For me, Christmas means MAKING gifts. Speaking for myself, there is no comparison to the experience of GIVING when I compare giving something I’ve made with thought and loving hands, or something I (even with thought) went and purchased. I welcome your feelings in the Comments below.
Special Gifts From 34 Years Ago
A plus to going through all the boxes for our big move in 2016 was finding precious things I’d saved over the years, and putting them where I could easily find them in a timely manner. Below are very 2 special gifts I made for our little ones. Now, years later, I am SO looking forward to sharing these with our new little granddaughter (now 15 months) this season.
Rudolph Toddler Jumper
For years, I made not only ‘Sunday’ fancy Christmas outfits for our boy and girl (3 years apart), but also ‘casual’ Christmas outfits. The ‘casual’ one for our daughter for Christmas 1983 is this Rudolph Jumper of red pinwheel corduroy. That Christmas, when she was 15 months old, I not only made this jumper for her, but one just like it for her cousin as a gift.
I distinctly remember copying the reindeer image from a garment I saw in a catalog. The reindeer is actually tan Ultrasuede. The armhole and neckline edges are finished in piping and facings of red polka dot cotton. These were ‘before serger’ days, so I the few seams were flat felled, and Seams Great binding encases the raw edge of the hem which is hand-stitched. It is really in perfect condition, and just maybe Kenzie will wear it for their family Christmas card! Happy memories, for sure. Inspecting my sewing skills of 34 years ago is interesting, indeed. Altogether, I think I did just pretty well. Even then, I revered the detail of piping. Fond memories – both of the creating and the giving.
Cardboard Table Tent
Very honestly, I am not sure I created this ‘tent’ as a Christmas gift, but I know I created and stitched it with love. This cardboard table cover ‘tent’ provided many hours of fun play, and I can’t wait to see our little Kenzie have fun in it. Though her brother is 11 years older rather than 4, I know he’ll have a good time showing her how to ‘play’ in her ‘house.’
Here is the ‘Front Door’. You can see it can remain open with the help of a Velcro square. “Mommy Loves You’ is written on the inside of the flap with fabric paint – which were all the rage at the time. At the time, we had both a dog and a cat – hence the front ‘critters’.
I remember that my goal was to design it so that part was ‘girly’ and part more ‘boy’. Hence, the lace curtains on the plastic window below. The ribbon bows can be ‘untied’ to close the curtains. The plastic ‘window’ was all crunched and torn from storage, so a new ‘windowpane’ of plastic is on my ‘To Do’ list. Inspecting the applique stitch work in general, I see it was quite open rather than tightly filled in. Since the denim I created it of is VERY heavy, I think that was on purpose. Making this tent in the spare bedroom on my old mechanical Viking and VERY small sewing table must have been quite the task!
Below, you can see the ‘panes’ of the window.
Horizontal bars go across the ‘boy’ window, which I remember, I was thinking to make like an old time western jail. These Bandana ‘curtains’ stay open with the help of velcro squares.
After those window creations, I remember I was tired, so the ‘back side’ is just 3 balloons of polka dot fabric.
For the top – what else but the sky? I did just fuse on a new felt ‘Sun’ this afternoon. The clouds are fluffy fake fur. Along with some trimming of ofrayed raw edges of the denim, I turned up the lowermost edge to give it a new, clean hem.
Nine days and counting until we see the little family for Thanksgiving – and to share these family ‘heirloom gifts’.
I’ve also got a felt free-standing felt Christmas tree and felt ornaments (manger scene plus other typical motifs) almost done for toddler play as well. I’ll share that in an upcoming blog post.
Please share with me some pictures and tales of what you’ve made for gifts – and your plans for this up-coming gift-giving season. ESPECIALLY for men! Women ideas are never a problem – it’s those GUYS that are the challenge. Send me any pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org. I assume if you send them, you’ll be giving me permission to share on this blog.
Comment below with your gift-giving memories and ideas. Sadly, I’ve had to set Comments to needing approval before actually viewable, but I tend to that as soon as they come through. Thanks in advance for sharing.