I did not buy a single present this year. For those on my list, it was a Holy Hardcore Handmade Holiday.
I'm going to start up on my soapbox (I'll get off of it, I promise, just hear me out). I'm not a huge fan of Christmas. What?!? Yes. Let me explain. Growing up, Christmas was about family. I come from an awesome family...a BIG family, and like most families, we have our traditions. The family (and for this purpose, I mean my immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins, their spouses, their kids, etc.) would pack up their gear and head up to the home my dad and uncle shared on the lake, we would bunk up, like sardines, as many people we could fit per bedroom, got the fireplace going, and would spend the days leading up to and after Christmas together. It wasn't centered around presents. It was about family. Being together, laughing our asses off until we cried. Making memories.
Then Black Friday became a thing. Now stores are open on Thanksgiving. People trampling one another at WalMart. That's just not what this should be about. It's not about getting the coolest stuff or the most expensive thing. So, I swore off a retail Christmas and went with gifts from the heart. I made every gift for each person on my list. And you know what? It felt good. Last year I made some things, and I think my nephew put it best: he said "that's so cool because no one else can have it because you made it!"
That's right. I made it, just for you. And what I make is not stuff I throw together without you, the recipient, in mind. These items were made just for you, and they are something I hope you can use. And if you hate it, then you're an ungrateful little brat and next year you're getting coal!
So without further ado, here are some photos of all the stuff I made and gave!
One in a tan double knit, the other in a black interlock. Butterick pattern B6388:
Another example of learning as I go, this particular pattern called for a cord through the hood and personally I don't like that, I always cut the cords out of my hoodies. It wasn't until the fourth one that I modified the hood piece to get rid of the weird collar. I added kangaroo pockets to some. I also lined the hoods for a more finished look. And, I did a lot of topstitching to give it a nice look. These are kids size Burda 9482.
This pattern called for a stretch waistband and cuffs, but I don't like that style. On the girls' hoodies, I dropped the hem a little longer in the back. For the littles, I added an appliqué letter so they know the first letter of their name, in case they forget. The sleeves (except for the pink/purple) were all too long so they're all getting thumbholes!
The teen version is more shaped and has contrast panels. I used McCall's M6614 for this one (same as for my layering shirt and fleece sweatshirts).
These were all done with sweatshirt fleece. The pink and purple was like $3 per yard on clearance. Nice. The only thing I didn't like about this fabric is that it has zero stretch to it. I need to find a place that sells good sweatshirt fleece that actually has some stretch to it!
Zip Front Active Jacket
This one was done with performance fabric (stretchy spandexy knit). I put thumbhole cuffs on it. I also modified the pockets to do a split kangaroo style pocket instead of seam pockets. This pattern was McCall's M7293 (same as my fleece zip jacket).
These have a zip neck. On the yellow one (not pictured) I put in a pocket for a phone. The navy one has a white zipper because the navy zipper I bought as just a shade off and didn't look right, so I went for the contrast look, I think the white looks good. I'm making one for myself. This is McCall's M5252.
Zip Collared Jacket
I had a roll of faux suede that I got last January from a Hancock's closing sale, and I pretty much used it up on this jacket. The zipper color matched perfectly, and I was really happy with that! Also, I added a lining to this one. I had to figure out how to do it and I think it turned out really well. My only fear was that it would be too big. It's hard to make clothes for other people! I had to take a few items over to my male model, Eric, and dress him up to see how things fit! This pattern is Kwik Sew K4017.
Until now, I've never made a bag from a pattern, and after this one, I never will again. I thought it would be easier or faster but I was wrong. I didn't like the assembly instructions, so I basically threw them out and did my own thing, using some of the core pattern pieces. I added adjustable straps (the pattern had fixed straps...who puts fixed straps on a backpack?), a Velcro pocket on the front, and adjusted the bottom gusset to be a single piece. I used McCall's M6410.