Christmas Gift Sewing Projects
When it comes to Christmas shopping, I am RUBBISH! I leave it til the last minute. Not because I don’t care, I do. I write little notes throughout the year, an ongoing list if you like, of all the things I see that I think people will like.
For my Ma it reads:
Good hand cream – LOTS
My Pa is:
Long sleeved shirt
Case of nice wine
For the Man in My Life:
An esquitoir (some kind of writers table apparently!)
Quilted silk robe (with cool embroidery on the back)
Then there are lists for my brothers and their families, and then my close friends too… And my boys and my girlies – six more ‘kids’ to consider!
These lists include heavy duty backpacks, toys, gadgets and what not…
Can you IMAGINE what a mess it becomes when you leave your shopping to the last minute?
I end up with no time left to have items delivered, or not enough money for the items on the list as I didn’t start saving early enough. Of course, this means I end up doing Christmas on a budget.
Christmas on a budget
So, how can we get around such a situation AS it happens. Like right now, not next year?
I drew up a new list while curled up in bed ill this past week. This is what that one looks like:
- Shirts: Pa
- Pjs: Ma
- Nightie: Old niece,
- Robe: Man
- T-Shirt: SIL C, Brother Ch
- Rucksack: Brother L
- Nightie Pouches: girlies and old niece
You can see it is now made up of items that can be sewn. Yep. It’s come time to crack out the patterns and my machine and get crackin’..!
All I have left to buy for then is my older nephew (13), my younger niece and nephew (3 and 7) and of course my boys. The younger ones are always trickier of course if your thinking of making something for them; they like toys, games and gadgets more than clothes!
Planning Christmas Gift Sewing Projects
I’ve mentioned before that I use a bullet diary for my day to day planning and then CoSchedule for bigger projects that are worked into my blog content.
For this number of projects I’m going to use a simple spreadsheet on my computer, and print it off for each project, so I know I’m all set.
This is what that spreadsheet looks like:
I then have this ready to tick off and stay on track for each individual project! 🙂
This one is an easy one for me. I’ve sewn a few in my lifetime and I know my pa will love a good longer sleeved shirt. The only problem might be with the buttonholing. My machine does them, but not well, so I always take them to the button hole man off Berwick Street. There may not be time so this one is first on the list to make! And if I am late, it’ll be press studs instead! 😉
- Pattern – loose fit shirt pattern
- Fabric – cotton
- Fusible interfacing for collar, cuffs and button stand
- Buttons or press studs
This has to be made at the same time, because the Man is disappearing home to his parents for three days this weekend. Yes, I’ll be pushed for time, but it means I can sew it up while he’s away.
- Pattern – developed from a current robe
- Fabric – silk satin
- Fusible interfacing
- Bias binding to finish
This one is next important as my older niece turned 16 yesterday. And I forgot to send her a card. Seriously, I am RUBBISH lately! She loves clothes and my Ma tells me she likes nighties just like I used to when I was a teen. So that’s an easy one to do too! I reckon a little ‘PJ pouch’ to keep night clothes today would be super cool too. If there’s time!
- Pattern – developed from a dress pattern?
- Fabric – silk satin (blue)
My Ma has some rather serious and ongoing health problems so Pyjamas are her comfy clothes. I know she just bought some new ones but you can never have too many jammies right? They’re also super easy to knock up so I can easily make a few pairs for her!
- Pattern – developed from a one piece trouser pattern
- Fabric – soft cotton woven
- Fusible interfacing
My sis in law is also a good friend, and she’s a sporty girl rather than a girly girl. I know she could use some more T-shirts so at least one will go down well with her! My older brother Ch will also find space for one I’m sure!
- Pattern – T-Shirt block
- Fabric – cotton jersey, ribbing
I remember having a PJ pouch when I was younger. A little cloth bag with hands feet and a stuffed head. It had an opening at the back to pop my pjs in and looked tidy on my pillow. My girlies are ALWAYS dumping their jammies on the floor, or stuffed under the duvet. I reckon a girlie PJ pouch will go down well! 🙂
- Simple self drafted pattern
Now, this will be the trickiest one. I’ve never made such a bag before, not one that could be classified as ‘heavy duty’ anyhow! My lil’brother uses a knackered old one that I got him three years ago, so he is due an upgrade. He uses it for work, and to carry heavy items from the grocery store, so it needs a lot of reinforcing. And some good strong fabric to start. Maybe a canvas!?!
- Pattern – developed from a base pattern
- Fabric – canvas?
- Wadding for the straps?
- Fusible strong interfacing
- Thread – heavy duty
- Buckles for straps
- Zipper or rivets for closing
Batching My Christmas Gift Sewing Projects
The best way to get something done when you have a date goal in mind is to batch it. It’s a term used by bloggers when they talk about ‘creating content’. I’ve adopted it to talk about crackin’ on with my Christmas gift sewing projects!
The idea is that you do all of one thing in an allocated period. So, if I had three hour blocks twice a day, I would assign different tasks to each block to make the most of the time. When we go from one thing to another and then back again – context switching – we lose focus and that can mean we lose time instead of gaining it!
Time Available for Christmas Gift Sewing Projects
So I know I have all day Thursday, Saturday and Sunday free, as well as time on Friday evening and Monday too. I must not forget that I’m still ill and knackered, but that’s also good for batching – I can have naps in between right?! 😉
I can batch work like this:
Thursday 15th: 10-1pm, 2-5pm, 7-9pm
Friday 16th: 4-6pm, 8-11pm
Saturday 17th: 9-12pm, 2-5pm, 7-10pm
Sunday 18th: 10-1pm, 2-5pm, 7-10pm
Monday19th :10-1pm, 2-5pm, 6-10pm
That’s 40 hours to get as much completed as possible. I also have a little time on the Tuesday of next week so can add finishing touches then if need be. What do you think? Will I make it?
Pattern Making the Christmas Gift Sewing Projects
This will be a super fun part but will take time. So before I even think about fabrics and sewing I need to get the patterns down!
Thursday 15th: 10-1pm (3hrs)
- Checking current patterns for suitability
- Modifying patterns for size / fit
- Drafting a new bag pattern
- Drafting a new robe pattern
- drafting a PJ Pouch pattern
- Check fabric amount needed for each pattern as I go and note down on spreadsheet
Thursday 15th: 2-5pm (3hrs)
- Go through fabrics
- List fabrics still needed
- Find out interfacings
- Locate zippers and buttons and list what’s still needed
Thursday 15th: 7-9pm (2hrs)
- Cut out interfacings for the different projects
- Sew the PJ pouches (overlocking will be faster) to take to girlies on Friday
- It’s important not to underestimate the time some things take. I know cutting out takes me longer as I like to get everything perfect
Friday 16th: 4-6pm (2hrs)
- I have work with my girlies so no time during the day
- I can pop to the fabric shops in London though to get the last few bits I need for all my Christmas gift sewing projects
Friday 16th: 8-11pm (3hrs)
- First night home alone so I will crack on with cutting out fabric for the robe and the nightie as they are both using slippy silk fabrics
- I’ll also cut out the wadding for the quilting
- If there is time remaining I’ll also cut out the shirt too, even if it means staying up an extra hour or two!
Saturday 17th: 9-12pm 2-5pm, 7-10pm
- Today will be cutting day for the most part; the pyjamas, the T-Shirts and the bag
- Pinning sections together takes time too, but can make the sewing process way faster
- I’ll only roughly pin the items that will be overlocked but those pieces using the sewing machine will be properly pinned
Sunday 18th: (10-1pm, 2-5pm & 7-10pm)
- It’s sewing day! This is the BIG DAY. Lots to get stitched up and I’ll be sewing in the order of importance
- Starting with the robe as the Man returns on Tuesday, so it’ll need wrapping and hiding before then
- The tricky part will be the ‘quilting’. It’s been a while since I did this, and on silk? Could get messy
- If I do complete it, I will sew the nightie too. Same fibre content for the fabrics, so will make life a bit easier right?
Monday 19th: (10-1pm, 2-5pm & 6-10pm)
- This is knock’em out day, 10 hours of sewing.
- Pyjamas and Tee’s on the overlocker
- Rucksack on the main machine with heavy duty needle
Tuesday 20th: 10-2pm
- The man returns home to our place today, so these are the last few hours to put finishing touches in place.
- I’l also be bus tidying up any photos taken during the process so I can show you all the makes next week.
Christmas Gift Sewing Projects
Thats it folks… My christmas gift sewing projects are planned out and ready to go. No time for much today as work calls, but I shall try to order the wadding ready for the quilted robe. I KNOW I don’t have any of that lying around. 🙂
Wish me luck in the comments? Let me know your tips too! Til next week…
RECOMMENDED READING: If this post got your goat, why not check out my post on sewing the Betty dress or maybe even the post about creating your own sloper / block from a clothing pattern?
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