crafty holiday roundup

This year’s Christmas crafting was much less stressful than last year’s—mainly because I relied on sewing, rather than knitting (speedier, less pressure).  I certainly didn’t plan ahead more, and though that final week was a little touch and go, I enjoyed myself through most of it.  So here we go . . .
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Someone in our household received a Kindle this year, so I sewed him up a case based on this pattern which I found through Sew Mama Sew’s Handmade Holidays goodness.  The outer layer is made from part of a thrifted wool blanket, and the lining is black cotton—I was going for something very masculine, so no patchwork or flowers here.  I didn’t use any batting in between layers, as the blanket provided enough cushioning on its own.
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For some friends and additional gift bag stuffers, I serged up some coasters and made several jars of Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub (recipe also found via SMS).
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My most challenging project involved sewing several dressy scarves for my sister-in-law, whose name I drew in my family’s annual gift exchange.
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Left to right: mustard and lavender were simple hemmed rectangles of silky material; the aqua scarf was made using this tutorial; the gray scarf was inspired by this one; and I had lots of fun making the orange scarf following this tutorial from MADE.
The aqua, gray, and orange scarves were all made from a linen/rayon blend and dyed with Rit dye after sewing.  This was my first experience using color dyes, and I definitely understand now, why many people favor natural dyes—I think I can safely say I’ll only be using natural dyes if possible from now on: the chemicals, directions, etc., for commercial dyes are scary.
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To compliment the scarves, I had fun constructing four felt flower brooches (sorry for the blurry photos).  I would have liked to have had a few more practice runs with these as I’m afraid they look a little elementary, but it was challenging trying out different techniques and combinations for different looks.
This post is growing a little long, so I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up with some sewing for the little people and our favorite recipe finds this year.

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