Sunday, November 23, 2014

Guidelines for Sewing Handmade Gifts

The holidays are quickly approaching, and as sewists, it's a great idea to create some handmade gifts for those you love. It can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience to create something special, but here are some guidelines to make sure your time is well spent.

1. Start Early 
If you haven't started yet, it's not too late. There are plenty of quick and easy projects out there you can still complete without straining your schedule. For bigger projects, make sure you give yourself enough time. You don't want to rush through a project and then realize it wasn't your best work. And you don't want to add too much stress to your already hectic schedule. It's never too early to start

2. Sewing for Adults and Older Children
For adults and older children, opt for accessories over clothing. Everyone has a different shape and size, not to mention different taste in clothing. And clothing can be a lot of work to create. You don't want to make something wonderful, only to discover that it doesn't fit or isn't appreciated. Unless someone has specifically requested an item of clothing from you and you have exact measurements for them, I would avoid it. 

Here are some of my favorite accessories to make:

Fleece Ear Warmer - my FREE tutorial here

Fleece Trapper Hat - Free pattern from here

Infinity Scarf


3. Sewing for a little one
If you have a little one to sew for, lucky you! There are so many great things you can sew for babies and young children. And they will love just about anything you make! But, make sure you consider growth and season. Little ones grow fast and even toys and blankets can be outgrown quickly. I like to make things slightly larger so that the little one can grow into it. That way they will get the most out of it. Better for it to be too large than too small! At least they will grow into it. Also, consider the season. Remember, too, if you are making something for them to grow into, you will want to think about what season it might be when your recipient is ready for that size. Warm quilts and long sleeves are great for cold weather, while lightweight blankets and short sleeves are better suited for warm weather. Here are some of my favorites projects to make for kids. 

Blankets or quilts of any kind. I love this self-bound blanket tutorial at Missouri Star Quilt Co.


Toys or softies - Check out all of these patterns at Go To Patterns


Superhero cape - free pattern at Peekaboo Patterns (affiliate link)

4. Keep it fun!

You like sewing, right? So make what you enjoy. If you love making blankets, but hate making clothes, then by all means, make blankets. Think twice before deciding to make things you don't normally enjoy making. If you know the recipient will absolutely love it, you may decide it's worth doing anyway. But, if it adds stress to your already full schedule, it may not be worth it. It's totally okay to buy store bought gifts sometimes. I promise. :)

Do you have any other guidelines for sewing gifts? I would love to hear?

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