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Gift to Make: A Draw-able Tote for Your Small Person

Draw-Your-Tote kit

My sister said that my 4 1/2 year-old nephew is getting a little crafty lately and to act accordingly when gift giving.  It probably goes without saying that this news warmed me to the very depths of my soul.  He is the oldest of three and I wanted to give him a "big boy" craft to do during his siblings nap time.  But it had to be something he could do independently so that my sister could catch a little break to. 

I decided to put together a Draw-Your-Own Tote and T-shirt kit using some great textile markers and pastels I picked up at Collage, a handmade tote bag, and a blank T-shirt. 

For the Tote bag you'll need light coloured cotton canvas and a liner print (you could do without the liner, and just finish your interior seams).  We have a little of the Oasis canvas left and we also carry larger widths of organic canvas from Kaufman, which is what I used.  I slapped my hand away from the "On the Road" line (also from Kaufman) and used an older coordinating print from my piles.  There's no reason you shouldn't get some of the newer Alexander Henry prints or a bit of Momo.  The bag measures about 11" by 14", so a half yard of each fabric will give you plenty.  The finished dimensions on the straps are 2" by 24".  I'm going to refer you to two fantastic tote tutorials (among the hundreds):  Tote Bags 101 and Simple Totebag.  Once you've got the basics down, you can modify these patterns to suit your needs! 

Tee Juice makes great markers for textiles, but I also included some Pentel Fabric Fun Pastels that will be easy for my nephew to get a handle on.  Again, both of those items came from just up at the street.  I threw in a T-shirt for him and a blank onesie for his little brother-- just in case he's feeling generous.  I started messing around with the Fine Line Tee Juice marker in black this afternoon and half considered throwing in some blank pillowcases and napkins, too.  Grandparents gifts, anyone?  Oh, I think so.

New for December

Sample Monogram


As you know, Alicia Paulson will be joining us down at Modern Domestic this Friday afternoon from 5-6:30.  She'll be chatting, signing books, and doing some giveaways.  I'll be doing my best not to make off with some of her gorgeous samples and the rest of the cupcakes.

Malka Dubrawsky's new book Fresh Quilting is here!  This book is full of original and approachable patterns for quilts, home dec items and accessories, all of which employ Malka's bold approach to colour.  Pair it with a stack of Kaufman solid fat quarters and you have yourself a fantastic gift bundle for yourself or someone like you.  

Westrade Windham

April and Hannah were unpacking this box from Westrade this afternoon-- there's a grey print that I didn't get a picture of that matches.  As well, there are a couple solid, mid weight, textural/weave bolts that coordinate.  They had just finished shelving the brand new Parisville line from Tula Pink and Free Spirit (not pictured).  The second photo are a stack of prints from Windham.  We don't carry a lot of reproduction prints and I really like the medium scale and rich palette on these.

There are new bits coming in almost every day, so if you're looking for some inspiration-- COME ON DOWN!  And, if you haven't registered or picked up a Supportland card yet, now would be a good time.  We're one of the retailers participating in a big giveaway between now and December 19.  Details HERE


Gifts to Make: Pajamas, Part 2 (Tops!)

pajama top!

Now, as far as sewing clothes go, mentioning things like collars, set in sleeves and button holes can send even an intermediate sewer into a fit of anxiety.  With that in mind you need to try out the Jalie Pajamas and give yourself a boost of confidence.  This pattern is dead easy as far as all of those things go.  I made zero modifications, save leaving out the interfacing, and after tracing the pattern and cutting the pieces, the actual sewing only took an evening. Pajama sets just became a doable, give-able item of clothing! 

Jalie 2686

The buttons went on after the first picture, but I pulled it out of the laundry for the second so that you didn't have to take my word for it.  Since entering the dark days of a PNW late fall and winter, I take my light (and my pictures) when I can get them.  The Jalie pattern comes in sizes from child to woman, so take the time to trace your pieces onto swedish tracing paper or newsprint so that you'll be able to use the pattern again and again.  I picked my size based exactly on the measurements on the back.  They came out a little loose (how I wanted them), but if you're looking for something more fitted, you might try going down a size.  Measure the pieces if you're in doubt.  The flannel I used came from my piles, but now that I know how quickly it came together I'm going back for some Moda or Riley Blake prints. This pattern would also work well in lawn or voile for the warmer months.

There's a reason that mall shelves are jammed full of comfy pants and pajama sets before the holidays.  Keeping someone cozy at night is a fantastic gift to give.  I'm giving these ones to myself!