Christmas Sewing

I usually make a few things for my family for Christmas but last year I got quite carried away.  I didn't actually to plan to make a lot but one thing led to another and I ended up piling on more stress than any mother of 3 that works 5 days a week really needs.  I was also hosting Christmas and had 12 guests invited for lunch and 14 guests for dinner, so  I was under absolutely no pressure at all!

It all started, quite timely actually, in November when I started on my mothers present.  I always make her a pair of pants because being petite she struggles to get pants that fit her.  She really likes Stylearc Elle and I can no longer remember actually how many versions of these pants I have made.  I know her size so really running these up is always super quick and quite gratefully received.  This years version was made using some lovely bengaline from Fabric Vision with a lovely rose print.  I wasn't sure what length she wanted so chose to make them full length knowing that they could be shortened to capri length if required.

The second item I made was not really a present at all.  Mum gave me a bag of fabric with the proviso that I make her a top with a cap sleeve.  I thought about this request for quite some time and eventually decided upon Stylearc Courtney.  I wasn't sure whether a size 8 would be too big for her and was a little concerned the neckline would be too big on her.  Since it was to be a surprise, even though not strictly a gift, I had to eyeball the size.  She assures me the resulting top fits fine, I have yet to see it to judge for myself.

The next person on my Christmas list was Courteney.  I was really struggling to know what to give her for Christmas.  We were shopping in The Fabric Store one day, which is not an unusual activity for us, when she mentioned she would like another Jalie 3247 bikini like the one I made her last year.  Last years version was made of scraps to test the pattern.  This time she had some Liberty swim fabric in mind.  She picked this lovely orange print and I dutifully bought it, hoping all the while that I would find the time to make it up.

I had all of the elastic and lining in my stash so this was actually quite quick to make up.  She gave me an old bra to cut up to harvest the cups so that I could stitch them behind the top lining.  We did this with the previous Jalie top as well, even though this isn't a requirement with this pattern.  The other change I made, and I did this also with the previous version, was to add a 1cm seam allowance around the neckline and armhole/back and stitch on swimwear elastic instead of the fold over elastic the pattern is drafted with.  I also stitched the elastic into the straps to make sure they were nice and stretchy and didn't stretch out over time.

Once again for the pants I used McCall's 5400.  The pattern doesn't require a full lining but this is something I like to do both for modesty and longevity on all of the swimwear I make.

Once finished with the bikini, I then asked Courteney what else she wanted for Christmas and she asked for a pair of Closet Case Sasha Pants to wear to work when she started her new job in February.  Initially I was not impressed at the idea because at this point we were getting quite close to Christmas and time was starting to slip away.   In the end I took pity, so over several nights I put these together as well.  Fortunately I have made quite a few pairs now, both for myself and Courteney so I can whip these up fairly quickly, even though she doesn't live at home and they need to be fitted.  I already had a piece of black stretch drill sourced from The Fabric Store in my stash. I also managed to find a couple of small pieces of cotton to make the pockets and bias binding.

I am pretty happy with how they turned out and the fit is spot on.  I have seen these worn but forgot to get a photo.

Now you would think I would stop at this point but no I didn't!  Being somewhat of a gluten for punishment, I decided that I could actually use the opportunity of Christmas to use up a few remnants from other projects.  I had a piece of cotton canvas type fabric that I think had been part of Courteney's stash and I thought I might just be able to eek out a pair of True Bias Lander Shorts.  Instead of the button fly, I made them a zip fly, jeans style pockets and a curved waist band using Closet Case Ginger Jeans pattern.  I found some pretty pink fabric to make binding and had just enough flamingo cotton from my pyjama pants to make the pockets.  

I haven't seen these on yet but I am told they fit well.

While I was going through my stash looking for suitable fabrics for the pockets for the Lander shorts, I came across this lovely Liberty fabric that I made my self drafted top with last summer.  I had just about enough fabric to make an Ogden Cami, but not quite.  With some careful piecing, I was able to seam the back yoke.  It is very hard to see but I assure you there is a seam there.  I used a piece of white poplin for the facing because I didn't have enough of the Liberty and also it would probably have shown through anyway.

By now I was pretty over making things for Courteney for Christmas (sorry Courteney)!  I had one more thing I wanted to make and this one had to be more secret squirrel than the rest!  I wanted to make my husband another shirt for work.  The trouble was, when I was home, so was he!  I had to wait until the week before Christmas when he was going to be out of town for work.  I didn't have much time, as he was only away for a couple of days.  The plan was to make a piece of lovely Liberty fabric I picked up for him in New York.  When I got it out ready to cut, I was paralyzed by indecision.  I wanted to trial the Thread Theory Fairfield Button Up but didn't want to risk my expensive Liberty fabric on it.  Courteney came to the rescue with a piece of fabric she found on the sale table at Fabric Vision.  I dug around in my stash and found a remnant piece of Liberty Fabric for the cuffs, inside collar and yoke and carefully measured my new pattern with my tried and true pattern.  I was pretty confident I had the size right so cut it out and stitched it up over the couple of nights he was away.  There were a couple of early mornings before work involved as well.  It was a bit of a marathon effort but I got there.

In a nutshell that is my Christmas!  I was finished a few days before Christmas, just in time to start on the food preparations and all of the planning that goes into a beach holiday at this time of year.  Just as well I had 10 days at the beach to recover!


  1. Wow! A huge amount of work, and all beautifully executed. Impressive and lovely.

    1. Yes it was a huge amount of work but so rewarding on the day!

  2. You deserved that beach holiday. You were a busy little sewing elf before the holidays. You sewed some lovely items. I am sure the recipients loved them.

    1. They certainly did! I set the bar rather high this year.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts