Saturday, November 01, 2008

November Challenge - Make a Christmas Gift

Mel SewingAssumption #1 - Sometimes you get to Christmas and wish you had given hand-made gifts instead of buying everything from Argos (or wherever)

Assumption #2 - One year you decided to give only hand-made gifts for Christmas, and ended up with a nervous breakdown because you couldn't possibly do it all in time

Assumption #3 - At least once you decided to make someone a hand-made gift for Christmas but didn't get it finished in time. In fact you never got it finished at all

So, this year is going to be different. I'm going to give at least one hand-made gift this Christmas, but no more than three. And they're not going to be huge and time-consuming. They're going to be of a size and scale that is achievable without me being committed to a mental institution. And I'm going to start now. This week. That's November's challenge.

I have already agreed with my dad that I am going to make him a waistcoat for Christmas. he and I picked the pattern together, and bought the fabric and all the notions. All I need are his measurements. So dad, I'll be emailing you a list of the dimensions I need. If you can't do them yourself, you'll have to ask one of your friends to measure you. Once I've got the measurements I'm going to get stuck in, and it will be finished in plenty of time. I've made garments many times before, so I know how long it will take to do. It's not so quick and easy that dad might feel I hadn't spent any time or effort on his gift. But it's not so big and time-consuming that I won't have it finished in time (like dad's quilt which is still half-quilted). It's just the right size for a hand-made Christmas gift project.

If you'd like to join in, choose a realistic gift to make for someone this Christmas, and get started as soon as possible. Tell me what you have decided to make, and keep me posted about your progress. And don't forget to vote in the poll in the right-hand sidebar to say when you've done it.

21 comments:

Shibaguyz said...

I have a sweater, two scarves and two quilts on sticks right now that I'm knitting for Christmas gifts. In addition, there will be pot holders and dish rags to accompany the packages of canned goods we're giving from our garden. Finally, Jason is making flannel pajama sets for family and friends. *whew* We've added more and more handmade gifts each year and this year there will be no gifts bought from the store.

Thank you for issuing this challenge to get more people involved in this thoughtful and wonderful way of gifting during the holidays.

Becca said...

Although not nearly as ambitious as the previous commenter I have the materials all ready to go for several cross stich gifts for Christmas.

And for those I don't get around to making gifts for myself I plan to stay as close to homemade as possible and try to buy from etsy sellers.

Slice of life said...

I am only making for one person. My sister is getting a necklace, earrings and bracelet I have started so, it should be done and dusted soon!

I did ask everyone if we could have a limit (£10), or make the gifts. Only my sister took me up on it. So it must be I either give fab presents bought from the shops, or no one wanted my gifts???

Z said...

Um. I'll have to think about it. At present, unless I can think of someone who would love some quince jelly, I haven't much idea.

When my children were small we used to make most of their presents - a Noah's Ark, skittles, a play house and that sort of thing. I also could make little children's clothes. I think the world has moved past my capabilities.

Robj98168 said...

I usually make a majority of my gifts- This year I am re-upholstering an old head board in chic Microfiber fabric for my mom. I also took one of her PIg shaped cutting boards (yes she collects them)and am converting it into a clock. And I am giving out bottles of homemade brandy this year to relatives who imbibe as well as Brownies baked ina jar. Other years I make t-shirts, or rather make imprints on the t-shirts- i Use the iron on t-shirt transfers and then iron them using a platen iron I obtained a few years ago, one year in Lieu of t-shirts I bought a qauntity of shopping bags and made personalized canvas shopping bags.

Great Idea for a challenge! Count me in!

Lesley said...

Does this count as home made? last year we made up Rum-pots...jars stuffed full of the mixed dried fruits (apricots, apples, pears. prunes etc)which you can buy for a song in Lidl, and then filled the jars to the brim with rum (cooking quality only)
After two months it only needs a spoonful of the now very juicy fruit with a little cream to make a gloriously rich desert (only for imbibing adults, though)

kathyann said...

I'm making my 3 girls an apron each and they've taken a fancy to some of the bags I've been making for a local charity,so I'll make each of them a different design.
We are giving their dad a basket/hamper with all home made produce,so far we've made marmalade,an assortment of jams, bottles of rhubarb wine and rhubarb schnapps and we will add a Christmas cake, mince pies,peppermint creams, chocolate covered nuts and fudge along with homemade Christmas crackers when we've got them all finished nearer the time.
We would far rather have home made gifts,Christmas has just got out of hand and people are having to cut back.
I remember my parents would buy or be given second hand toys for us(I was the eldest of 6)and revamping them to make look newer but we were grateful for anything.My mum must have sat up for hours at night knitting dolls clothes and mounting them on the backs of covered cornflake packets.
Thank goodness for charity shops,I have bought some lovely books in excellent condition,just waiting to be wrapped up.
I'm going to do far more this year if time allows!
Love from Kathy and the girls

Andy Guo said...

I'll have to think about it. I haven't much idea.

http://gwb-chinese.blogspot.com/

Yellow said...

I have two scarfs done, and designs for another two. I also need to get cracking with the sloe gin too.
I love the suggestion of buying gifts from Etsy sellers.

Raindrops said...

So far have not made anything this year. Last year I made pomanders, lavender wands and moth repellent sachets, plus soap and toiletries. Will have to get thinking on this years pretty quick.

Bill of Ballaugh said...

I have always loved gifts made by my children and my grandchildren. There can be no greater present than one into which they have put their precious time, thought and love and, because of that, it is unique. No-one else in that world has, or ever will have, one just like it and part of themselves is embedded in it. Send me your requirements Mel and I'll get right on to it.

Mariella said...

I used to make gifts all the time for family for xmas when I was a kid but then other things took priority and I never quite got around to finishing anything. Infact I have a beanie and one half of a sweater on knitting needles at the moment!! the beanie i started LAST winter and got knows how many years the unfinished sweater project has been sitting in my draw!! not to mention several cross stitch projects.

Any this year this month I'm going to get into the harakeke (flax) bush out the back and make my Mum a lil basket.

Condo Blues said...

This year my family's pets and my own are getting homemade peanut butter treats from me. I'm also making my sister's dog some braided chew toys from fleece bankets. I'm not sure what (or if) I'm making for the human's yet!

Killi said...

I make all my own cards & last year made wrist warmers for the boys & scarves for the girls. I'm working on a rug that's trying to become a blanket at the moment, but not sure who'll receive that.

IF the bank will send me my Visa Debit card, then several people will get calendars with photos I've taken throughout the year, but after 3 years, the bank hasn't changed my address & won't send my new card out until they have a copy of my passport (sent twice so far) & have a visit from me to my local branch. Try explaining that my old local branch was a village post office in Somerset & Alliance & Leicester do not have branches in Southern Ireland! On asking if they had branches in the North, the person I was talking to had no idea (they do)... It works out cheaper to get my calendars printed via an online company than trying to do it here with enlargements of photos I've taken.

I'll try to knit or crochet something for my 2 daughters (& maybe son's fiancée if she comes over) & son & son-in-law, if time allows.

Must get on with designing card...

MrsMags said...

I've knitted and felted a potholder and oven glove for my Dad ans StepMum - they're the first things I've felted and I'm so pleased with them. They were quick to knit on big needles and look great. I'm also planning to knit some socks from my brother - I have the yarn but haven't started yet. I've just knitted my son an IPod sock, which he loves - it occurred to me afterwards that it would've made a good stocking filler.

The rumpots sound great - I might give those a go too. And what's etsy?

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Last Christmas I was in a frenzy of cotton washcloth knitting (presented with lovely bars of soap). This year I'm knitting mohair and angora lounge socks (for lounging on the sofa in your PJs in winter while reading a good book and drinking hot chocolate). Yes I know Christmas is midsummer here but they can be tucked away for when they're needed...

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