Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A Crafty Christmas

So, the big day itself has been and gone, and now we're enjoying the restful gap before the New Year.  I love the few days after the craziness of the Christmas buildup.  We tend not to make many plans and spend most of the time just the four of us, going for walks, picking our favourite festive flicks from the Radio Times, and eating far too much! 

It's my birthday tomorrow so Mr Y has taken the girls shopping for a few last minute bits so I have some peace and quiet.  Rather them than me battling with the crowds of sale shoppers! 

We had a wonderful time with family this Christmas.  This year, just like last, I decided to make a homemade gift for my nearest and dearest.  And this year, again, just like last, I left things a little late, so was still finishing off the final gift on Christmas Eve.  

As well as the staple foodie makes and bakes that have to be thought about at this time of year, I decided to make Miss C a dress from a rather delightful polar bear fabric from John Lewis.  

There was a slight hiccup with the fabric, and they sent 75cms less than I'd ordered.  A few frustrating phone calls, an email and finally a PayPal complaint later, I received my correct quota of fabric, and was told to keep the original lot, which meant Miss M got a dress also. 

Miss C also took a fancy to a collar in an old Mollie Makes magazine from last year, I think.  

I had to resize it quite a lot, but Miss C loves it.  Miss M wasn't at all impressed, so no need for a second one.

For their actual handmade Christmas gifts, I opted for a cot quilts.  Back in the summer I made a start on a quilt for Miss M's bed using hexies.  Seriously slow going, I knew it wouldn't be done in time for Christmas, so went for a quicker, smaller, machine worked version for her baby boy doll.

Having never tackled quilting before, I didn't know what to expect.  I used a mix if vintage, vintage design reproduction cottons and scraps of dress fabrics they'd had over the years.  I used 2" squares, and learnt as I went along.  

The binding was a pain in the behind.  The binding wasn't bias binding so there was no give or stretch.  The corners are poorly done, but the girls didn't notice and were over the moon with them.

My dad is never an easy option for makes, and it has to either be edible or knitted.  I went for the knitted option and picked what I thought was a relatively easy Fair-isle.  

cheated and made the back plain, and that knitted up really quickly, but the front was somewhat different.  I prefer to work Fair-isle from a chart, so where there isn't one, I make one.  The first pattern was a simple one but the second just wasn't turning out right.  I sought help from a friend who was an absolute wonder.  She not only found out what the problem was, she charted the whole pattern for me! 

Once the pattern problem had been fixed, I was able to start the serious work of knitting.

My most favourite gift to make, by far, was a bag for my amazing mum. Ever since I saw this picture on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to replicate it.

I dug through my felt stash and found some beautifully thick 4mm wool felt yardage.  I drafted the bag and flower shapes by hand and set about picking the right colour felt to match a piece if 1940's rayon silk that I had chosen for the lining.  

I stayed up very late on the 23rd of December to get as much done as I could.

It was finished on Christmas Eve, and 100 hand cut flowers and 150 beads later, this was the result.

I love it so much, that I may just have to make one for myself!!

All the gifts were well received, which made all the hard work worth it.  

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas, however you celebrated xx


  1. What beautiful gifts you made! How blessed your family is to have received them! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Gosh you have been very busy, what gorgeous makes. Please can i go on your present list for next christmas, haha x

  3. Wow that bag is fabulous - me thinks I am going to have to seek out the pinterest picture too! The pullover is absolutely beautiful, great idea to have a plain back. The quilts and dresses are wonderful. Love the dress fabric it is very pretty.
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  4. Wow it is all beautiful. You are obviously very talented, whereas I am just a humble knitter. Happy New Year.

  5. What lovely creations, hope you & yours have a very Happy New Year x

  6. I love the bag, it is just gorgeous. This a is a beautiful selection of handmade gifts.

  7. Wow, such beautiful gifts! I think handmade gifts are so much nicer

  8. Fab gifts. I love the deer collar, one day I'll get around to making myself one! The bag is amazing :-) xx

  9. So many pretty things! I love the polar bear dress, and good thinking about only making one side patterned in the vest :)

  10. I am amazed at your talents. Your loved ones are extremely lucky to receive such beautiful gifts.
    I wish you a very happy new year and look forward to reading more about your wonderful makes.