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02 November 2008

I feel sewy. [More:]I am thinking of making some fabric-based gifts for Christmas. I have some cool old fabric. So what are some cool, relatively simple projects I can do? Cute crafts? Any good sewing-project sites?

I can sew OK and know the basic basics, but I can't, like, make a tailored suit or anything. Simpler is good.
How bout nice hand bags for the grocery?
posted by MonkeyButter 02 November | 20:54
posted by gomichild 02 November | 20:58
I'm currently in the process of buying old wool sweaters at thrift stores, felting them, and making either handbags (if the felting is really thick) or cutting them up into squares and making throws.
posted by Stewriffic 02 November | 21:02
You can use your fabric as a liner for the handbags, btw.
posted by Stewriffic 02 November | 21:03
quilted coasters (more for inspiration)

table runners (there are tutorials and patterns everywhere. There is even a "how to make a table runner" on YouTube.

place mats

Aprons. Every pattern company has good, basic apron patterns. (I usually line mine. And I attach D-rings to make them adjustable.)

wine bags (I make my wine bags with drawstrings. It is very simple.)

grocery bags

zippered wristlets

I could go on and on.
posted by LoriFLA 02 November | 21:05
No. Way. Stew! I've been working on the same thing!! Thrift shop sweaters cost next to nothing, too. And you're right about the lining. You can make it with a little pocket or a divider. Very basic sewing here and quick to make.
posted by MonkeyButter 02 November | 21:07
Yay! We should post the projects when we're done. The felt bag I'm making is almost done. I decided that instead of crocheting my own things to felt that it's much more satisfying this way.
posted by Stewriffic 02 November | 21:23
BTW, I highly recommend heavy duty thread for the bags.
posted by Stewriffic 02 November | 21:24
Throw pillows! I've even made them from tacky vintage curtains - but as pillows they turned out super nice. They are incredibly easy to make, and people love them (unless you love them more and decide to not gift them) (not that I've ever done that) (more than twice, anyway).
posted by rhapsodie 02 November | 21:56

I'm actually thinking about making a bunch of presents this year too. There are a bunch of easy-ish projects in this Denyse Schmidt book. (One of the projects is a sachet.)

Of course, I already make quilts and have some sewing knowledge from various quilting classes and from a silly basic clothing class in high school.

Other easy projects: coasters, heating pad cover, beanbags to juggle, pillow cases, throw pillows, hot pads, scarves.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 02 November | 22:11
fbk, I have that book! It's a good one.
posted by LoriFLA 02 November | 22:32
Wheat bags are good gifts, and really easy. Here's a guide, but it couldn't be simpler - cut a piece of cloth, fold in half inside out, sew along two of the edges, turn right-side out, fill with unhulled wheat and lavender and sew up the remaining edge with a decorative stitch.
posted by goo 02 November | 22:34
Regarding the heavy-duty thread - I used to sew my own snowboarding clothes, which take abuse by design. I used the lightest-duty Spectra kite line, which is the consistency of dental floss, only bulletproofer. A heavy-duty needle on my 60's-era Morse machine didn't bat an eye at feeding it.
posted by Triode 03 November | 00:21
I made little catnip toys from my fabric scraps for all my catpeople friends last year.

I made wheat bags like goo mentioned, too, but I did mine with flax seeds. They're so simple, and if you get a REALLY wild over the top fabric like an Alexander Henry print it wows people so much they don't notice it is just four straight seams.
posted by kellydamnit 03 November | 10:43
I had to look up Alexander Henry, and in the course of checking out all the yumminess (here's some!), I came across this cool idea for a quilt:

≡ Click to see image ≡

Not that you'd want to make one of these for everyone on your Christmas list, but maybe one for yourself when you settle in for the winter. I really like the stripey bits pulling together the wild patterns.
posted by taz 03 November | 11:11
I've wanted to do a quilt like that for ages. There are so many amazing asian-inspired cottons out there. Kona Bay has some that will make you flat out weak in the knees. has a good selection.
posted by kellydamnit 03 November | 15:22
Do you know any small humans who might like an I Spy Bag? They're awesome.
posted by jrossi4r 03 November | 15:30
Happy Birthday, hellojed!!!!! || RAGE!!!!!!! RAGE!!!!! ARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!