Handmade Christmas

This is very unCanadian of me, but I'm trying this new thing where I don't apologize as much, especially for ridiculous things like blogging. This is a happy place to share and document my hobbies, and if that happens two months after I made something, so be it. No need to stress, no need to explain. Who knows, with practice maybe it will spill into other parts of my life. I encourage you to do the same. #noapologies

On that note... let me show you all of the super cute things I made for Christmas! Ho ho ho! :)

My sister-in-law loves buffalo plaid and pointed out this beautiful flannel when she was in Needlework in the Fall. I was more than happy to make my favourite little 14-month-old a Christmas Geranium dress. After all, I've made her one for every other season since she's been born. It was a great excuse to try out the new expansion pack too, with the sleeves and collar.

I spent a lot of time trying to match the plaid everywhere, but realized once I was sewing that most of the seams are gathered and it wouldn't matter. Gah. As long as you center the bodice and the collar, it'll look perfect. Heck, even if you don't do that, it'll probably still look cute-as-a-button. I feel like you can't really go wrong with this pattern.

And I couldn't resist sharing my new-found love of jeggings with my niece too, so whipped up a couple pairs in navy and black. I used a Brindle & Twig pattern for those.

I also crocheted her a little cardigan. This is my first attempt at baby clothing that wasn't a hat and I love it! This girl might get a cardigan every Christmas. Haha! Yeah, I'll be that Aunt. I'm fine with that. 

I can't find the label, but I believe I used the Zara merino wool from Handknit. Isn't that colour unbelievable? It was a dream to work with too, although I think it stretched a bit when I blocked. 

The pattern is the classic baby cardigan by Lisa van Klaveren. A lot of people said that the pattern worked up small, so I used a sport weight rather than the fingerling suggested in the pattern and it worked great. The neck seems a little large on her, but everywhere else fits pretty well. 

I found it quite enjoyable to make, so much so that I made two. I started making it in a soft, synthetic fingerling yarn that I had in my stash, but the strands kept separating and it was driving me nuts. I decided to continue, just to learn the pattern, almost like how I make a muslin in sewing, and that worked out great. By the time I had the luscious merino in my hands, I knew exactly what I was doing. I would recommend it, for baby clothes, at least. 

I should also mention that the one thing that I changed about the pattern was that I added button holes. It just seemed fiddly to push them through the stitches.

My other niece has long outgrown cute Christmas dresses and cardigans. She became a teenager this year. Eek! As such, makeup is everything at the moment. I remember when I was her age and could only afford Wet n Wild, so I bought her some better quality stuff... and then made some bags to put them in, of course.

I started with a boxy pouch using this unique gusseted pattern. I enlarged the size a bit, but it still turned out a little smaller than I wanted, like most of the makeup I bought her didn't fit (hmph), so I also made a Noodlehead petal pouch, with some quilt batting added for extra oomph. Now that is a perfect pouch. I immediately wanted several for myself and will likely make that a reality very soon. I hope she liked them as much as I did... hard to tell with a teenager, right?

I usually whip up a few little ornaments or gift toppers ever year, mostly just so I can a play with my Christmas fabrics. (Sewing as play. No that is some pleasant food for thought.) This year I made quilted trivets. I tried to do some improvisational piecing, but I wasn't loving it and found myself much happier with more structured blocks. To each their own, right? I was pretty thrilled to find some gold thread in my Aunt's stash and had fun adding some sparkly quilting with it.

I put together "brunch" baskets for our parents this year, full of my own baking and local goodies, and I tucked my little trivets in there. So cute.

Last but not least, check out these adorable fussy cut blocks! These were the original trivet designs, but as soon as I made them, I fell in love. With images of Christmas quilts dancing in my head, I decided to hold on to them. Of course I didn't end up making any more besides these two, but it could be a fun project to pull out every year and work on slowly. Remind me next year, OK?

Did you make any gifts or crafts for yourself this Christmas?

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