to the end of braids.




Hair Elastics (optional)




long ruler


Cut ribbons to desired lengths. I cut them 20 inches or longer. Tie on hair elastics.



It took me about 20 minutes to cut all of the ribbons in the photo above.



This can vary greatly by the ribbons you choose. I used ribbons I bought years ago. I buy ribbons by the spool, on sale, for the greatest discounts. These cost $.01 to $.03 each, plus $0.01 each for the hair elastic.


Did you make any gifts today?

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A Gift a Day 2014: Day Four: Felt Crowns

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Felt Crowns The Prudent Homemaker

Both Elsa and Ivory have recently asked me for a crown to wear when they dress up as princesses. We've had a good number of dress-up crowns in our house, but none have survived the first three daughters to pass down to daughters four and five. Most crowns are plastic, and all of the little girls at my house leave them on the floor, where someone ends up stepping on them.

I've made a fabric crown in the past for Cyrus (this one) but I wanted a more dainty look for a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. I attempted my own design with fabric in the past, and that crown never did get finished, as turning it right-side out was too difficult. This time, I decided to use felt, so that I could avoid the need to turn it inside out, and so that I could finish the project more quickly.

Elsa actually asked for an Elsa crown, so I went looking for a template for one. While I found several, this one was the best suited to be stiff enough to stand up in fabric. 



1/8 yard of felt

less than 1/8 yard of pellon (the super-stiff, non-fusible kind)

1-inch wide elastic (2 pieces each 1 1/2 inches long)

Beads or buttons to decorate (optional)


Elsa crown template




Iron and Ironing board

Sewing machine

hand-sewing needle

Measuring tape

Sewing pins

 Felt Crown pieces The Prudent Homemakerjpg

I measured both girls' heads so that I had a total length for each. I cut the final headbands an inch and a half shorter than their head measurements.

Use the Elsa crown pattern, adding a long amount on to each side to make it go around the head.

Cut two pieces from felt, and one piece from Pellon.

Trim 3/16" inch off the pellon piece, all the way around. This helps to keep it inside the seam line.

Layer the crown pieces like a sandwich, with the pellon in the middle. Pin the pieces together and stitch all the way around using a 1/8 inch (2 mm) seam, leaving the ends open (the ends that meet in the back).

Insert the piece of elastic into one end of the crown and sew it in place. I sewed it in two parallel seams to make sure it stays put. Repeat for the other side.

Felt Crowns Elastic

 If you want a button or a bead, sew it on by hand afterwards. I only went through the top layer of felt when sewing it on.



 It took me a few hours to get these done, but I had a lot of interruptions! Uninterrupted, I think you could make one in 30 to 45 minutes.

Felt Elsa Crown The Prudent Homemaker


$0.40 each. 

The felt was a hand-me-down from a woman's sewing stash, given to me by her daugher after she had passed away. The grey felt is synthetic; the gold felt is wool felt. Your cost will depend on the type and source of felt.

The button and bead were from my button jar and bead box. I only had one of each, which made them perfect for this project. 

I purchased the Pellon at Joann's with a 40% off coupon over a year ago. You just need a small amount for this project.

I bought the elastic in a large roll from Wawak.


What did you make today?

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Button Jeweled Bobby Pins The Prudent Homemaker


All of the new hairstyles that Winter has been trying have involved plenty of bobby pins. I made her these fancy bobby pins for some fun accents.



Bobby pins

Fancy shank buttons

Thin jewelry wire



Needle-nosed pliers

Wire cutters

 Button Jeweled Bobby Pins Detail The Prudent Homemaker


I cut a piece of jewelry wire about 3 inches (approximately 7.5 cm) long for each bobby pin. I threaded it through the bobby pin, and then lined up the pin where I wanted it. I bent the wire across the button and pin, and then and put it through the middle of the pin from each side.

I wrapped the wire through and around the end of the pin, through the shank button, and around the shank of the button several times, using the pliers to pull the wire tight each time.

When I got to the end of the wire, I used the pliers to tuck the ends into the holes of the button, so that nothing sharp would stick out.



It took me 5 minutes per bobby pin. I made 16 bobby pins.


Button Jeweled Bobby Pins 3 The Prudent Homemaker


$0.05 each.

I used buttons from my button jar. When clothes wear out beyond the point of being mended, I cut the buttons off and keep them to use for new articles of clothing. This particular project works well for both large numbers of matching buttons as well as smaller numbers of buttons, including a single button (such as the blue one) that is left, as it can be used as a single accent. These particular buttons were given to me from a reader, who sent me the buttons her mother had kept in her own button jar.

If you don't have buttons, you can purchase some on sale from Joann's, Hobby Lobby, etc. I usually buy buttons on sale for 40-50% off.

Black bobby pins can be bought from several different dollar stores. While those work perfectly for my own dark hair, Winter has lighter hair, so I bought her some brown bobby pins. The lowest priced-ones I could find were the Goody package of 90 at Walmart (Walmart had several choices in that color; I had to look around before I found these ones). If you are using the black ones and buttons you already have, your cost would be $0.02 each.

I purchased the jewelry wire on a 40% off sale at Michael's last year. This item regularly goes on sale, or you can use the coupon that comes in the weekly ad.

I saw similar looking bobby pins at Target last week; they were $5 for 4 bobby pins! Making my own was definitely worth the time.

Update: Here are some in my daughter's hair:

Winter button bobby pins The Prudent Homemaker

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?

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