Posted in Christmas Life

Some Festive Crafting Fun

Some Festive Crafting Fun Posted on 08/12/20155 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

This year, dearest blog folks, I am like a child. A child who has made for you some adorable craft item, that is probably of very poor quality, and very questionable aesthetic value. But because it is handed to you by an innocent with a beaming face, filled with pride and hope, and your heart swelling with the spirit of the season, it mitigates the crapness of the gift given, because they tried and it’s all just so endearing.

Except……..I am an adult and I should probably be buying people games consoles and designer iPad cases, yes?

OH WELL. Nevertheless, I’m persevering this year and making a variety of cross-stitched, embroidered and (possibly) sewn gifts (I imagine there’ll be some baking nearer the deadline too).

If any of you are also crafty, I thought I’d share a few of my creations and, where I can find them, the cheap or free patterns I used……..

This deeeeeeerlightful (sorry) pattern (only £1.24!!) was meant to be stitched in all black, but I couldn’t help but get a bit fancy with the leaves. This was one of my very first attempts at using a transfer pen, and I think I did reasonably ok. I’m definitely planning on getting a few finer tipped pens for future projects, so I can stitch more delicate designs.

Vulpe was a big help with this one, as you can see above. I tweaked this free pattern a bit. I’ll frame it in an appropriately sized hoop and throw on a bit of red or green ribbon for hanging (once I get my bum into gear).

This sweet autumnal pattern was free as well. I think the deer design put me in the mood for more autumn colours.

I more or less freestyled these snowflake tree ornaments. The bottom design is stitched on black aida so a little neater. The hoops are only 3″ and they make sweet little gifts (are are quick and easy to make).

Little happy pumpkin spice latte guy/gal is free too!

Check my tiny little wee sewing machine. Isn’t she ADORABLE. I saw this was on offer with Hobbycraft, and at only £12.50, and it being reportedly fairly idiot-proof, I splashed out.

Now, I have little excuse not to be a pro with a sewing machine. My Mum is a dressmaker by training (though she ended up taking a different career path) and she tried on many occasions to acquaint me with the ways of the sewing machine when I was young. For some reason, though, I’ve always had a block when it comes to their use. As soon as people start laying down rules about whether a bobbin or some other round thing needs to go clockwise or counter-clockwise, and then there’s a 7-step process for threading the needle, my brain shuts down.

I really REALLY want to overcome that block, though. Last night I read the instructions from cover to cover, watched approx 1.5 hours of YouTube tutorials, and attempted my FIRST EVER SOLO INDEPENDENT SEWING MACHINE PROJECT IN MY 34.5 YEARS. Please, behold little happy star dude:

Holy moly. It’s awful, right? I mean, this was probably something a bit fiddly for my first go, but I was determined. I have a whole lovely bunch of poly (non wool) felts at the moment and this seemed like as good a place to start as any.

Obviously I need a LOT of practice. A LOT. I definitely won’t be machine sewing any gifts this year, but I’m planning to make myself a Christmas tree skirt, which hopefully I won’t be able to mess up too heinously.

And finally…..look at this adorable little silver charm given to me by a stitching buddy at our latest meetup. Isn’t it swell? I don’t much wear necklaces anymore so I am waiting for some inspiration to hit about what I can do with it.

Are you getting up to anything crafty for Christmas? Do you have any top sewing machine tips? Please can you come to my house and spend 16 hours teaching me how to sew things properly?

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  1. Your cross stitching lovelies are beautiful and not crappy! Handmade gifts are the best because it represents the time and effort you have chosen to devote to create a personal thing to make a friend smile:)People can buy their own ipad cases…

    1. Aw thank you Rowa; I hope everyone I know feels the same way, ha 🙂 They sure do take a lot of time, but it keeps me out of trouble!

  2. I love these embroideries and using the hoop as the frame is such a great idea! Where do you get the non wool felt from? I've never come across it. I've just got a Pom Pom maker so I've been going a bit mad with them and have made Pom Pom garlands and a wreath.

    1. A pom-pom maker sounds like a lot of fun! Abakhan sell poly felt on rolls on the first floor (the budget stuff!) They only have a few basic colours, but I got a stack of coloured poly felt squares on Amazon as well. It is a bit tricky to get a hold of :/

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