I'm back with part 3 of our sustainable Christmas blogs! We've looked at preparing for Christmas with advent calendars & decorations, so we thought it would be a good idea to look at some gifts that you can make for your loved ones or even for yourself in that terrible post-Christmas/pre-New Year lull during the holidays!
To keep within the sustainable theme, we're going to look at small projects that can be made with fabric scraps or fat quarters or even upcycled from unworn garments. Don't forget to check out our previous post looking at sustainable fabric choices.
A great way to use up all those pieces of scrap jersey that you have hanging around is to make yourself some knickers. Tilly & the Buttons have collaborated with Evie La Love to create the Iris knickers. There are 3 design options & you just need around 1/2 a metre to make them & some elastic, as you don't want them falling down while you're shopping in Tesco. (Or maybe you do, we're not here to judge!) Waves & Wild’s Wonder Undies is a PDF only pattern so perfect for printing at home if you can’t get out to the shops or don’t want to wait for the postie. Both patterns are perfect for those awkward bits leftover from making T-shirts or you could even consider upcycling an old unworn T-shirt!
Another scrapbuster for your knit fabrics is this new free pattern from Patterns for Pirates. Any knit fabric can be used but it will require good recovery so that they stay put. You can mix & match whatever you've got leftover, as in the picture below or use the same fabric, either way a 1/3rd of a yard or around 30cm in new money should do it. The recipient can work from home without having to have the heating on full blast, so using less fuel too!
If you really want to save money on the heating bills how about making them a hat to go with their fingerless gloves - the Hickory hat pattern below is another freebie from Patterns for Pirates & comes in 4 sizes so you can make one for all the family & look like a proper set of bobby dazzlers! This is drafted for non-stretch fabrics, so maybe you have an old fleece that can be upcycled.
If you've never tried making a bag before, Noodlehead have a few patterns which are relatively simple & great for gifts & using up scraps from other projects, you can even forage the hardware from old bags. The Caravan Tote below comprises of relatively small amounts of fabric & there is a pouch pattern included too, so great value for money, (pictured below left). While it would make a great handbag & make-up bag it would be useful for anyone who likes to take their knitting out & about too. If you want something a bit smaller Noodlehead has a free pattern for the Forage bag too, (below right)
Headbands & Hair accessories
Perhaps the simplest things to make are hairbands & scrunchies out of your scrap fabric, as they can be made with either knit or woven fabrics. They are great for little stocking fillers or prizes in your Christmas crackers, (see our previous post where I talk about making reusable crackers). There's tons of tutorials online for both but here's a link to a couple: Ellie & Mac scrunchies & this headband from Threads magazine is a bit different with the twist in it.
Make-up bags & Make-up Remover pads
Giving someone a make-up bag with some make-up remover pads might encourage them to abstain from single use products in the bathroom. You could even add the scrunchies & headband above in co-ordinating fabrics to make a nice set too. I made this pattern from So Sew Easy many moons ago & found it really simple to make, (it has a video tutorial to help) & use it regularly. And here's a tutorial from Made for Mermaids for making simple make-up remover pads in 3 different designs from - we have Terry towelling for sale in the shop & sell by the quarter metre. (It's actually more economical fabric & money wise to make them square instead of circular!)
Kids clothes are great for using up remnants (obviously depending on the size of your child). Patterns for Pirates have the Petite Pegs & Wee Lap Tee plus the Teeny Beanie are lovely free patterns for Newborns up to 12 months that are great for your jersey scraps, you can make them individually or as bundle.
If you want to just jazz up an existing sweatshirt with something Christmassy, Waves & Wild have some Animal Appliques. There are a few to choose from, including the Reindeer below. You could even add a pom pom for his nose. These appliques have been designed to embellish their Adventurer or Hot Chocolate patterns (both are available from our shop for ages Newborn to 12 years) but I think you can add them to an existing garment, to be extra sustainable.