Handmade Holiday Tutorials

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! …Sorta. I don’t know about all of you, but shopping for holiday gifts is intensely stressful for me. Between going to stores and fighting the crowds, worrying about whether or not an item is in stock (or will ship on time), or just not finding the perfect thing for the geek in your life, holiday shopping can be a real hassle.

So in an effort to be thrifty/clear my ridiculous fabric stash and hand out some more personalized gifts this year, I DIY-ed most of my gifts! Here’s a round-up of my favorite quick-ish and easy tutorials if you’re still looking for the perfect gift this year:

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Stanley Tree: This is a free pattern from Sewaholic! I made this tree out of some super adorable Avengers fabric I got at Jo-Ann’s several months ago. The first one went to my work white elephant gift exchange, and my co-workers loved it! I left mine plain out of time concerns, but you can easily add bells, ornaments, and ribbons for a bit of extra flair.

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Infinity Scarves: These are way easier than I expected! I cobbled this one together from scraps of exploding Tardis fabric and some fleece, so it’s totally reversible. I also made one out of wool for another gift. This does require a touch of hand-sewing, but it’s still a super fast project. My first one took about an hour (again, cobbling together several pieces of fabric), and my second one took around 30 minutes.

Throw Blanket: I have a ridiculous amount of wool in my fabric stash, but I had no clue what to do with it. After some digging, I figured out how to turn it into an easy throw blanket! All you have to do with this project is cut the fabric to your desired length and trim it in double-fold blanket edging. You could get real fancy and add a lining and batting for a super cozy blanket.

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Reversible bag: I’ve made a few versions of this bag, and it’s a great introduction to making your own purse! Try geeky fabrics on both sides for a fantastic convention bag, or put a more subdued fabric on the outside for a more subtle purse.

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Pillow cases: These are super quick to make and easy to customize! For a basic pillow, all you need is about a quarter yard of fabric depending on how large you want your pillow to be. From there, you can do just about anything! For a very simple approach, try an envelope pillow. If you’re ready to go further, add an invisible zipper, some piping, a liner for a reversible pillow, contrasting fabric on the backside, or make a character themed pillow like the one Space Cadet Cosplay and I made. I’ll post a tutorial (and possibly a pattern) on this after the holidays.

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Bow clutch: I love, love, love making these clutches if you can’t tell. While I’d hesitate to recommend this to a straight-up beginner, they are fairly straightforward if you’ve got a bit of experience under your belt. Don’t want to make one? Grab one from my Etsy shop! There’s still time for you U.S. folks to snag one for Christmas 🙂

Here are a few other tutorials that I haven’t tried yet, but are on my radar for next year/belated gifts for this year:

Are you DIY-ing any gifts this year? 

Life According to Instagram: December

Happy Friday! I decided to start up another new series this year. Something I noticed last year was that I tend to censor myself a lot. Anything too personal (or with too much of my very odd sense of humor) gets cut. I’m trying to include more of these things, because hey, I do have some interests outside of sewing that I’d love to share. Since I’m basically obsessed with Instagram, I thought it’d be a good way to share my work and more of my life! Plus, short(ish) post. Boom.

FotorCreated1. I put up a book display at work on the 1950s. Our theatre department had some beautiful 1950s garments on loan and let us borrow one for the display! I absolutely adore this dress and totally wish it was in my size!

2. I absolutely love this moogle hoodie. I made it intending to take it to PAX South. I’m not going anymore, but it’s still a fun hoodie that I enjoy wearing around the house!

3. My client sent me photos of his Stanley Tweedle costume! I was kind of nervous about this costume since we didn’t have a chance to do an in-person fitting, but it worked out okay!

4. I read a lot of comics and comic related books this month. Image comics were my go-to this month, and I finally read Alex + Ada. If you liked the movie Her, you’ll definitely enjoy this comic.

5. My boyfriend and I had family over for Christmas this year, so we put up a small tree with the help of his sister! I went with a purple and silver theme, in honor of my alma mater 🙂

6. I made lots of progress on Captain Marvel! I intended to wear her to a charity even on January 1, but was plagued with the flu 😦 On the plus side, she’s nearly ready to go for my first con of 2015!

7. The BF’s sister is a fantastic cook and made us so much delicious food while she stayed with us. Eggs Benedict galore.

8. We adopted a new puppy shortly after Christmas! His name is Thor and he’s a 6 month old labrador mix. When he came home with us, he had kennel cough. After many expensive vet visits, we found out he also had pneumonia. After a couple days at the vet hospital, he’s feeling great and loves giving out puppy kisses.

9. After totaling everything up, I realized I made 14+ costumes last year! I’m still floored that happened.

Are you on Instagram? If so, please share your username! I love seeing all the cool things you guys are up to (and let’s be real, “stalking” all you cool people 😉 ).

 

 

I Mustache You to Hold Something

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Happy Monday! Now that we’re past Christmas, I can talk about a DIY gift I made for my boyfriend.  My guy’s been slightly obsessed with his facial hair recently, so all of his gifts this year were themed around mustaches and beards. He broke his iPad case earlier this year and never got around to replacing it, so I thought this would be a good mix of fun and practical.

There are a ton of iPad sewing patterns available on the Internet, but surprisingly few that actually double as viewing stands. Most are sleeves, more or less. The BF also has an older generation iPad, so I had to take that into consideration as well. I probably could have made alterations to an existing one or drafted one myself, but laziness. After some searching, I ultimately went with this one from Katie’s Modern Nest.

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Overall, it was a pretty easy pattern to follow. There are ample instructions and diagrams. The pieces are mostly rectangles and squares, so as long as you can sew a straight line, you can make this pattern. All in all, it took me about 3 hours from cutting to finish. Or 4ish episodes of Once Upon a Time.

I also got the supplies kit from Katie’s store, since I wasn’t sure where to purchase masonite, which is used to give the case structure. Turns out, you can get it from a hardware store, which is good to know next time I need a case.

case front

The Basics: 

Pattern: The Nesting Case for iPad 2

Fabric: Fat quarter mustache fabric, fat quarter black cotton (stash)

Alterations: None. I intended to remove the outside pocket, but the flap piece for the pocket is necessary to keep the tablet in viewing position.

Notions: Thread, velcro, button, elastic loop, masonite, stabilizer, interfacing.

Make it again?: Definitely if I need another iPad case. To be honest, I really want another one for myself.

Favorite parts: I love this fabric and how sturdy the case is. We’ve used it quite a bit since Christmas and it looks like the case will hold up quite well.

Other thoughts: This is the first iPad pattern that actually has all of the elements I look for in an iPad case. If I were to remake this, I’d probably take off the interior pockets, since I don’t think the BF will use them. Still, they still make for a very attractive case.

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Did you make or receive any DIY gifts this year?