First off-- a reminder! The store will be closed this Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday the 25th and 26th. So, if you have projects you'd like to work on over the long weekend, best to come in today (Saturday, we're open until 5), tomorrow from 11-4, or Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-6pm. As always, we're closed on Mondays. Modern Domestic is hosting a huge Sale on Friday the 25th through the 4th of December. Check their site for ways of saving on almost everything in the store.
I have resolved to part with my dreams of a coordinated wrapping paper scheme under the tree. Instead, I'm prepping for a re-usable, holiday neutral, but no less coordinated fabric wrap plan. That way, even if the gift is not hand made the way in which it is presented will be! This is a surprisingly economical way to go, considering how many times these bags can be re-purposed. Best of all, the fabric doesn't have to be celebration specific! None of these reds and greens scream Christmas until they're piled up together. The prints are both from a recent shipment from Riley Blake.
The Ribbon Bag
This is the easiest bag to make. Cut two rectangles of matching dimensions. Finish the top edge by serging, tacking down, or hemming. Place the rectangles right sides together, sandwiching two lengths of ribbon 2" from the top edge. The pieces should be at least 10" long for a nice bow. Sew up the remaining three sides and you're done!
The Drawstring Bag
This has one or two more steps, but ends up being more versatile in the end. It can go back in the gift wrap box, or you can use it to hold shoes in your luggage, soccer uniforms, or produce from the grocery store.
Cut two rectangles of matching dimensions. Begin by sewing one of the side seams first. To do this, create a line of stitching 3/4"-1" long, back tacking at either end. Leave an opening 1" long. Resume a line of stitching all the way down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side. Press the seam open and top stitch around the 1" opening you've left in the seam. Fold down the top edge to hem and top stitch a 1/2" from the edge. Use a safety pin or bodkin (large threading needle) to thread a ribbon or string through the channel you've created, using the keyhole you've created. Knot the ends of the ribbon together.
Try making your bags out of a rainbow of plain Kona cottons or mix it up using coordinating novelty fabrics. Using fabric paint (we carry my favourite, Jaquard Textile Color), you can stencil initials or simple graphics on the outside.
A Few More Ideas:
- Baste some fancy or funny (we carry both) dish towels together for sheet wrap.
- Serge or hem up cloth napkins to wrap around culinary gifts.
- Use luxury fabric like silk or velvet for small drawstring bags. And don't forget to trim them out! We've got gorgeous ribbon and wool felt for applying or appliqueing.
- Visit our friends down at Collage and pick up some fabric friendly stamps and stamp pads. Then let your kids get crazy with a large piece of muslin. They've also got some super cute gift tags at the moment.
I have made my boys lots of things over the last 7 years, but none have been so loved and worn as pajama bottoms. They have been passed down from one to the other with stops to family and friends inbetween. They are winter perfect in flannel, and summer perfect in quilter's cotton. My favourites are the ones made from novelty fabrics (sock monkeys! circus stripes!) that you might not otherwise use for daytime clothes.
Pajama bottoms are achingly simple to sew for small and big people. You can make them as simple (elastic waste band encased in a large hem) or complicated (facings, pockets, fancy cuffs!) as you like. I know a lot of families participate in the tradition of giving pajamas on days like Solstice or Christmas Eve-- how about handmade ones this year? Most patterns come in a number of sizes, so you can outfit all your small people from a single pattern (don't forget the tracing paper!). I made these three pairs for under the tree in an evening. With only a few pieces to cut out for each pair, they make up very quickly. I always include a "tag" in the back made out of super soft FOE (fold over elastic) to help the boys sort out which way in their feet are supposed to go.
We carry patterns for simple kids sleep pants, and we have bolts and bolts of beautiful flannel from Free Spirit, Riley Blake, and others. Do you recognize my plaid? The sale took care of that bolt, but there's plenty more cozy where that came from. Once the flannel runs out we'll need to make room for more inventory, which means we'll have a limited number of flannel options until next fall.
Coming soon... Part 2: Pajamas for the Bigs! Or, This is One Collar You'll Be Happy to Sew
The GIVEhandmade Sale (formerly the "Secret Society Sale") is happening Sunday, November 28th. Bolt is proud to sponsor this event that features more than 70 designers!
This Saturday, November 20th, The Portland Nursery (on Division) is hosting the Super RAD PDX Craft Show from 2-6pm.
Things really get going the weekend of December 4th with the Splendorcraft Gift Sale in SE, The Portland Art Collective Open Door Art Show and Sale in SW, and if you're up for a road trip-- Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle.
Have you visited the Crafty Wonderland Pop-Up Shop downtown yet? You can get some shopping done from over 90 handmade retailers, and get a preview of the Super Colossal Holiday Sale coming on December 11th and 12th.
Are you participating in or attending another local handmade sale? Leave the details in the comments. For more information and loads of holiday (and other) themed events and sales, check the always awesome calendar at DIY Alert.