In Holiday & Seasonal, Holiday Hints, Sewing

(Hello! I wrote the following as a guest post for another blog a few weeks ago. Since they’ve delayed posting it, I’m posting it here before it’s too late!)


a favorite ornament from our tree


For those of us that love to sew, the holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to make things for people we love. Here are a few ideas to help you create handmade holidays for your family without getting overwhelmed in the process.


1) Have a great resource for ideas. Perhaps you’ve been pinning craft tutorials on Pinterest all year long. Now is the time to go through your list of “make someday” projects and your list of recipients. Do any of them align? If you’re short on ideas, take a look at my new book, Present Perfect. I designed this book as a go-to resource for gift giving for all ages and occasions!


2) Plan ahead. Take a look at your calendar and decide how much time you’ll realistically have to sew. Schedule all of your other holiday obligations (cookie baking for the school, your spouse’s company party, etc) then block out your sewing time. Buy your materials and notions, pre-wash and press your fabrics and organize a master list. If you’re making anything seasonal, such as a Christmas apron, it’s a good idea to make it first. I like to give gifts like this before Christmas so they can be enjoyed during the whole season.


3) Batch sew. Plan to make projects that you can give to more than one person on your list. Do all of the cutting at once, the sewing at once, the finishing at once. By changing out color and fabrics, each gift will feel personal yet be more interesting for you to make more than once.



for multiple nieces: Snappy Manicure Pouches, pattern by Noodlehead


4) Enlist elves. Is there anyone that can help you? Kids over 6 or 7 are great at sorting scraps, pressing fabric (with supervision), winding bobbins, sewing straight seams, etc. It’s true, that sometimes enlisting your kids can actually take more time, so you’ll need to judge this on a case-by-case basis. The best part about having helpers is that they will take pride in the gift making! Seeing projects come together is exciting and sewing itself is a wonderful gift to pass on to your kids.



Flashback: a Star Wars “cuddly Bantha” made by one son for the other, with my help


5) Have a back-up. The holiday season can be a fast and fun time! Sometimes our best sewing intentions don’t work out. In this case it’s good to have a back up plan. For the sewist on your list, I’d like to suggest giving them their own copy of Present Perfect along with a special selection of pretty fabrics that suit their style.


betz white Present Perfect


I hope these tips will help make your holiday sewing go smoothly and give you a sense of joy this season!

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  • Nadja Pollard

    That ornament is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

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