Some sections of society may view such gifts as handmade tat given by cheapskates; I won't disagree that the materials used in a handmade item are often cheaper monetarily than a shop bought gift. But the time and effort taken to make it more often than not is far greater than the mass-manufactured, shop bought alternative. Plus it's a different type of time that is spent. When I do head into town to go Christmas shopping, the sense of shoppers' desperation and frayed nerves, combined with commercial greed often makes me feel nauseous. I will concede that last-minute panic sewing (or other method of creating) of gifts is not the most relaxing experience, but most of the gift creation process is enjoyable. When I am making something for someone, I spend a lot of that time thinking about that person, which I believe does two important things, A) imbeds that gift with lots of good juju, and B) brings the whole point of gift-giving and Christmas back into focus: it's about appreciating the people you care about.
So, in that spirit I undertook my own Christmas gift makery. For obvious reasons I waited until after Christmas to display them in the public domain. Pictured above is a bag that I made using my favourite tried-and-tested shoulder dolly bag pattern, using some of the fabric remnants from this dress.
More remnants from recent creations went into making a range of hand-lined purses/make-up bags. They are a similar shape to versions I have made before, but these have darts at the corners to give them more capacity and a cute ruffle detail. I love how using a different fabric gives each one kind of different feel. I'll definitely be making these again, maybe in printed fabric.
Back in November, Sarai helpfully posted some gift crafting ideas on the Colette Patterns blog here. I was very inspired by this recycled scarf idea and remembered that I had stashed away the remnants from my first handmade jumper. It took about a million years to cut out all the circles in a variety of sizes, but stitching them together by randomly overlapping the pieces and using a red contrast zigzag stitch took all of a minute. If anyone has any advice on how to avoid the last-minute handmaking presents panic (aside from starting them in July), I'd love to hear them!