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Bow and Headbands The Prudent Homemaker

I'm sure you're wondering what happened to yesterday's gift.

I thought it was  2-3 hour project. I even got a head start by laying out and taping together the 28-page printable downloadable pattern the night before (a 40-minute task).

I started the project and it didn't take long to remember how frustrating it is to sew on sheer fabric and how a simple project can take 3 times as long, due to the slipperiness of the fabric.

The project is now sitting in a heap on my sewing room table, waiting for me to get back to it--with the seam ripper. 

That left me just a little time to work on some small projects today (as I was still working on yesterday's gift this afternoon).

Many of you expressed an interest in seeing my big gifts. As I look over my lists, they are almost all big gifts, and will be a real challenge to complete in a day (or even two!) 

With the time I had left today, I went through my ribbon stash  and used some to make hairbows and to cover some headbands.

I had this pretty pink idea in my head, but as it turned out, I need to replenish my ribbon box with pink, black, and a few other colors, so I'll be looking for sales on ribbon by the spool so that I can make these in those colors as well before Christmas.

 Headbands before The Prudent Homemaker

I started with these inexpensive headbands. I've bought these before at the Dollar Tree in a pack of 4, but I haven't seen them there for a while. I bought a bunch with a $10 off $10 coupon to Kohl's before, and I have several more that I bought at a garage sale to use for this purpose.

I cut off the fabric that was on them.

 Headbands after The Prudent Homemaker

 Then I cut two pieces of ribbon (the length of the headband with about an ince/2 centimeters extra left to hang off each end) to cover them. I pinned the ribbon together and sewed along the length, right along the edge of the ribbon. I then put it over the edge of the headbands, pulled it over, folded the edges down on each end, and hand sewed the edges closed to the inside edge of the headband. I hand sewed the bows from more ribbon and sewed them to the top of each ribbon covered headband.

Hairbows The Prudent Homemaker

For the barrettes, I hand sewed bows, and then ran the top of the barrette through the back center loop of the bows.

 

Supplies:

thread

ribbons 

headbands

blank barrettes


Tools:

Sewing Machine

Sewing pins

Scissors

Hand-sewing needle

 

Time:

An hour and a half for the three headbands and three bows.

Cost:

$0.55 for the red and cream-striped headband, $0.04 each for the other two headbands, and $0.40 each for the barrettes.

I purchased the red and cream striped ribbon, the headbands, and the barrette blanks.  I bought the white ribbon about 25 years ago. The other ribbons were given to me. The gold ones came on packages that I had received; I always keep pretty ribbons on gifts to use for wrapping gifts or for hair ribbons.

I'll be back to sewing gifts on Monday.

 

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

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A Gift a Day 2016: Day 1: Polka Dot Dress

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I decided to dive right in with a long project this year!

Last year I used this fun polka dot fabric to sew a doll dress, make a skirt, and line a pencil bag. This year I made a matching dress for one of my daughters.

Polka Dot Dress The Prudent Homemaker 

Supplies:

Fabric. I used a cotton print and used around 2 1/3 yards for a size 7.

Basic dress pattern. I used an out of print pattern very similar to this one, but mine called for buttons instead of a zipper. 

Matching thread

Buttons

Muslin for collar

Interfacing for collar

Ribbon for waistband (I used 5/8" wide grosgrain ribbon)


Tools:

Sewing Machine

Iron

Sewing pins

Scissors

Polka Dot Dress Bow Detail The Prudent Homemaker

Time:

This was a difficult project to try to complete in a day (and it actually took me two days!). Though it is a simple dress without much embellishment (and I'm not counting the time it took to wash and dry the fabric) it still took me over 14 hours, including ironing the fabric and laying out the pattern. I had to work on this all afternoon and into the evening on Monday, and then work on it some more after the children were in bed, and again on Tuesday afternoon. This is one of the simplest dresses I have planned. The sleeves, front, and back bodice are all lined, and the entire dress is constructed with French seams.

Polka Dot Dress Button Detail The Prudent Homemaker


Cost:

$0.65

The polka dot fabric, thread, and ribbon were given to me. I've been given a lot of fabric over the years (from various sources, including my grandmother and mother-in-law, who both gave me much of their stash before they died) and am working to use it. I bought the muslin, interfacing, and buttons on sale.

 

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

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A Gift a Day 2016: Introduction

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A Gift a Day TPH

 

I've made my lists (of which there are several) and I've been going through my fabric. This year, I plan to fulfill requests that my children have given me, and use up the fabric I already have to do so.

I've had several requests for clothing this year, including a few very specific things. Some items won't be surprises, but the fabric I choose to make them in may be a surprise.

I get several of the same questions about this series each year that I would like to answer in this post.

1. Are these the only gifts you give your children?

No, they are not. I buy gifts, often used (and sometimes new) at garage sales and thrift stores. I redeem Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards to buy gifts, and use Amazon credit I receive from sales made through my site (thank you for purchasing through my affiliate links!) and I redeem surveys from Pinecone Research to purchase items on Etsy (some of which I use to make gifts, such as jewelry supplies and patterns).  This year I have already bought some items for my eldest son on clearance at Old Navy, some vintage style dresses for my eldest daughter from Amazon, and a few gifts for other children. 

2. Do your children like the presents they get?

Well, they still get excited for Christmas, so I think I'm doing something right! I keep a running list going during the year of items they mention that they want, and then I ask questions again this time of year to make sure they still want those things. Usually, they add a few new wants to the list too!

My eldest son has loved ties for years; one year I made him a purple tie because he really wanted one. He still wears it. Many gifts are still well-loved and often passed down (in the case of clothing) to younger siblings as they are outgrown.

What works for my children may not work for yours. Ask questions! Find out what they really want and need. Their answers may surprise you!

3. You make a lot of gifts for girls. Do you have any ideas for men?

I have 5 daughters, and my eldest has a birthday right before Christmas, so I do a lot of sewing for my girls this time of year. I do some sewing for my boys, but rarely for my husband. I can usually find the items they want cheaper than making them. My husband happens to love chocolate chip cookies (in fact, it's the only kind of cookie he likes), so I have made him his own batch of cookies more than once as a gift, and it's always well-received.

4. Do you have any more ideas for gifts?

I have several boards for gift ideas on my Pinterest boards. You can find me on Pinterest here. You can find my past gifts in my Gift a Day series here. And I've got an upcoming post planned to share some inexpensive gift ideas that you can purchase (no sewing required!)

5. What sewing machine are you using?

This is the sewing machine that I have, but it is no longer being made. Janome has several similar machines that are currently available. I like my machine a lot. I used to own an 1949 Singer 401A (which was like carrying around an anvil when you wanted to move it) but many years ago both mine, my mom's, and my grandmother's refused to keep tension, and after having them repaired multiple times, I decided it was time to part ways and get a newer, lighter machine that wouldn't have a tension problem after every 3 stitches.

Sewing Room Table The Prudent Homemaker

6. Where do you sew?

I am very grateful to have a sewing room with a door that locks. However, if you need to sew somewhere where your children cannot see, I would suggest a small table set up in your bedroom while you work on gifts so that you can keep them a surprise.

7. What are you planning to make this year? 

I have been asked for dresses, skirts, blouses, and more. I'll finish whatever I can do in the time I have.

Now I have a little secret. I make more gifts after this series is over. Gifts that take too long to finish in a day are the ones I make (or finish)  in December. Often they're started in November during this series, but I can't finish them in one day. I don't usually show those as December is so busy, and yet, some of those are the really amazing gifts. I don't want to sew presents in December, as I'd rather do other things in the afternoon, but I haven't managed to not sew in December yet. This year, I really want to finish sewing for the children in November and spend December doing other fun things together (I've got a whole board pinned for that).

I'll do my best to complete a project each day before it's too dark to take a photo. Daylight savings time is this Saturday, which means next week will be even more challenging. I sew each afternoon during quiet time, and sometimes a little before and after. I can sew a little bit at night, but I find it more challenging to sew at night (I find that I make more mistakes at night).

I look forward to sharing my first project with you tomorrow!

 

 

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A Gift a Day: Day Eight: Ballet Skirt

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One of my daughters requested a ballet skirt to play dress up. We have a lot of leotards at our house, but not as many ballet skirts (we've found leotards at garage sale over the years for very little).

Ballet Skirt The Prudent Homemaker

 

Supplies:

Sheer fabric, 45" wide and length to whatever you chose for size

1" wide elastic for waist

Matching thread



Tools:

Sewing Machine

Iron

Sewing pins

Scissors

Tape measure to measure child's waist

Large safety pin

 

This was no more than a piece of fabric with a narrow hem at one end, and a casing for elastic at the waist, made my folding the fabric down (and ironing) at 1/4", and again at 1 1/4". I left a little opening after sewing the waistband to feed the elastic through with a safety pin. I then sewed the elastic together, and sewed the opening shut. Before ironing and hemming the end, I sewed the piece together lengthwise, using a French seam to keep it from unraveling.

Time:

About 45 minutes. This is probably a much faster project, but I had to stop and start a few times while taking care of my family.

Cost:

The fabric was a scrap that was handed down to me and was just the perfect amount to make this. The elastic was purchased in bulk from Wawak (it comes on a huge roll) and cost me around $0.36. I just went over to Wawak's site and they currently have rolls of elastic on sale for 25% off. 36 yards of 1" elastic is currently on sale for $13.88, which would bring the price down even lower (note: they have other widths as well).

My youngest children have all loved this ballet class dvd for children from the ages of 2 to 6. It's just the right length for their attention and is fun for them when playing at ballet.

For older girls, there are several videos on You Tube that you can use.

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A Gift a Day: Day Seven: Pencil Bag

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Bird and Polka Dot Pencil Bag 1 The Prudent Homemaker

Supplies:

Fabric for outside. I cut two pieces 10" by 4".

Fabric for lining, cut the same size as above.

9" zipper

thread



Tools:

Sewing Machine

Iron

Sewing pins

Scissors

 

I like both this tutorial and this one for making a lined zippered case. I sewed the project with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Bird and Polka Dot Pencil Bag 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Time:

30 minutes. The tutorials that said this was a 15 minute project, and if you just count sewing time, it is, but it also takes time to iron, measure, and cut your fabric.

Bird and Polka Dot Pencil Bag 3 The Prudent Homemaker

Cost:

I used scraps from another project for the outside, fabric that was given to me for the inside, and a zipper from my grandmother's collection, so this cost me $0.

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A Gift a Day: Day Six: Child-Sized Aprons

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Aprons The Prudent Homemaker

I made an apron for three of my girls, choosing a fun fabric that each of them would like.

 

Supplies:

3/4 yard fabric for each apron, plus an additional 3/4 yard if lining the apron

Thread



Tools:

Sewing Machine

Iron

Sewing pins

Scissors

Ruler

Marking Pen or pencil

Bird Apron The Prudent Homemaker 

 

You will need the fabric amount for length, but not for width, so you will have scraps leftover for another project if you lay out the fabric and fold it just wide enough to cut out the apron.

Bird Apron detail The Prudent Homemaker

I used an apron we had to copy for the pattern, and added a 1/2" seam allowance, plus more to fold down at the top (about 1 1/2"), but you could freehand draw the pattern on a piece of fabric folded in half. For this size apron, including seam allowances, the apron is about 25" long.

Since I chose to line these aprons (one was a thin cotton, and the others a thin upholstery fabric), I sewed the front to the back and left the tops open for a couple of inches. I then turned the aprons right-side out and ironed them. I then folded in the side seam allowances for the top, and then ironed a 1/2" fold down from the top towards the back side. I then folded the top down again another 1", ironed and pinned it in place. Then I stitched across this fold.

Apron string detail The Prudent Homemaker

For the ties, I cut pieces lengthwise from the fabric, each 2 1/2" wide by 24" long. I folded in the ends and each side by 1/4" and pressed them. I then folded the ties in half lengthwise and topstitched them close to the edge. Then I sewed them to the apron.

Apron string detail 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I then topstitched all the way around the edges of the apron.

London Map apron The Prudent Homemaker
London Map apron detail The Prudent Homemaker
Time:

Approximately 2 1/2 hours per apron. 

Paris apron The Prudent Homemaker


Cost:

$ 5.99 to $9.87, depending on fabric used.

 Paris Apron detail The Prudent Homemaker

I bought the bird fabric and the Paris fabric from Hobby Lobby at 30% off (regular price $10 a yard). These are from the upholstery section, and are 30% off this week.  Three-fourths of a yard at that price  is $5.24. The London map fabric I purchased from Create by the Yard on Etsy. I found some other great fun London fabrics on Etsy as well that I considered for this project. The fabric with shipping for this project cost me $9.12, plus the lining.  (I ordered a yard and a half, so that I have some for other projects. This is the amount I used for this project). I lined the aprons with unbleached muslin, that I bought 50% off at $.99 a yard (for 36" wide; it is currently this price online at Joann Fabrics).

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