by The Pleasant Times Sewing Editor, Miss Thread
"Tis the night before Christmas, and all thro' the house,
Every creature is stirring, and even the mouse
Is running to hide, and trembling with fear,
At the process that makes Christmas presents appear.
The children are trying to sleep in their beds,
While the sound of the sewing machine runs through their heads,
For Mama is in the next room running a race,
Wielding scissors and scattering pins at an incredible pace.
You wouldn't think fabric would make such a clatter,
The neighbors must wonder what is the matter,
Away Mama sews, the needle flies like a flash,
For Mama must sew- because she's short of the cash.
And Christmas is just in an hour, she knows,
She can almost make it, if she sews and sews!
And under the tree, Christmas presents will appear,
And she can rest her sore fingers until this day next year.
-written by the daughter of the Desperate Poetess.
Now, we all know if Mama would not wait until the last minute, she would not be in such a dilemma, but of course there are some of us in this world that cannot seem to get moving until then (and we never learn our lesson, do we?). Therefore, today I think many of you may appreciate this post. It is rather last minute, I do apologize for that; those in Australia who needed it yesterday will not be happy with me, I know. It will be here for next year!
. When Christmas comes 'round and I am in need of inspiration, patterns and instructions, I run to the Sew Mama Sew website, to their list of tutorials. Here are some quick and easy sewing projects using your fabric stash, that I found on that site, with a couple of my own thrown in. Make one up tonight!
Some tips for last minute sewing:
Print out the instructions, it is handier than running back to the computer (I find tutorials have to be printed in color, because grayscale makes details in the photos hard to see, but that could just be me and my failing eyesight).
Put on some Christmas music, it helps keep you in the mood, and it can be somewhat calming if you choose the right tunes.
If you get tired, go and lay down and close your eyes for five minutes. You make more mistakes if you are tired.
Keep some chocolate around, and a pot of tea. Do not place your tea cup near your fabric or the project-- of all nights this is the night that you will spill it.
Read all directions through first, and endeavor to understand them mentally, it keeps you from surprises.
In order to keep these projects "quick and easy" try to limit adjustments.
You will not be as quick with a new project that you have never made before. The ones I found were not difficult and I was able to make them up
Keep your stash up-- velcro is always so useful and you need to keep it in stock!
Click on the titles to go to the instructions!
This project was surprisingly quick, so much so I was able to make two without trouble. Besides a small amount of fabric, it takes a silk flower (take the bottom petals off of a floral arrangement, and put the rest back. No one will ever know) and hot glue, and velcro. If you have these things, give this a try for your seamstress friends!
POCKET TISSUE PACK HOLDERS
WINDOW DRAWSTRING BAG
Now for the paper doll tree: Lettie Lane and her friends (from the early 1900's) were all over the little white tree. I just love their winter cloaks!
Other last-minute gifts:
A loaf of home-made bread is always appreciated.
So are boxes of oranges.
A set of home-made cards are useful.
If you can get one, and don't care about the price, a pretty, good quality magazine is a fun gift. After all the presents are opened and the excitement is over, one can sit down with a cup of tea and relax and enjoy the magazine.
I am sure there are many more things you can think of!
Some tips for next year:
Remember bigger is not always better.
A framed photo or series of photos can mean a lot to relatives.
If you are out and about shopping during the year, and see some little thing that is nice but you think you don't need it, consider buying it anyway for a Christmas gift. Keep a Christmas basket or box in a closet and fill it with these little things. Buy wrapping paper on sale and put it there, too. The only last minute thing you have to do is wrap gifts.