Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas gifts.

Merry Christmas readers! I hope the day was full of fun, family, friends and peace. This was my most organised and relaxed Christmas ever. (if we ignore the trouble with the machine for the togs - see last post). I had all the house cleaning, food prep done, gifts made, gifts wrapped and even finished a gift on Christmas morning waiting for my son to come home from his Dad's where he spends Christmas Eve and morning.

This is from a dinner I had with an aqua aerobics friend. She was skipping her husband's work Christmas party which is in the heavy machinery industry so she thought a girly catch up was fitting instead.  I wore my Simplicity off shoulder dress in Southbank with the lovely lights and fantastic weather. I've since washed this dress and it's shortened up a bit (natural fibres usually shrink up not across - of the the not so many things I remember from fabric studies in the '90's). I knew this so didn't make it any shorter. I'm hoping the green Christmas dress (unseen finished here) will also shrink a little too. It's great dress to wear - just so easy but you look so smart.

Next is the gifts I made for my sisters and niece and past step-daughter. Here's a little tassel. So fun to make. I bought all the findings (?) at Spotlight. Isn't the leather gorgeous... more on that later.

The lining was a recent remnant from Spotlight on the same trip... $2 and perfectly gorgeous for this project... a cotton slightly lighter than quilting fabric. I bought metal zips from Spotlight too.. they just did not have many in shorter sizes... I think I bought 4 and that was all they had.

Here's the work table out on the back deck. Great light and it's a huge 2 metres wide octagonal table I got from my sister. (It's so old and it's two-pac so I don't even use a big cutting mat... I just do it on the table. No table was harmed in the making of anything so far!) In the background you see the leather hide. It's garment lamb's skin... it's size small and cost about $48. I bought it from East Coast Leather (easy to remember). They had so much leather and I think it was very, very well priced. I also went to Mac's Leather but after just because it was nearby and wanted to have a look, but this is where I would go for any leather in the future.

This is the making of the tassels. A bit tedious and hurt my wrists with the cutting, but also fidgety but it got done and I was happy with the outcomes.  I used the scissors not the rotary cutter.

Finished tassels. The rotary cutter I bought years ago when Big W was getting out of all sewing supplies. I got a huge bag of elastic too with only about half gone now. The little cutting mat was from a $2 shop years ago too and just the right size to cut small bits accurately. I have a 60cm metal ruler I bought when Gardam's closed up in Adelaide Street when they were next door us when I worked at STA Travel. I bought a pile of scissors too which I still have and use.

This was the first go. This is upholstery leather. I bought this at Trad's ages ago... just a small 50x30cm piece for $3 to practice but I only got to it the last few days.
Edit: I did want to say, I used a leather needle and just ordinary polyester thread in a very light grey which was the best match I had. I didn't even think of thread when I bought the leather.

I used a zip harvested from an old zip wallet and like the orange with the cream colour and put a vintage tiny gingham lining to match.

Then I made the rose gold ones, branded one just for size reference. They aren't all photographed, as I made another two after I finished these. I made them in different sizes. Some are with 7" zips and two were with 10" zips, plus I used 2 zips I had on hand one being a plastic one.

All up I made 6 and I have another 2 I need to make but I can't find the interfacing and I have run out of zips of suitable colour.  I used mostly cream coloured zips and the plastic one is a bone colour.  I am so pleased with how they worked out. I read through this tutorial but modified it as I went on. I would cut the zip and tab about .5cm shorter each end so that when turning there wasn't so many layers to turn.

I also interfaced the lamb's skin or it would stretch. Initially I also interfaced the lining but decided it would be slightly too stiff. By interfacing you lose the super soft butteriness (to just soft butteriness)  but it will keep it more sturdy to really be used.

I was a bit hesitant but bit the bullet and dived in and I am so incredibly happy with the way they turned out. EDIT: II also wanted to say I've never made a pouch or anything like this before... straight to the leather. My step-daughter said she loved it but when I said I made it she said she loved it even more and was incredibly surprised.

Oh and my sister called and said was just talking to Mum and saying she thought I'd lost it with the size I made, but when she tried them on they togs fit perfectly. I tried to explain negative ease... in the end they fit and she loves them. I had so much joy making beautiful things for my family.

I hope to finish my gingham skirt next and make a top to wear with it. Any ideas what style of top I should make. The skirt will have a long tie to close it. I'm a bit lost. I feel like a sleeveless top but not sure. Any ideas welcome.


  1. Merry Christmas to you! I am glad it was relaxing! Your top looks great! And I also love the adorable zip pouches you made. It your gingham skirt has a lot of details, I would go for a simpler silhouette for the top.

  2. Very lovely gifts. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  3. What gorgeous bags!! AND dress! I'm going to have to put those bags on my list of things to make for my nieces next year... Working with leather will be a challenge but you've encouraged me.

  4. Those purses look fantastic, what a lovely gift.

    1. Thanks! Nice to hear from you Marie.

  5. Thanks! Nice to hear from you Marie :)


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