Are you getting ready for Christmas yet?
More and more, people are wanting something other than mass-produced items. They have their place, of course, but we want to be individual. We want our clothes and our homes to reflect us, and not what some anonymous buyer thinks we should want.
Are you part of that trend?
If so, you probably want to find Christmas presents which are a bit different, too. That means buying from small, independent makers and shops, or making things yourself.
If you are looking to buy and want something different, may I suggest that, as well as checking out Etsy, Folksy and Not on the High Street, you go to Just a Card's Instagram feed and website. They feature lots of independent artists and makers. You are bound to find something suitable there, and will have the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping an artist to make a living doing what they love and are good at.
If you are planning to make things for Christmas, then why not start here?
Christmas Preparations - Stockings
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be suggesting various things you can make for Christmas, either to decorate your home or to give as presents. There will be tutorials and special offers!
Today, I'm starting with Christmas Stockings,as they are the subject of this month's design competition.
When I was a child, my sister and I put a pillowcase out on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas to fill. Our children continued that tradition, with each of them having a particular pillowcase which they used each year. Going one step further than that, you can make a sack or stocking for the child or children in your families which can be tailored to them and their interests, the thing they love most about Christmas, or just with their name.
Both are simple to make, using a rectangle for a sack, or a simple stocking outline for a stocking. You can find patterns for these on Pinterest, or draw round a sock, making it larger than a normal sock. Add a seam allowance all round and cut out two of each shape in your chosen fabric. Then join the two pieces right sides together, with a seam all round, leaving the top open. Hem the top. Of course, you can make a more complicated stocking by lining it and adding a cuff or hanging loop.
Stocking pattern from Arkathwyn.com
You can use Christmas fabrics, a plain fabric which you decorate with applique, or you can design your own. From next week, you should also be able to buy a ready-designed stocking from our Market Place!
The stocking at the top was made by Helen, using fabric she had designed and from the Market Place:
If you design your own stocking, you can incorporate two (or more!) designs into your stocking without having to stitch them together. You can also include a name, which Helen added as an extra.
If you do design your own stocking, you may like to enter our competition. You can find the details on the blog under Design Competition - Christmas Stocking. (Closes October 16th)
This stocking, made by Christine Leech of Sew Yeah! was made from plain fabric and decorated by sticking shapes onto it - and adding pompoms, of course. (Christine loves pompoms!):
Christine's stocking from her Instagram account
Finally, today's special offer. If you order a stocking during the competition (from now until we announce the winner on October 25th), you may also order a plain fat quarter for the back of the stocking or sack (which you could decorate at home with block prints, embroidery, applique etc) for just £1. Drop me an email (email@example.com) and I'll send an invoice for the extra £1. Unfortunately, I can't easily add things like that to our Market Place.
Happy stocking-making! And don't forget, if you make a stocking using fabric from PmP, share a photo of it on FB or Instagram (using #pmpmakes) or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org