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For the seventeenth day of A Gift a Day, I made embroidered handkerchiefs.

I printed out initials for my children on my computer. I print the letters at a minimum of size 72. I then choose fonts that look best for that particular letter. I chose fancier fonts for the girls.

You can tape the paper with the letters to a window during the day, and tape the fabric over it for tracing. If you have a lightbox, you can use that instead.

Trace your design using a water-soluble marker.

When your drawing is complete, embroider your design. I used 2 strands of embroidery thread. I embroidered it with the stem stitch. I then covered some of the letters with satin stitch (the "W" is stem stitch).

When you're done embroidering, rinse the fabric with water to remove the blue marker. You can mist it with water as well, but sometimes a little blue reappears when you do that. Do not use soap! Soap will set the marker brown, permanently into your fabric. If any blue reappears after your fabric is dry, just rinse and repeat :)

I usually hang my embroidery to dry over a towel on the towel rack in my bathroom (this also prevents the children from seeing the present!)

When it's done drying, iron the fabric. You can fold in the edges, do a rolled hem finish, or sew a scalloped stitch and trim them, like I did on the handkerchiefs that I made earlier in this series.


Embroidered Handkerchiefs

Supplies:

soft cotton fabric ( I used edges of old cotton sheet and also some muslin)
matching thread
embroidery thread


Tools:

scissors
sewing needle
sewing machine (optional; you could sew these by hand)
Mark B Gone pen or a pencil
lightbox (optional; a sunny window works too)
computer
printer and paper

Time:


The total time for one handkerchief was 45 minutes, doing a simple letter in satin stitch and a simple hem. If I add extra embroidery, it was be as long as 3 hours for the embroidery work. The scalloped hem edge took some additional time for sewing and trimming; it was another 30 minutes each.

Today I made 4 handkerchiefs (I embroidered the girls handkerchiefs in October and the boys today). I sewed the hems today on all 4.

The "L" is a free design from a Dover Sampler, and the flowers around the "W" came from Jeannie Beaumeister's Best Embroidered Baby Clothes pattern.


Cost:

$0.05 each

What did you make today?
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A Gift a Day: Day Sixteen--Purse

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My original plan was just to post gifts during the month of November. However, I have decided to continue this series for a while into December as I continue to make gifts for my family. I thought that you might like to see what else I'm making!

For the sixteenth day of A Gift a Day, I made a purse for my daughter. I made it per her request in black and without any interior pockets (though the pattern I used had a pocket, so I just omitted that step).

I have posted a lot of gifts for Winter so far, but that is because I am making both her birthday gifts and her Christmas gifts, as her birthday falls before Christmas.

I wanted a shiny black fabric, so I used lining material for both the inside and the outside of the purse. I am really happy with how the purse turned out.

When I give it to her, I will be including the change purse that I made on day eleven in it, as well as some Carmex that I was able to get last night for .24. (Right now CVS has Carmex for .99 on sale. I hear Target's regular price is $.97, but I haven't confirmed that. I used a .75 off coupon to get it for her from Sunday's Smart Source. I don't get the paper, but my mom does, and she gave me the coupon).
This pattern was a little intimidating at first, but it all came together nicely, and I would certainly make it again! It was a very rewarding tutorial, especially when I saw the price of a purse the same size for $56 at a store last night. (Wait until you see my price!)

Purse

Supplies:

fabric for outside (a fat quarter or 1/4 yard)
fabric for lining (a fat quarter or 1/4 yard)
matching thread
tutorial
snap (I used a snap instead of a magnetic closure)
pellon (less than 1/4 yard)
iron-on interfacing (about 1/4 yard)

Tools:

scissors
sewing needle
sewing machine
iron
marking pencil
hammer or mallet
seam ripper (for poking holes for the snap prongs)

Time:

The total time for one purse was 2 1/2 hours.

Today I made one purse.

Cost:

$0.20 per purse.

I used black lining fabric for both the inside and the outside of the purse. This was from a piece that was given to me in a bag of fabric from someone my mom knows (it was part of what appeared to be leftovers from several projects, and I have made a lot with it!)

I bought the snap from Wawak.

I bought the iron on interfacing in a bolt on sale last year on Black Friday. I bought the pellon on sale then as well. The only thing I paid for this year was the snap. It cost me approximately .20 for the pellon, interfacing, and the snap. Your cost will be slightly higher if you need to buy fabric.

This would be an excellent purse to make for a teenage daughter to take to a school dance. You could make it to match her dress by buying 1/4 yard more of your dress fabric. You could also make it out of a fancy fabric as well, since you only need a small amount.



What did you make today?
Tagged in: A Gift A Day Sewing
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A Gift a Day: Day Fifteen--Tapestry Slippers

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For the fifteenth day of A Gift a Day, I made slippers. Last year I made slippers for all of my girls in cream-colored satin with a flower in pink or blue on them. This year I am making them slippers again, but I've changed a few things. I am using a different fabric for the soles. On this pair, I chose cotton duck cloth, which is a heavy cloth. I hope that this will produce a more long-lasting slipper.


 
As tapestry is very prone to unravel once cut, I zigzagged each seam (and did not trim the seams).

Slippers

Supplies:

fabric for outside ( I used a scrap of tapestry)
fabric for lining (I used fleece)
fabric for bottom (I used cotton duck)
matching thread
pattern (I used the Vintage Flair Flats pattern from Winter Peach)
buttons
elastic cord (I found mine here; she has lots of colors from which to choose)

Tools:

scissors
sewing needle
sewing machine

Time:

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

Today I made one pair of slippers.


Cost:

$0.12 per pair. I didn't spend anything on it this year, as I had the supplies already (my .12 was spent last year).

I bought the pattern last year and have used it to make 5 pairs of slippers since then.

The tapestry was a scrap that was given to me from my mother-in-law several years ago.

Tapestry is rather expensive. However, you don't need a large amount to make these. The ones I made above are a women's size 7. You only need a piece 22" long by 16-17" wide. If you want to match the pattern, you will need a larger piece for matching. You can buy a remnant of tapestry, buy a small amount on sale, check the fabric close-outs at the fabric store (I often see discontinued tapestries there), or pick up a scrap at a garage sale.

I bought the fleece last year on Black Friday sale at Joann's.

I bought the elastic last year. I found last year that I needed a longer piece of elastic for my girls wide feet and high arches. This time I cut the elastic 8 inches long instead of the recommended 6 inches in the pattern. I Left very little overhang and I didn't cut any off.

The cotton duck fabric was from my grandmother's stash.

The buttons were vintage buttons that were given to me as part of a woman's personal button collection. I used them for the same daughter's slippers last year; I cut them off of that pair (which is worn) to use this year.


What did you make today?
Tagged in: A Gift A Day Sewing
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A Gift a Day: Day Fourteen--Cub Scout Vest

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My son mentioned this week that he wants a Cub Scout vest.

This is the simplest thing to make. I used my son's uniform shirt to measure the width and armholes, and I cut the felt just like it looks from the Cub Scout store vest that I linked above. I then sewed the pieces together.

Cub Scout Vest

Supplies:

red felt (I bought mine on sale for $1.87 a  72" yard after sale and extra discounts; you will need about 1 1/4 yards for 2 vests)
red thread

Tools:

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

Time:

The total time for vest was 20 minutes

Today I made two vests. My younger son will start Cub Scouts at the beginning of next year, so I am going to give him one, too.

Cost:

$0.95 per vest. That's much better than the $14.99 at the Scout store!

You can see the rest of the gifts I've made in my Gift a Day series here.

What did you make today?

Tagged in: A Gift A Day Sewing
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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 Twelve--Paris Bookmarks

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I took my oldest daughter with me to Target to run some errands. I usually avoid even glancing in the direction of the Home Decor department, because they have cute things and I know I will see something I like. I find it easier to be grateful for what I have when I don't go looking at what I can't have.

However, this time we ended up looking down two aisles, and we saw a large Eiffel tower clock. At first my daughter thought it was a wall decal (it was just black with hands on it and no numbers, so it's not an easy-to-read clock). Apparently a friend of hers has an Eiffel tower vinyl decal on her bedroom wall, and my daughter told me that she really liked it.

As soon as she told me, I knew what I was going to do for the bookmarks that I was planning to make for her. I knew The Graphics Fairy had several free images of the Eiffel tower.

In the end, I also ended up using a few postmarks from Just Something I Made as well.

For the twelfth day of A Gift a Day, I made Paris Bookmarks. You can make them, too! I added the free printable to my bookmarks page. If you have a color printer, the stamps will print in color.

Paris Bookmarks

Supplies:

cardstock
embroidery thread for tassels (4 skeins)
clear shelf paper

Free Printable and tutorial from my website

Tools:

scissors
paper cutter (you can use scissors instead)
ruler
printer

Time:

The total time for four bookmarks is around 30 minutes.

Today I made four bookmarks.


Cost:

$0.43 per bookmark, or $1.72, if you are buying supplies. I had the embroidery thread from my grandmother's collection, so that brought the cost down to $0.10 per bookmark, or $0.40 total.

Joann's has embroidery thread on sale for $0.33 a skein on Black Friday. Regular price is only $0.39 if you aren't there on Friday.


Images courtesy The Graphics Fairy and Just Something I Made. Finished design is copyright The Prudent Homemaker.



Tagged in: A Gift A Day
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