Although having the time to sew might be a challenge at holiday times, try sewing a few simple last minute gifts from homespun fabrics, bits of trims, buttons and bows.
Homespun fabrics like calicos, shirting, linen and printed wools are often used in crafting traditions and make for whimsical gift-giving items. A few quick to sew items to consider for stocking stuffers and last minute gift ideas might be a scissors keeper for the sewing devotee, fabric jar toppers for canning-type jars for the cooking enthusiast, covers for pocket-sized tissues and fabric book markers for teens, teacher and work colleague appreciation, wine bottle covers to carry holiday spirits in and organic filled fleece pocket-size hand warmers and larger heating pads for everyone.
Scissors Keeper – Scissors keepers, sometimes called scissors pouches, help to keep close the small embroidery or stork scissors used in hand sewing projects. Make the scissors keeper to drape over the neck by using a 36 inch length of grosgrain ribbon with a triangle pouch on the end to hold the scissors. An alternative option to the neck ribbon is to simply use a short 12 inch length of ribbon with a small light-weight stuffed heart pin cushion or tiny felt needle case on one end and the scissors pouch on the other.
Fabric Jar Toppers – for decorating canning jar lids with pretty fabric toppers. A few fabric scraps makes several seven-inch fabric circles for wide-mouth canning jars or six-inch fabric circles for smaller jars. Add ¼ inch elastic in six-to eight inch lengths to gather the fabric around the jar and small lengths of ribbon, jute, or lace for an added festive touch. Make several to package together for a charming gift idea.
Pocket Tissue Covers – Very quick and easy to make. Using pinking shears, cut a rectangle of fabric or felt that measure 5 ½ " x 6 ½ ". Fold the shorter edges toward each other, overlapping one over the other slightly and keeping the right-side out. Machine stitch or hand stitch the two remaining edges closed using a ¼ inch seam. Easy to insert the pocket tissues into the fabric cover by keeping the plastic cover of the issues on. Use holiday fabrics for a charming stocking stuffer idea.
Fabric Book Markers – Great teacher or work colleague appreciation gift. Cut fabric piece four by eight inches. Fuse interfacing to entire wrong side. Fold in half lengthwise, right-sides together. Stitch across bottom and then one long edge. Turn right-side out. Turn under fabric edges of the one open side, slide in a loop of ribbon and stich close to all edges.
Wine Bottle Covers – This is a graceful way to present a gift of wine. Cut sturdy fabric approximately 17" x 12.5" or larger if needed. Denim scraps, canvas-like fabric, or even burlap give a homespun rustic look to the cover. Fold fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, stitch across the bottom and up the one open side. Turn right side out. The open top can be left as a raw edge, pinked, or frayed. Use a length of ribbon, or jute to gather in the top over the bottle neck.
Hand Warmers and Heating Pads – Make a set of toasty pocket hand warmers or sew a larger version as a heating pad. Sturdy fleece is great to use for warming hands on frosty school mornings or evening walks and welcoming in a larger size to warm bed covers or soothe sore muscles. Fill with rice or organic warming fillers and microwave the hand warmers on high about 30 to 45 seconds, two to three minutes for the larger heating pad size. Pocket hand warmers can be made each of 2 four-inch diameter circles, squares or heart shapes machine or hand stitched together and the heating pad with 2 either rectangles sized 6 by 12 inches or a simple square shape 8 by 8 inches.
Christmas, holiday customs and gift giving are many and varied all across the globe. Yet all who receive lovely handmade items always have a special appreciation for the time and effort the giver has taken to craft even simple keepsake gifts that will be enjoyed by family, friends and those we care about.
Sew happy, sew inspired.