Christmas Gifts (and some reflections, just for you)

Phew! This year gone, and this last few months, have been hectic!

I just checked and it has been almost a year since I started this little blog. It’s been a great year! My sewing hobby has enjoyed the highs and lows that come with being a side hobby, often taking a back seat to my day job, my volunteer work with emergency services, boyfriend and family time, climbing and house work. Add to that starting two other blogs and trying to find time to write, and I am amazed I found time to sew at all.

But I did find time! I also saw progress, and achieved goals, despite falling short on others. I learned so much, including saying no to myself and others, and I have refined my goals for the new year.

All in all, it is happy times over here at Cotton Handy, so in the next week I will announce my very first blog prize, in celebration of my pending anniversary…hoorah!

In the meantime, to finally give you all some sewing to look at (it’s been too long, hasn’t it?!), below are some pictures of all the sewing goodies I gave as gifts this Christmas. On the one hand it was alot of work and I’m not sure I want to commit myself to do it again this year, on the other hand it was SO nice seeing everyone’s excited reactions… so I may well do it again anyway, planning nice and early ๐Ÿ˜€

Let’s take a look!

Bow clutches purses Bow clutche purses

These bow clutches were made for the teen girls. Tutorial by elm street life.

This nifty hanger is for the teen boy. It will hold wallet/keys/phone on the back of his bedroom door, never to be forgotten again! Boys are so hard to make for so I was very excited to find this on Design Sponge.

This owl softie has a misshapen bum…but bubbas don’t notice such things! Thanks to Simple Serendipities.

IMG_2737IMG_2747These Matchbox car rolls were a huge hit with the little boys, fabrics matched to their age. I used two tutorials for these, thanks to Jamily Creationsย and homemade by Jill! The straps look a little bit long, but that’s because each roll only had one car in the ‘garages’, once filled they should be perfect!


When I spotted this fabric I had to use it for the young men. My brother, T, got a sketch book and my cousin, D, got a notebook ๐Ÿ™‚ My boyfriend has also requested a Kindle cover!ย I actually made these up as I went, but had some experience from my previous foray into notebook covers.

A kitty purse for a little lady. I also made this up as I went!

This lanyard/pen holder is pretty neat. I made it for a teacher, but then bought him something perfect, so it was redirected to someone who works in patient transport. I also think I’ll be making one for myself! Found on The 36th Avenue.

Nap kits for a migraine suffering mum and a busy, busy dad/grandad. They were well received, Facebook pics of the next day headache recovery were great! I have made these before so all the tutorial links can be foundย here. These were also progress moments for me. My top stitches still aren’t perfect but round 2 with these was so much easier than I expected!


Face masks. The people these were made for received another purchased gift from my man, so a full nap kit was not necessary. However as they were flying to Canada Christmas morning, I thought they would like these. What I wasn’t anticipating was sheer excitement! Apparently Mr Blue had desperately wanted one for the flight but forgot to buy. He was thrilled to bits ๐Ÿ™‚


These heat packs were a staple gift. Two long ones were given to my Aunt and Cousin and a bundle of different shapes were for my Mum, who suffers frequent migraines and some arthritis. I got a HUGE 20kg bag of wheat for $18 from the pet store. I had been so stumped on how to buy wheat so I was very excited by that tip. If bugs haven’t moved in while I was away for the break, I’ll make some more just because, including several for me ๐Ÿ˜› These are simple and very well liked.ย I now make heat packs as I go, either measuring off my own or drawing up a rough pattern (such as the purple neck one, or the red knee ones), however there are tutorials all over the internet, I think I first used this one from Warehouse Fabrics Inc.


And finally, some muscle soaks. Though not technically sewing I had a bunch of old pasta jars to use and wanted to experiment with mod-podging fabric. These were mostly gifted with a heatpack. There are recipes all over the net and I sort of made my own up. I used sea salt, epsom salts, glyerol (gycerine) and food dye, all bought from the supermarket or pharmacy. The jars have fabric mod podged where the label used to be and the lids are spray painted. I didn’t use baking soda as apparently that can result in exploding jars. I also did not add essential oil due to the headache prone (me amongst them), but you can add some to the recipe or just straight to the bath. I’m thinking of trying peppermint ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, that’s Christmas done for the year! Whilst it took some time and commitment, it was so worth it for the reactions and the joy and the learning. And whilst I didn’t do it to save money, I am pretty sure I did…bonus!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year break. Mine was both busy and restful, sunny and stormy. I still have a few more days off and am looking forward to some maintenance sewing and a little project planning.

I’d love to hear how your break went…and be sure to stay tuned for that anniversary prize post!

Dani xo


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