Jan 27

Furoshiki reusable gift wraps

2016-10-24T19:26:53+00:00 January 27th, 2008|

These are two of this year’s Christmas gifts wrapped up in furoshiki cloths that I made from thrifted satin. I really like the double-knotted red one. All I wound up doing for these is cutting out the largest possible square from some item of satin clothing from Goodwill Outlet and then quickly serging the edge to prevent fraying.

This summer I made fabric gift bags for all the birthday gifts. That was fairly time consuming, so I have been researching alternative gift wrapping today just in time for Christmas. I had come across this page before that illustrates a bunch of Japanese wrapping techniques by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment but hadn’t done anything about it yet.

I am totally smitten with these! I wrote up a one-page (mostly plagiarized from the Japanese) description of furoshiki and printing a modified version of the Japanese tying techniques diagram on the other side. I passed out a few of these sheets, along with some actual furoshiki for Christmas this year. (I modified the diagram to make the text legible and made it black lines on a white background so it is a little more printer-ink friendly.)

I also found a tutorial for mitered corner furoshiki here. I’ll use these instructions to make some, although I think 35″ square is a little too big, since most of the gifts I give or receive are pretty small. Most of the ones I made were more like 18″ – 24″. This is such a good project to make out of thrifted skirts, pillowcases, and sheets, which can produce a large piece of continuous fabric.

Jan 26

Silk gift bag/pouch from thrifted clothing

2016-10-24T19:22:25+00:00 January 26th, 2008|

I made this for my Grandma for Christmas this year to hold the beaded pieces that I also made her. It is made out of a thrifted floral silk scarf and a thrifted coral silk shirt, both of which I needed to fuse some light interfacing to the back of to render useful for patchwork. The pattern is from the book “Omiyage“, which is one of my new favorites.

I did not notice when choosing this pattern that it had inset seams, something which I had not attempted before and was a little trying, especially with silk. I am hoping to make a bunch more of these little pouches from the book–they are so beautiful and when I have so much thrifted silk in my stash I might as well use it for something like this.

The little tulip “beads” at the ends of the cord are actually from a Japanese sewing book that I have. I preferred them to the plain beads that are in the Omiyage book.

I fussy-cut one of the big, gorgeous flowers from the scarf to be centered in the bottom of the lining. Very pretty!

Jan 23

Little purse to carry around clothespin dolls

2016-10-24T19:18:20+00:00 January 23rd, 2008|

This was a Christmas gift I sewed for my only niece, Eleanor, who just turned 3 and is as girly as they come. It looks like a little purse with pretty yellow flowers (apparently her favorite color). The outer fabric is double layered with batting and quilted in a simple diamond shape.

It opens up with velcro. All the edges have non-lazy quilt-style hand finished binding.

Opening all the way reveals a flap and some pockets. Hmmm… what is inside?

Clothespin people!

All of these clothespin dolls were painted with nontoxic acrylic paints, and their faces and hair were drawn with a sharpie. Their clothes are from scraps and thrifted pieces I have in my stash, all topped with a piece of satin ribbon. I was kind of inspired by this post, but I liked the idea of them each having their own ‘sleeping bag’ and being able to carry them around like a purse, and I wanted to make a few more. The upper flap was necessary to keep them inside when the purse is upended. I made the little pockets a little loose so a 3-year old could easily nestle each doll back inside.

I had a hard time keeping Johanna out of them, so I am clearly going to have to make a set for her in the next year or so as well 🙂 I had originally planned to make it a roll-up, but with 9 people inside it got very bulky and kind of awkward. I figured a 3-year old would have trouble with it. So, the purse idea was born.

Jan 17

Monster fleece hot/cold pack

2016-10-24T19:09:14+00:00 January 17th, 2008|

For Christmas this year I made a fleece hot/cold pack. The inside is stuffed with barley and is sewn from a thrifted pillowcase. The barley smells a little wheatey when it is hot, but I also tried lentils and that smelled really bad. I didn’t figure out until it was too late that I should have used cherry pits or rice…

The outside is fleece I had leftover from a dog sweater project. I appliqued on a monster face, probably similar to some “ugly doll”, but I didn’t copy one directly. I originally made this for a new puppy–sleeping on a warm pack is supposed to be comforting when they are first away from mom, but it didn’t work out that way. The little tail is for chewing on. I saw something similar in the pet store but it was $8 or $10 and I thought I could make one for the cost of the barley…

Jan 13

Felted Christmas tree ornaments

2016-10-24T19:05:37+00:00 January 13th, 2008|

I can finally start to post all of my Christmas crafts! I found these trees on mollychicken and couldn’t resist making something very similar. I made these out of a semi-felted sweater I got at the Goodwill outlet. I couldn’t do the nice blanket stitching at the bottom because the sweater didn’t felt completely and would have raveled.

I cut out the tree tops and sewed a number of bronze seed beads onto them, along with perle cotton mouths. For eyes I heavily starched an ivory piece of cotton and cut it out into little circles. Because the sweater was flecked and quite dark, you can’t see as well in the photo what is going on.

Happy trees waiting to be stitched.

All done and hanging out together.

I purposely made each of their eyes and mouths a little different. Most family members received one for Christmas this year. And I kept the goofiest looking one for myself 🙂