I get nostalgic about things very quickly. Christmas was only 9 days ago and I already feel sentimental looking at the photos. I’ll show you some crafty stuff first, but I plan to end this post with a last slew of Christmas pics so I can *try* to move on.
First crafty item of note: mom’s knitting bag. I sewed the bag on my grandmother’s very nice Pfaff, which is in many ways an excellent machine but which refused to sew a perfectly straight line for me (wrong size needle, probably). I hope it’s not very obvious in the photos, but I carefully double-stitched everying with wavering seams. Hmph.
When I’ve made purses or bags in the past I always drew a pattern first. However, patterns take me a really long time and they usually end up being kind of inaccurate because it’s hard to make your seam allowances perfect when you’re holding three layers of fabric. So this time I just started cutting the fabric without a fixed idea of what the final product was going to look like. I started with the sweatervest pockets (what’s a knitting bag without any knit?) and shaped everything else around them.
I also decided to make the bottom section an oval-shaped separate piece, which turned out to be a huge hassle. I had to hand-baste everything to keep the fabric from sliding around, and since I didn’t have a pattern I just sort of guessed what the size of the oval should be. It turned out well, but I’m not sure I’ll do that again.
Josh rummaged around in grandma’s old button jar and found four matching buttons for me, which were the perfect addition to the straps.
So in the end, mom got a roomy + sturdy knitting bag with full sentimental value (only four days after Christmas!).
Next up are some Christmas presents. These are the two pieces of lovely fabric that Tim got me in Japan. My initial plans are to use some of the stuff on the left as edging for a simple linen kimono-style robe; I think it’ll take me a while to work up to cutting the fabric on the right because it’s just so gorgeous.
Tim also found me a book full of ideas for wrapping gifts in fabric. The author makes the most amazing little baskets out of cloth wrapped around bowls, which I think might be a good use of some of the scraps I have lying around.
I heart Japanese craft books.
I don’t have anything to show from this book yet, but Josh actually read my wish list and got me a copy of Amy Butler‘s In Stitches. The book has about 25 simple projects for the home and a few garments (like the kimono robe). I can’t wait to be able to make one of these things – I even dragged the whole family to a quilting store in Bellevue to get ahold of some genuine Amy Butler fabric. (I got a few great fabrics at the quilting store, actually…I’ll try to remember to take a photo.)
Crafty projects still to come: the handbag I made my sister for her birthday (another “chop the fabric and make something out of it” project) and my planned renovation of the remains of the red sweatervest.
But back to Christmas one last time. The holidays were so great that I can’t help thinking about them as I sit in my little office staring at heaps (heaps!) of unopened mail and a huge email inbox. So, I’ll sign off with some of my favorite Christmas memories, like:
seeing my brother,
making a gingerbread house for the first time,
taking the ferry to Seattle,
seeing my dad’s side of the family (including a new baby),
watching my cousin’s little girls unwrap their new dolls,
shopping for new clothes,
lots of kisses and hugs,
and driving home through a snow-covered Snoqualmie Pass.
It wasn’t a white Christmas, but it sure was a good one.