Wednesday, December 3, 2014

sewn gifts ¦ homemade for the holidays

i love sewing and have been sewing in some form since i was about 5. my mom taught me and i still remember one of my very first projects was a little pillow that i hand embroidered a circus elephant on. i still remember not loving the embroidery part...and my mom pushing me to finish it, because embroidery taught me how to have nice hand stitches. i finished it and the pillow resided in a place of honour on me bed for years after as i moved onto other projects. usually every holiday season will see me making sewn gifts...usually for the extra kids in my life. i used to run a dayhome
 and many of those kids have stayed in my heart over the years.

today i want to share my all time favourite gift i've ever made and given. the build a snowman kit :) i have no tutorial for it as it never occurred to me when i was making it several years ago, to create a tutorial to go with...but i will do my best to walk you through it :)
again, all of these supplies i had on hand :) i used felt, fleece, satin ribbon, paint, black embroidery floss, and clear plastic film canisters.
 snowman's coal mouth was created by collecting little pebbles from my driveway and spray painting them with tremclad black. super simple :)
the button eyes i created by cutting out 4 circles from grey felt and blacket stitching 2 circles together using black embroidery thread, then i stitched an X across the centres and did 4 french knots at each point.
for the carrot nose, i cut out 2  carrot shapes from orange felt. using my sewing machine and white thread i stitched random lines across each half to create the lines on the carrot. then with right sides together i sewed the carrot halves together, leaving an opening to stuff the nose with, then hand stitched the opening closed.
i do not have a picture of it, but for the eyes and nose i hot glued empty film cannisters to the end of the nose and the back side of the eyes...this allows the kids to stick the nose and eyes into the snow and have them stay in place.
 for the scarf i simply cut a scarf length from fleece in the width i wanted, from felt i cut 6 diamonds and sewed 3 onto each end of the scarf in a large zig zag pattern to create a bit of an argyle pattern. i also added fringed ends by cutting across the ends of the scarf at half inch intervals.
and finally, the top hat...this really was trial and error. from heavy felt i cut a rectangle, matched up the short ends and stitch it closed to create a tube. using the opening of one of the tube, i traced out a 2 circles, one for the top of the hat and one for creating the brim later. i then lined it up the top of the hat and the hate tube and zigzag stitched the top of the hat to the  hat sides. using the second circle that was traced i free handed a larger circle around that circle i traced. i cut out the brim along the larger circle and then cut the inner circle out leaving me with a "donut". i then zigzag stitched the brim to the base of the hat. to finish it off i hot glued wide red satin ribbon and a hand crafted holly sprig.
the holly was created by cutting out 4 holly leaves, stitching 2 of the leaves together straight up the middle. i cut out 3 circles from red felt, placed a bit of stuffing in the middle of the circles and with a needle and thread pulled the edges of the circles closed around the stuffing. i hot glued the berries to the holly leaves and hot glued the completed holly sprig to the hat.
i gifted this to a 2 adorable kids that i had in my dayhome for about 3 years. every year they build a snowman on their front lawn and adorn it with this kit. love that they still use it!
do you have any kids in your life that would love a snowman building kit? if so, this makes a fabulous gift! if you decide to tackle making one, please feel free to email me with any questions on the how to.
happy wednesday!

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