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homemade present ideas? have sewing machine!

(5 Posts)
sununu Wed 17-Oct-12 21:21:59

wasn't sure whether to put this here or in arts and crafts.. I have a big extended family and small budget. 2 sisters, 3 sils, mum and mil, 2 nieces, many aunts... in the past I have made tote bags, pincushions with costume jewellry brooches attached, and lavender bags out of lace hankies. I have a big bag of fabric remnants and fairly handy with sewing machine. can you suggest new ideas at all for gifts? lots of men in the family too but I've never been able to think of anything at all to sew for them, they might be getting chutney again this year..

JoInScotland Wed 17-Oct-12 22:10:27

Do you have flannel? Or can you buy a flannel shirt at a charity shop? For men, I either sew a long rectangle or cut a sleeve off a nice thick flannel shirt. I sew up the long side (already done for you if using a sleeve). I sew up one short side (or the armpit), turn right side out and then I fill the tube 2/3 full of cheap rice or barley. I then sew the last seam shut, or where the cuff is, sew that shut. Remove any buttons from shirt! Anyway, put that on a clean plate in a microwave on HIGH for 4-5 minutes and you have a nice soothing neck warmer in the winter. I have made these for LOADS of men, and my DP couldn't live without his - he has one at work and at least two at home! (One my DS who is 2 3/4 made for him, sitting on my lap and using a handcrank sewing machine). So that is my tip of the day!!

An ongoing project I have is to sew little bits of Christmas-y fabric together - it could just be green, red and white if that is all you have. I am using just cotton fabrics. When it is a big enough square, I'm going to layer it with something coordinating on the back, and one or two layers of an old towel, quilt it a bit, and then put binding all the way around it .... festive oven mitts.

For children - either use plastic pellets if you think they'll need to be washed (teething toddlers) or rice if the children are older. Cut 10 red squares about 4 inches square and 10 green squares about 4 inches square. Make 5 red bags and 5 green bags and fill about 2/3 full with rice or plastic pellets. Then you can make a noughts&crosses "board" on a round piece of fabric .... either embroider it on or use fabric paint.... punch holes around the edges and lace a shoelace or some cord through there. Voila! A game that holds all the pieces, and I've never met a child who didn't like beanbags to throw around.

A couple of Christmases ago, I made hot water bottle covers for several women on my list with fake fur on the outside, and fleece on the inside - just using remnants so some of the covers were stripey. I made one side the length of the hot water bottle, and the other side about time and a half, so there was a bit extra to tuck in if you see what I mean. Hot water bottles sell for about £5 or £6 at Boots, so a fairly reasonably priced gift.

This year I'm making wellie warmers for some folks, and everyone else is getting baskets of chutney/jam/pickles/sweets.

sununu Thu 18-Oct-12 10:15:29

loads of ideas.. thanks!
just in case anyone else is reading, I did remember one other year I made back-of-door organisers with lots of pockets for neices and nephews, wooden hangar sewn in at the top - they went down well.

sununu Thu 18-Oct-12 10:20:03

and I can actually spell niece and hanger too

theancientmarinator Thu 18-Oct-12 22:21:41

One word - Pinterest This will either inspire you or fill all your hours so that you never sew anything - be warned! Happy Christmas crafting. PM me if you need an invite to join Pinterest - usually you can just request an invite though.

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