Gifts



Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Zip Bags (or What I Made the Craft Night Girls for Christmas)

Sometimes I get a little carried away.

Or a lot carried away.

Sometimes, I start a project thinking it will be no big deal. That it will only take an hour to make 14 million zip pouches.

In the middle of this project, I asked the Mister why it was that I start huge projects and don’t realize how huge they are until I am in the middle of them. He just smiled, because I always do this, and he always warns me.

The conversation went something (exactly) like this:

Me: “Am I just really dense or something? Do I just live in a complete fantasy land? Am I just really full of myself and think I can do super human things? What is my problem??”

Him: “No, not any of those things. Really, I just think you have no concept of space and time.”

I couldn’t stop laughing.

And now (much to his dismay) I can’t stop quoting him. Not because his assessment is particularly flattering to me. But because it is so, SO true.

When I get a creative idea, it is so large and full of newness and excitement for me that I tend to overlook critical factors.

Like, hypothetically, if the longarm machine will actually fit in our house.

Or like if there are actually enough hours between now and the craft night before Christmas to make fourteen zip pouches and still have time to sleep and eat. (Let alone enjoy the holiday with my kids.)

Turns out, the answer was Yes, just barely to the longarm question, and yes, just barely to the pouch question too.

Someday I would like to say that I have a better concept of space and time. But until then, I’ll be very, very grateful for patterns like this one, that go together in a snap and have perfect instructions for the novice and expert alike.

And believe me, if there had a been a problem, I would know. I made fourteen in the space of about 36 hours.

Thanks for the great pattern, Elizabeth. You saved my tail feathers.

If you’d like to make a pouch or two (or fourteen), you can find Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Zip Bags pattern here or here.

PS: I made these pouches exclusively from scraps I had sitting around. The only thing I bought new were the zippers. The twill and denim came from pairs of my husbands old pants that I couldn’t figure out what to do with but felt bad throwing away. The back of each pouch is made from a piece of solid twill or denim to match the solid strip at the bottom on the front.

Did you handmake any gifts this Christmas?   How good are you at figuring out how long something will take? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

xoxo

April

 



Monkeying around (or How to Make a Sock Monkey)

Get a pair of knee socks with contrasting toes and heels.

Follow this tutorial. (But use a zig sag stitch when machine sewing. Trust me on this.)

Make a couple more.

Bask in the praise of rejoicing children. Then, brace yourself for the meltdown when you tell them you’re giving them away. (Ask me how I know.)

No, seriously, I made a few of these…BIG hit. And of course, why wouldn’t they be? They’re adorable, if I do say so myself, and a GREAT idea for birthday party gifts. I threw these together in under 2 hours a piece, and that was with major three-year-old distractions. Just grab up some knee socks when you see them and have them on hand.

What is your go-to birthday gift? I need ideas, because as cute as these are, I’m not sure I can give them for every birthday from here on out. Enlighten me!



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