Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade gifts

Now I can show you what I have been working on all month.  You probably noticed the picture of L. wearing her wings in the last post.  I made a set of bird wings for each little girl, though L. has deemed them butterfly wings, and I have a feeling that is what they will be.  (I shamelessly copied all my gifts this year from other bloggers.  To give credit where credit is due, I'll link back to each original set of instructions.)  Here is a picture of one.  I changed the original instructions a bit on these.  I made the feathers out of felt and sewed them on instead of gluing.  I also wasn't so thrilled with the idea of tying them on around the child's neck, so I changed that a bit and made it so that they tied around the upper arms.

Here you can see the underside.  I kind of liked the the rows of sewn feathers ended up looking a bit like wonky quilting on the underside.  You can also see how the ribbons are attached and the little loop of elastic for a finger to go through.

These were probably L.'s favorite gift and she wore them a lot.  At one point in the day, I was calling her upstairs for a diaper change.  I called her name and I heard her yelling something back at me.  Someone finally translated.   She was yelling, "Not L.!  Butterfly!"  So I called the butterfly up and she came quickly and happily, flapping all the way.

For TM and D., I made fort kits.  Each boy had a large double sheet which had ties sewn-on.  Here you can see TM's set-up on his bed.  (J. used an old tent pole to help support the top.)

Along with the sheet, I also included lengths of rope and some strong clips.

TM has loved this and has his fort organized.  This is how he slept last night.

I also included other items... scoops, magnifying glasses, anything I could find at the dollar store which looked as though it could be imagined into different things.  I also made a bag to store it all in.

M. fell in love with a stuffed whale and so I made it for her.  I am probably most proud of how this turned out since I had to draw the pattern free hand and the instructions were in Finnish.

P. received an A-frame tent.  This was probably the easiest gift since all I had to do was hem the fabric; J. cut and drilled the wood.  It was a good thing that it was an easy thing to sew since I was working on it at  11pm on Christmas Eve.

For a girl who likes to find little hidey-holes to curl up in, it is a perfect gift.

There were a couple of gifts I had wanted to make, but realized that I wouldn't have time to finish.  Those I will file away in my brain and create at some other gift giving time.

One of the best things about these gifts is their overall low cost.  The wings were completely made with supplies I had on hand.  (I went through a phase of buying wool clothes at the thrift store and felting them for unusual colors of felt and that made it a much easier project to make.)  The fort kits required only thrifted sheets (bought at the thrift store on half-price day), items from the dollar store, and material on hand.  Not a high cost venture.  The whale was made with denim which I had bought for a dollar at the thrift store a while back.   P.'s tent required new wood, but it wasn't a large amount so was reasonable.  The fabric I already had on hand.

Really, what it boils down to is that I really, really like thrift stores, I guess.  And my sewing machine.  Which is broken now and I need to take it in and be fixed.  Which I hope isn't going to be too expensive.

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