Thursday, September 23, 2010

Christmas Gifts- Episode One

Yes, I’m thinking about Christmas already.  In fact, I went into Lowe’s two weeks ago and saw fake Christmas trees!  This year, I am endeavoring to go as homemade as possible.  Remember how a handmade shirt or scarf used to be a wonderful gift to receive?!  I don’t, but I’ve read about those days!  I confess that I’m a child of the Y2K generation, and I find it quite easy to overlook the simplicity of a homespun treasure.  However, with 8 people in the family now and limited funds (due to a refusal to use credit cards!), the handmade Christmas gift is making a comeback in this house!

Besides, I want my children to grow up treasuring those gifts into which someone put so much thought and effort.  I don’t want them to give any thought to a price tag, but to appreciate the uniqueness of their new playthings. 

Now, don’t get me wrong- if I open up a pair of diamond earrings Christmas morning, I’m not going to tell the hubby to take them back and make me a mixed tape!  I’m not that into homemade!!  Hee hee…  We will probably still buy things from the store for each other- just not much, not this year.

Tuesday night I worked on the first of the older boys’ Christmas presents.  I made super hero capes.  They love to dress up and put on ‘shows,’ and my fingers get tired from tying their blankets into knots!  So I thought they would love these:


Please ignore the wrinkles!


I only used what I had on hand: material I’ve had for years, ribbon I was given a while back, standard white thread, and scraps of fusible webbing I used for a craft 6 years ago!

A simple hem around the sides and bottom (I used a zig-zag stitch on everything for detail) and a wide hem at the top to string through some ribbon is all it took.  I added a strip of ribbon near the bottom for ‘decoration’ (I’m sure boys don’t like to use that word):


Finally, I added their initials so no one can mistake their ownership and/or super-identities.


Things to think about:

  • I just used what I had, but this fabric is going to be a wrinkled mess all the time!  Next time, I’ll consider buying a knit fabric that will look nicer.
  • I’m not sold on the zig-zag stitch, but it’s better than straight, and I’m just not a very skilled seamstress yet.
  • There are plenty of areas that just don’t look too great (see above disclaimer), but thankfully, the boys will never notice these, and I can pretend they’re not there…
  • I did sew the ribbon tie to the cape so it would not slide out, but I think a wider ribbon would have been better.  I’m also considering putting some velcro on the ends so they don’t have to bother tying them.

One (two?) down, how many more to go…?  I’ve got one idea for the Minions, and I’ve made a start on Sweetheart Girl’s, but I’ll wait to post until they’re done.  If you have favorite, easy project ideas, pass them along, please!!


  1. Those look GREAT! I bet your boys will love them!!

    Thanks for the heads-up on the book sling needing to be sewed. How did Luke like his?

    I am thinking about making the cute little purse that you sewed for Kate a while back as a Christmas gift for Miriam, and maybe a matching one for Becky, too.

  2. Luke really likes his book sling, but none of his books are tall enough to stick out of the top, so I think it just looks like a piece of fabric hanging on his wall!

    I'm starting on some felt foods for Kate, and I don't want to steal your thunder, but I'm going to make a post on that as well for my family members that read this! I'm sure you don't mind :)

    Crafts are fun!

  3. Very cute! I got a sewing machine last Christmas, and have never used one in my life. I vowed to learn to use it, and have homemade gifts for this Christmas. Sadly, I have only attempted one very sad BBQ apron for my husband. You have never seen such ugly stitches. I should post it for a good laugh on my blog. Hmm, you've inspired me. I'm going to try to make something soon.
    Thanks for sharing....Stopping by from Raising Homemakers link up.

  4. I made homemade dolls for my niece (who is turning 2 this January). I got the patterns off etsy, but I know that there are plenty free online (I'm actually getting ready to make her a MollyMonkey from a free pattern.....super cute monkey with a beret!). I hand sew the dolls because I find it easier. You could also look on for ideas, just by searching for a keyword or through their "homemade gift" category! These capes are awesome looking, I wish I had a little boy to make them for!

  5. What about making some cute fabric play food for your little girl. There are cute examples of this on Little felt cookies, fabric muffins, etc. Your capes are so cute!

  6. I love this idea! I have a friend who made the cutest cape for her daughter and monogrammed it.

  7. I am Angela at This Parenting Adventure and I came over from RH...Fabulous idea - love it! I might see these in my near sewing future:)

  8. I'm visiting from Raising Homemakers.What a cute blog. Your children are precious.

  9. Thanks to everyone for all the sweet comments, encouragement, and great ideas!!

  10. I really enjoy your writing!

    Visting from RH Homemaking Link-Up.

  11. I love the capes my grandmother made capes for my brothers 20 years ago they still have them.I would however use velcro if they tye them jump off somthing and catch they could choke thierselves.