It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas, filled with love, joy and mincepies.

And presents, we can’t forget the presents. Which is what I wanted to share with you today – I made each of my family a little something to go in their stockings this year, which I didn’t want to put on the blog until after they’d seen them, as you never know what little elf might share the secret before the big day.

For my sister, who loves African prints, I made this tote bag. The two clashing prints were from a shop on Petticoat Lane – I forget the name, but there are lots to choose from! Although I needed less than a metre to make the bag, the fabric only comes in 6yd lengths, but don’t worry I have big plans for a full skirt from the bird fabric, which makes up the lining, and a fitted shift dress from the fan fabric. Gift for my sister, gift for me! The wooden button was from my stash, but I think it goes quite nicely.

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The pattern is from the Cath Kidston “Sew” book – which I picked up for a few quid in the charity shop near me – all templates still included! I’d previously made up this tote for my mum, so I knew I could pull it together quickly (due to reasons, mainly a job change in the last couple of weeks, I’d been quite busy and so my decision to make presents was very last minute!). The reason I like this pattern so much (apart from how easy it is to put together) is the inclusion of both a front and inside pocket, so you’ll never lose your lipgloss or keys at the bottom of your bag again!

Also from the same book, I made my dad a little drawstring washbag, using a lovely pinstripe fabric from my stash. The pattern calls for shower curtain fabric on the inside, but the only shower curtain fabric I could find cost about £16 per metre, and I would have had to wait for it to be delivered. So instead I just went to Argos and spent £2.50 on a basic shower curtain, which works perfectly once cut up, and nobody is any the wiser! I have a lot of this left over now, so I guess there are a lot more gifted washbags on the horizon.

I stupidly forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but it looks much the same as the one in the book (although I omitted the side piping because of time, and not having anything suitable to hand!). Again, this was an easy make, but I actually found the instructions in the book a bit lacking. It was ok for me, having some experience in sewing, but they felt a bit bare in places and left me scratching my head in confusion. Although perhaps I’d just had a little bit too much Christmas cheer*.

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And finally, I knitted my mum some fingerless gloves. I hadn’t planned on knitting my mum some fingerless gloves. I had planned on making her the glasses case from the same Cath Kidston book. In fact, I pretty much did make her the glasses case, but so badly I decided it wasn’t worthy of my mum. The problem wasn’t the pattern or the instructions (although again, they were strangely bare, for such a hand-holdy friendly style book), it was more with me rushing to try and get it done before Christmas came.

So to solve the issue with rushing to get a present done before Christmas, I decided to rush and start to knit a present just a few days before Christmas day. Oh, and my parents arrived on the 23rd, so it’s not like I could sit around in the evenings and knit… 1419839240703

But, I managed it! Luckily the pattern was for quite a chunky yarn. I don’t know what it is, because it all came in a kit free on the front of a magazine – I AM SO GENEROUS I KNOW, but time was of the essence – but it was for 5mm needles (I used 6mm to get the right gauge).

I also made my boyfriend some pocket squares for his suit jackets. Not much to say about these as they only needed some hemming. But don’t they look cute?

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Did you make any presents this year? Did you plan ahead, or were you making them right up to midnight on Christmas Eve?

 Today’s quote is from Mother Teresa.

*Booze. Always booze.

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